Blog: Welcome to Dave’s World

Gary Barlow in new M&S advert


Ok, I get it we’re having the Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee but enough is enough, something needs to be said. A straw has most definitely broken this camel’s back.  What did it? Although close it wasn’t Cameron and Miliband’s 10 minute speeches telling their anecdotes of the Queen in parliament (by the way, well done on those energy saving light bulbs at Buckingham Palace Ed, that’s climate change sorted), but two nemeses from my youth; Gary Barlow and Jamie Redknapp in the new M&S advert.

This latest attempt by the giant retailer had me retching into my union jack tea mug long before the final scene. It seems M&S have been co-oped into the Tories plan to distract with a series of events desperately trying to convince us Great Britain is wonderful. We had the royal wedding, now the Olympics and Queens Jubilee. Forget the fact there are over a million young people unemployed and a NHS in ruins. We can all wave union jacks, eat strawberries and row our little boats down the stream. It’s all going to be ok, we’re in what I am going to call Dave’s world.

Let me explain, the advert starts off with a rendition of the Beatles track ‘Here Comes the Sun’. I love the Beatles but already I was feeling uneasy, working class hero George Harrison being used to pedal carrot sticks to the Daily Mail reading masses, surely not.

Then enters Twiggy carrying cupcakes topped with union jacks. I get it you’re all British.  Or am I watching an election broadcast for the BNP? The guests aren’t exactly representative of the nation. Oh, I forgot we are in Dave’s world.

The grandpa figure then turns on an old TV made circa 1980’s, displaying guess what, more union jacks, and I really hate to be technical here but since the digital switch over I don’t think that big aerial on top would be picking up much signal.

This outrage continues…  Enter enters Redknapp still wearing rather tight white trousers perhaps from the infamous 1994 FA Cup final suit and a polo shirt buttoned up to the top. He clearly is taking fashion tips from the Only Way Is Essex. Then because this is Dave’s world, we move on to tennis. We know the PM likes a game with his deputy Clegg, which got me thinking my friends and I could play tennis, then I remembered in London it’s amazing to live anywhere slightly a step up from a shoebox, I guess that idea won’t be happening then.

By this point I am desperate for this hellish advert to end before Nick Griffin jumps out of a Union Jack birthday cake. But there is a final twist, throughout the advert the soundtrack  ‘Here Comes the Sun’ hasn’t felt quite right. It’s nagged at me, I should have joined the dots earlier. Of course singing away, there was Cameron’s henchman Gary Barlow. Not resting on his laurels after urging the public to vote for the Tories at the last election and witnessing the destruction of the NHS and mass unemployment, Gary want’s to pedal more crap your way. The message goes something like this; “eat strawberries, cupcakes and drape yourself in union jacks and throw a party and you to can be one to be one of Dave and Gary’s gang”. Personally I would rather stick my head in the nearest incinerator.

So please don’t invite me to your jubilee party, I will be busy reading the Guardian and drinking organic coffee. Firmly living in the real world.

Society: Why The Occupy Movement Matters

Every morning in my pre-work slumber, I do what every twenty something surely does and I listen BBC 4’s the Today Show. I have to admit it had all become a rather depressing.  Whether it was Nick Clegg, trying to convince us he isn’t a Tory or hearing how Greece needs to impose a unhealthy dose of IMF economic shock medicine, it seems not even my sugary weetabix can make me feel better.

But recently my mornings have become a bit brighter, the reason being the global Occupy movement. Since the first protesters set up camp on Wall Street, the movement has spread to 1500 cities across the globe. Their political slogan We are the 99% has spread around the world capturing the imagination of people from all walks of life and from all over the world.

In the UK politicians such as Louise Mensch have been quick to scorn the protesters for drinking Starbucks or using Apple Macs. Her argument of ‘how can you be against capitalism then take everything it provides’, is in my opinion ridiculous. Capitalism is the system we currently, for better or worse, live under. The Occupy movement isn’t advocating  that we get rid of all financial transactions and move into the nearest cave. This week Occupy London put their demands forward to the City of London.  The demands have been created with the aim of creating a fairer society and call for increased transparency and removal of the special powers that businesses have to vote in elections.

If the occupy movement which pledges to no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%, can harness the sprit and talents of the local communities to produce democratically created demands like those made to the City of London, we will end up with a fairer and more equal society and that can only be a good thing.

What is clear is that the last 30 years of neo liberalism has pushed society to the brink. The world is in a desperate state with the vast majority of western economies grossly indebted. Inflation is soaring and unemployment, especially for young people, is at staggering levels. Oh and for anyone reading this thinking let’s raise some income by a healthy dose of privatisation, the news is there is nothing left to privatise – that gravy train has passed.

Politically the tide has started to shift against “predator capitalism”, a term both Ed Miliband and David Cameron are desperate to take ownership of (apparently it polls well). For me Occupy represents the beginning of the end for neo liberalism. The Arab spring has inspired the occupy movement and throughout the world people are now starting to believe we can stand up to uncontrolled greed from businesses and individuals. Around the world people are realising that they are not alone in wanting something different for themselves and for future generations. For too long the interests of big business have been thrust upon the electorate. It has left us as a society battered and bruised but the fight back has started and any business or politician that chooses to ignore this changing of the tide is in for a surprise.

Tomorrow because of the occupy movement I will wake up with hope and perhaps one day I will no longer need the morning sugar on the weetabix to get me through the day.