May 12, 2012 – 4:42 am


It’s unsurprising that capitalism unfettered - the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and ushered in the collapse of Euro-Communism - has led to fat cats getting even fatter. No need to look over their shoulders and worry about discredited Communism. No B.S., the rich are getting richer.

Singer-songwriter Richard Hawley, who has a new album Standing At The Sky’s Edge, figures England’s burning again. He says his new album is a metaphor for the state of modern Britain.

He says: “The government are really limiting us by closing libraries and reducing NHS funding. Kids are coming out of university £50,000 in debt and still end up flipping burgers. This is no longer a civilised society, the dignity of our sick and elderly is being taken away.”

He continued: “This has impacted on the sound and made me realise what’s important. We had to fight for those things and I just don’t want to see them taken… away. It’s pissed me off and it think it’s pissed every fucker off to be honest.”

Are we the generation that’s witnessing yet another “decline of Western Civilization”? Is money culture, the only culture left?

Note: Richard Hawley’s previous album, Truelove’s Gutter (2009), won Mojo magazine’s Album of the Year.

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  2. I agree with Richard Hawley. I think it might be worse here in the US, as the gap between rich and poor widens and all hope of working for a living dissolves. At least they have a National Health System in England. Here the unemployed have no income and no access to health care at all. Those lucky enough to have work aren’t doing what they are best at, they’re just doing whatever job they could get. Things can still get worse: after wave upon wave of layoffs and home foreclosures, we have yet to feel the pinch of unpayable student loans. Plenty of money for wars and banks, though. Just no money for things that matter. Like people.

    By aking on May 12, 2012

  3. You have to wonder what future the youth of the planet is inheriting. When hope becomes a shattered dream, all that’s left is desperation. And desperation leads to drastic acts. The marginalization of the middle class continues to eat the US alive. You can see it on the faces of folks at the gas pumps, the glazed look of apathetic resignation and emptiness. The smell of fear is coming to the street where you live. Like a wise man once said,”if you don’t have dreams, you’ve got nightmares”…

    By Billy Jack on May 12, 2012

  4. The rich are getting richer, and, as usual, of the backs of the poorer paid. People on low incomes are backed into a corner which forces them to work for a pittance, the receipts eniding up in the pockets of the rich. This creates apathy amongst those who will not fall into this trap and the result is the crumbling of the society that we live in. Youth problems are rife now, lack of respect, anti-social behaviour etc., and is getting worse.

    By daij on May 12, 2012

  5. Blinkered thinking from a leftie, let’s disassemble his quote a bit..

    “The government are really limiting us by closing libraries ” many libraries are now lending books as a sideline, younger generation hardly ever visit one. Have you been in one lately? they are more like glorified community centres. Each borough should have one, not every suburb, if the demand isn’t there. Most kids download books now, hey even the recent riots were co-ordinated on Blackberry so don’t say the users have no money or access to the technology.

    “and reducing NHS funding”. wrong, a greater spend than ever is happening, however elective procedures, homeopathy etc., are being squeezed. The NHS is far from perfect, but FFS it’s free

    “Kids are coming out of university £50,000 in debt” not asian kids who work while studying! it’s just lazy ass white kids who think they are owed something. Thousands upon thousands of people get degrees online from top universities whilst holding a job, so if you leave in debt, well you should’ve pulled your finger out a bit

    “still end up flipping burgers”. what a trite remark, there is DIGNITY in ALL labour, lots of people at the top of their careers, at some stage did shit jobs, don’t demean burger workers and don’t assume cuz you are flipping burgers now, that you can’t aspire to the future you want. I started my working life hauling animal carcasses around London’s Smithfield Meat Market, 20 years on and I have just retired having sold my record label for a nice number, your future is what YOU make it.

    “This is no longer a civilised society, the dignity of our sick and elderly is being taken away.” agreed, taken away mainly cuz UK welfare money is being eaten up at a great rate by bogus “asylum” & 3rd world immigration, thanks to the open door policy of Tony Blair’s Labour.

    The only reason England & the West is falling apart is that we allow illiterate and unskilled migration, in untold numbers, giving full and instant access to our welfare provisions, thus leading to the money pie being carved up in ever smaller amounts to the population as a whole.

