There is a hidden issue blighting the lives of millions of people in Britain, a festering inequality which has not been addressed for decades.
We are musicians who think this is the core issue for building a more just society.
This is a huge problem that will take at least a generation to fix.
In the mid-1940s a Labour government dramatically improved health, education and housing – all at the same time. It allowed millions of working class kids to do well and advance.
Millions grew up in that new environment and went into jobs their parents were effectively barred from through their circumstances.
But a generation later, in the mid-1960s, the Labour party began taking its eye off the ball. Many improvements for housing estate kids were reversed.
Some Labour councils let the estates run down. By 1979 they had become so poorly maintained that the Tories came to power with many working class votes, and Margaret Thatcher finished off the job.
Now, in 2011, there are up to 13.5 million people locked in a cycle of poverty. They and their children, and their children’s children are sentenced to a lifetime of no hope. Dead-end estates, no jobs, just a daily slog to try and survive. Millions of children grow up with an expectation that they will never get a decent job. Their experience – and their parents’ experience - tells them that many of the simple achievements the majority in Britain enjoy are not for the likes of them.
Music For Socialism is not a political party. We are not looking for donations. We are not organising marches.
And we don’t support the fashionable concept of politics as therapy – it’s no good throwing things at the police to make yourself feel better.
We simply want decent people to think about what’s happening to the forgotten millions, and to look around and support the very few politicians who dare to recognise what’s going on under their noses.
Sure, there are many problems to address…climate concerns and political issues abroad. There are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in single-issue politics.
But what we are saying is the dead-end plight of 20 per cent of our people should be the major priority for this country at this time.
The current focus on cuts – how many, how deep, how soon, does not address the fundamental problem. Even if we returned to the status quo, we would still be facing a massive issue of the long-entrenched cyclic impoverishment of millions of families.
Britain started doing something right in the 1940s. It wasn’t outlandishly radical. We improved the life-opportunities of millions.
Then we let these advances fall away.
The victims are with us still and will continue to be with us, until we restore the freedom to hope and the expectation that things can be much better.
Just think about it … and persuade others to do the same.
Tim Hodgkinson Ken Hyder
If you are wondering why MUSIC for socialism, we just happen to be musicians who are concerned with the way things are going. Any group of people linked by work, or other interests, could come together to articulate how they feel about what is happening in Britain today.
We are NOT campaigning for musician-centred interests – like arts funding. This is NOT a single-issue concern. While single issues can be very important, we believe that now is the time to start focussing on the biggest complex problem debilitating our society. None of us can be free or feel part of a progressive society when so many of our citizens are shackled by lifetime impoverishment.
We are not saying that WE can bring about the changes necessary – we are simply saying that the political world needs to understand how far it has lost touch with this need for a fundamentally just society.
Any group of people can articulate that demand. We hope that other groups form and begin to spread the word.