    Now if you were to address the lack of manufacturing and apportioned blame where it lay, i.e. at the door of Blair & Mandelson who only cared about the taxes they raised from the City Of London, and not the manufacturing strength of the country with the jobs they provide, you’d be nearer the mark. Now the City money has dried up, there is no manufacturing jobs to make up the short fall. Short sighted Labour politicians, many of whom went into Office with little or no money, but left as multi millionaires.

    All that is happening in the UK is that Labour left office leaving the country broke & in debt. Any individual in that situation knows the remedy is long & painful, and in this case, has to be sorted by a new government.
    Even arch leftie, Ken Livingston has just been outed as a tax dodger!

    Why are the left so “holier than thou” it’s always falling apart & is always someone else’s fault, well dude, look closer to your political left for the source of the problems England is now facing. Labour were not the source of all of the UK’s problems by any means, byut they can’t be exonerated of all blame either.

    These new arrivals don’t care if the country declines cuz no matter how bad it gets in the west it’s a hundred times better than normality is where they came from.

    By Liam NSW on May 12, 2012

  6. sorry, bit of a typo,

    the paragraph at the end, should have been placed under the paragraph about the sick & elderly

    “These new arrivals don’t care if the country declines cuz no matter how bad it gets in the west it’s a hundred times better than normality is where they came from”

    By Liam NSW on May 12, 2012

  7. Big Government, Big Business, and Big Media all in cahoots adds up to no more middle class. You either got money or you don’t. The working class transformed into the welfare class, all in the name of “compassion”. Ugh!
    If Obama gets 4 more years, Then the US will not recover…

    By TDC on May 12, 2012

  8. in the film flashback with keifer sutherland and dennis hopper from about 21 yrs or so ago dennis’ character says to keifer’s that its ronald reagan’s fault that we now have two classes - the truly needy and the truly greedy. he isnt that far off.
    a tiny % of the top money earners of the country pay 98% of the tax money that is collected in this country and it isnt hurting them at all cuz they make so much money and they get to write off so much of their costs and expenses and debts etc. meanwhile the poor and what should be the middle class–those making say $75k or less or as little as 20-30k are paying out of the nose a much higher % of their income and it hurts them obviously to a much greater extent.
    we cant all make a living selling to one another on ebay. not everyone is taught a skill they can market when they get out of school that they can fall back on when their regular education fails them. not enough jobs too many people not enough money inflation lower quality product…where is the light at the end of this shitty tunnel? one thing for glad i dont have much more than 20-25 years (if that) left to deal with the crap that these last 7-9 presidents and their administrations have left us with. who else should we blame? personally..i blame the republicans. not solely because as things have progressed the two have come closer to one another than ever before. its becoming harder and harder to tell which one is which. i used to consider myself a democrat. now im not so sure because i have so many conservative feelings on things. so maybe im a middle of the road kinda guy. i am certainly not rich enough to be a republican. im as poor as they come. in fact no one who lives indoors is poorer than i am. i need our govt to stay democrat. i just dont need our current president to stay in office thats for sure. im tired of having the lesser of two evils in office. arent u?
    give me something worth voting for and ill start voting again. and dont tell me i dont get to have an opinion if i dont vote.. thats a load of rubbish.
    oh hell these straight talking no bs contests always get my fur up. i need to find me something to listen to now. sigh.

    By darth on May 13, 2012

  9. When you see the light at the end of the tunnel it could be a train coming at you. Politicians are in bed with wall street. Guilty of the same crimes that they locked up Martha Stewart for. California is 16 billion in debt and Gov. Brown says he’ll have to make more cutbacks to schools if we don’t vote for another tax increase. Oh well. Do we really need educated children if there are no jobs for them. And without jobs you don’t pay tax or sell a product to boost the economy. I’m beginning to believe the conspiracy theories about the Bilderberg Group. That a small group of elite meet once a year to start wars, elect heads of state, set the price of oil, build a global economy (btwn the States and Western Europe) and they control the media. Ah well. Maybe. Maybe not. It’s somewhere to cast the blame. Look them up. But I know the politicians don’t care about us or they wouldn’t exempt themselves from the laws they pass. Take away the cushions they gave us so they can balance the budget. I never knew when I got my glasses through Medicare that it would be my last pair because it put a drain on the economy and they had to plug it to collect their pensions. Our whole economy is based on debt and instead of paying the bills they keep trying to expand. How long can it last? It doesn’t work that way in my home.

    All I can think to save us is term limits. No more political lifers.

    By sking on May 13, 2012

  10. those of us lucky enough to still have ajob are just waiting to be told we havent

    By paul on May 13, 2012

  11. 老實說,我沒有在這個時候發表意見,但我仍希望得到您提供任何音樂的鏈接。

    By rondelrio on May 13, 2012

  12. Sure, there are many problems, and a large number of them have been created by corrupt or weak “aspirational” politicians “left” or “right” alike, who seem desperate to suck up to big business.
    That’s the problem with democracy… weak-minded fools voting for smooth-talking scum…
    it’s a recipe for the worst possible solution, every time. Long-term, we just dig a deeper and deeper hole for humanity. But… if our species is incapable, as a whole, of using its brains, perhaps it does not deserve to survice much longer.
    And, I have to say… I’ve always considered myself well left of centre, but… it’s high time the bleeding hearts stopped bitching about kids leaving university with a debt - oh woe, oh horror…
    There was very little free education when I was a kid, and I certainly never got any paid university tuition or accommodation.
    And I see no reason why I should feel sorry for today’s kids because, one day, when their salaries exceed the national average plus 10%, they will be expected to repay their almost zero-interest loan at a minuscule rate per year. So fucking what?
    The world does not need freeloaders; it needs people willing to pay their own damn way.
    Hell… imagine how I’d sound if I was a right-wing idiot!

    By Tony on May 13, 2012

  13. In the history of the US, the emerging generation will, for the first time ever, be the first to step backwards from the previous generation.

    Industrialized nations have been spending borrowed money over the past several generations and have never bothered to plan for budgeting or realized constraint, leaving the current mess for the next batch of politicians to deal with…a self-perpetuation cluster that is reaching it’s boiling point…

    By Mr Dude on May 13, 2012

  14. The rich corporations should pay their fair share of taxes. Don’t put all of the burden on the backs of the poor.

    By Phil on May 13, 2012

  15. Loosely quoting Stephen King about Occupy Wall Street, “if the economy doesn’t start improving, the 1% hasn’t seen anything yet.”

    By George Martini on May 13, 2012

  16. My apologies for “my” previous post. I have learned a lesson today and will shut my computer down when I have guests. The best translation I could come up with is… “I don’t have any views on the subject but I still want the free music”

    By rondelrio on May 13, 2012

  17. The first crisis didn’t teach us anything. No one stopped or at least limited the speculators by setting new rules in the stock exchange, we’re all in the hands of these greedy vultures. “Real” economy doesn’t count a thing.
    At the same time, we’re at a turn in history, Europe is dying out, it’s not our turn anymore. The earlier we accept that, the better we’ll live our decline. And we better learn chinese as soon as we can.

    By frank capra on May 14, 2012

  18. In Britain the directors of the top companies traded on the stock exchange had an increase of 11% in there income as opposed to less than 1% for the workers.

    By BarBob on May 14, 2012

  19. money culture is not culture.
    Culture is art,
    Culture is music.
    Culture cannot be bought nor paid for.
    Culture is awareness and talent, class and dignity, all things that are sullied by money.

    By sluggo on May 14, 2012

  20. just typical tories nothing more nothing less, cut public services and cut taxes. they never change

    By tinyhandsofconcrete on May 15, 2012

  21. At some point the chickens come home to roost. Airbus is a Governmentally subsidized company living on the backs of Spaniards, Frenchmen,etc. The EU spends money hand over fist and eventually someone needs to pay. Sad for all of the fine folks, but trust the Government to run business, healthcare, etc… and it will co$$$$t you.

    By john on May 15, 2012

  22. its always been like this and probably always will. when it gets too bad than wome type of revolution will happen but that usually only changes who get the most

    By whdup on May 16, 2012

  23. Granted, I know nothing about England’s situation and how it became so. What I do know is that corrupt people in government have made life in the States at best a big crap shoot for the middle class.
    You spend the first quarter of your life studying and becoming proficient in a field that you think will be lucrative. Whether you become indebted doing so or work your kiester off to reach your goal,makes no matter because the money you make in your selected occupation will go to government programs to pay off the rich and the government people who made them that way. Our taxes now eat up so large a percentage of our incomes, we no longer have the possibility of enjoying the American Dream.

    By Tom Billings on May 16, 2012

  24. I don’t know. The article is pretty superficial and speaks in generalizations. Sure, “tax the rich” sounds great but always translates to taxes on the poor(who’s gonna speak out against sin taxes? Booze, cigs, etc hit the poor hardest) and the middle class. Politicians aren’t going to tax the rich; if they did, they’d be taxing themselves!

    By steve22 on May 16, 2012

  25. Isn’t this why we left England in the first place? Where do we go from here?

    By sking on May 17, 2012

  26. i would like to say i agree with all that liam NSW said the work ethic is sure deminishing

    By barrie on May 17, 2012

  27. We can always wring our hands and point to the others and shout, “Look what they’ve done!” We are all building this society. Let’s look to our own hearts first - then maybe we can effect change.

    By tajackson on May 17, 2012

  28. There is still a legitimate culture out there but don’t expect any public funding for it. The problem is more the culture of political greed. If you follow the John Edwards trial, he spent thousands of the “bunny money” to keep his pregnant girlfriend out of the public eye. In the meantime, his wife was battling cancer. We have a presidential candidate who made a fortune gutting American companies and laying off workers. Wall Street can’t be trusted and the stock market is a farce where only the rich people can make money. Taxation is unequal and hurts the poor and middle class. I still have an income but recently I did a grunt physical labor job for a friend and got paid the minimum wage. I can tell you I worked hard and would not have been able to live and run a household on that minimum wage. I can sympathize with a lot of the people out there and the rich do not even want the poor to have universal health care. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe we all need a better conscience, starting at the top. If you get a chance, listen to “Jack Of All Trades” on the new Springsteen CD. It’s about a man telling his wife that he can can pound nails, he can fix a car, he can do what he has to do to get them through this new depression.

    By Mackster on May 19, 2012

  29. Liam NSW must be deliberately acting as a HARD MAN with his comments on the blog posting. All the current evidence from across Europe and the USA points to a need for us to invest more in our young people and ensure that there is a future, with jobs and respect for them. People are more important, whether young or old, and slagging off a whole section of a population is a ‘pathetic’ response!

    By kodalba on May 20, 2012

  30. From the Phoenicians forward wealth has been built on the backs of cheap labor. Since the U.S. has transferred its wealth to the various countries that were once the source of cheap labor and are now risen up (because of the wealth we transferred to them–Japan, China, India,, the powers here love and want this lowering in America because it will become our (their) own cheap labor source right here.

    By kingpossum on May 21, 2012

  31. In these days rich people will be more rich and poor people will be more poor.

    By Rochacrimson on May 21, 2012

  32. Mankind is gifted with reason, but it seems to be a poisoned gift. While I think that a large number of people on this earth are of a social nature, there are too many people in power that are selfish, corrupt and only interested in power and money. And the worst is, that they get away with it in many cases. Shame on us.

    By Fred on May 22, 2012

  33. The pendulum may be in a somewhat dire position right now. However, after it reaches its zenith on one side, it starts swinging back the other way. Call it “economic/sociologic physics.”

    By Jeremy Shatan on May 23, 2012

  34. We’re spending too much and not saving enough. Same for our government. The US will be in trouble when the dollar is not the global safe haven currency and no one buys treasuries…our children will suffer for this.

    By ComplyGuy on May 26, 2012

  35. I think part of the problem is “Entitlement”.
    It seems like never before, politicians, leaders and those in high places are trying to get away with raping the public by abusing privilege.
    One tiny for instance, an MP [member of parliament] in Canada who recently billed for a $7000.00 limousine service to escort her to a music awards ceremony. She wasn`t a recipient just an attendee. This same person has filed for $16.00 glasses of orange juice on her expense accounts. in-fucking-credible!

    By sluggo on Jun 1, 2012

  36. The movie “In Time” seems to get more real every day.

    Government is NOT a business; it is not supposed to make a profit. But it has to pay its bills somehow.

    By NAMoosedog on Jun 8, 2012

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