Since Theresa May’s undemocratic coronation, she has tried to style herself as a centrist – with worker’s rights and equality at heart. During the party conference, however, it has become clear she either doesn’t care that that mask is slipping or – more likely – she thinks the entire British electorate is as thick as puppy shit.
May talks about taking the centre ground while leaning so far to the right that she is in severe danger of falling off the edge. Those that voted Brexit are quick enough to tell us that they didn’t do it because they are racist – but apparently the cabinet didn’t get that memo, since May has announced a host of policy plans that would make Farage say “Now steady on…”
From the suggestion that we have companies list their “foreign” workers, to the new Tory pledge that we will have no doctors come to work here from abroad after 2025, it’s quite clear that the Brexit vote has emboldened the nasty party to pick up the racist rhetoric that surrounded the campaign and run with it as far as they can. Never mind that our economy would collapse without Migrant workers – we’d apparently rather see the UK crash and burn than encounter someone with a different culture to our own.
Never mind that the NHS is currently lying on the floor, bleeding out, desperately trying to resuscitate itself while Jeremy Hunt pisses on it from a great height and Branson rubs his hands in glee and works out his projected profit margin, we’re going to make all NHS staff so demoralised they’ll all quit and move elsewhere anyway. Hunt seems to think we’ll be able to stop British born doctors leaving for a country where they are valued and respected, but, short of building a wall, it’s difficult to see how. Only please don’t say that too loudly – Theresa May is about 2 drinks away from suggesting it herself.
They already came for the disabled when they cut ESA. They came for the poor when they cut universal credit. Now they are coming for immigrants. You’ll probably be next, unless you happen to be in the top 1% of uk earners. If you are, well lucky you! You’ll be getting a tax break.
We’ve let them cut sure start, libraries, local council budgets, housing benefit, nursery placements, adult literacy programs, and fire fighters. We’ve let them expand the cruel and counterproductive badger cull. We’ve let May organise Brexit talks in secret, giving us no voice in exactly what brexit will look like, with no intention of any kind of public consultation. We’ve sat here and listened while she talks about repealing the fox hunting ban, and describes ideological austerity as “living within our means”. She has done all of this in our name, secure in the knowledge that she can do just exactly as she likes for the next four years, more if the weighted constituency reshuffle goes ahead. After all, all she need do is make a couple of pitifully weak jokes in PMQS and her BBC lapdog will slather over her shoes and hump her leg, yipping “you really showed Corbyn there” whilst they desperately try to kick Tory election fraud under the carpet.
Probably the most frightening thing to come out of the Tory party conference so far has been May’s utterly barking plan to repeal sections of the human rights act. Universal human rights are just that – universal. They are not May’s to grant or take away, they are ours. We’ve already fought for them, and we won. Who is she to try and take them from us?
The Tories have spoken about how our troops should be exempt from those pesky human rights violations trials, their argument being that vexatious claims are sometimes made, and those cost money. To which I say so fucking what? On that basis we should scrap all court cases of any kind, because vexatious claims are sometimes made. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the point of a trial to get the evidence heard and the facts established? We are at war, on more than one front, and we already have shockingly high levels of sexual assault in our armed forces. Do we really want to rip up the rulebook entirely, and give our boys the right to torture and rape with impunity? We have rules of engagement for a reason, and if we want to continue styling ourselves as the moral arbiters of the world, we have to hold ourselves to the highest possible standards.
The thing that has always made me proud to come from the UK is our freedom and our tolerance. Britain has always been – despite the rose tinted nostalgia glasses you can pick up at the Torykip conference – a melting pot. We are a beautiful mixture of vikings, Romans, Asians, celts, Africans and Europeans. We are all races and all colours, coming together and finding common ground side by side, enriched by our diversity. We may not dress the same, or eat the same things or have the same faith, but we all wait in line at the post office, we all tut but don’t make a scene, We all talk only about the weather. We’re all just neighbours, wherever we come from. We live and let live.
We are a pirate culture, we travel the world and we bring home new foods, new languages, and new people. And we do not stand for this kind of division. 80 years ago the Jews stood side by side with the Irish dockers and the communists and the socialists and the local working class people in Cable Street and we told Moseley’s filth in no uncertain terms that they shall not pass. we will not have fascism in our streets and we certainly will not tolerate it in our government either.
People talk about sleepwalking into fascism. We’ve gone beyond that now. We have a government who, even if every charge of election fraud is thrown out, still only achieved 24% Of the vote, led by a woman who wasn’t even elected by her own party and they are talking openly about making lists of foreigners, giving soldiers permission to violate human rights in combat situations – to strip human beings of basic, fundamental human rights, their very personhood. They are talking openly about making universal human rights removable – effectively telling you that the rights you already have can be taken away.
The Tories have used brexit as an excuse to go full fash. They think that if they points the finger at migrants enough the electorate will just forget about Cameron’s £10million plane, and Sam Cam’s 35k a year stylist and the massive pay rises for MPs and the £6million a year House Of commons bar bill and the fact that actually, it isn’t migrants that have put the NHS under pressure, it’s massive cuts and unworkable contracts and chronic neglect. It isn’t migrants that stopping your kid getting on the housing list, it’s Tories not building any social housing. Your wages aren’t low because of Migrant workers – they are low because the Tories have kept the minimum wage low, the Tories have allowed corporations and individuals to squirrel away wealth in tax havens instead of paying you what you’re worth, the Tories aren’t investing in your community.
While they continue to live a champagne lifestyle, people are relying on food banks. In one of the richest countries in the world, we are told we can’t afford care for our elderly, emergency services, healthcare, housing, social services, prison officers or pensions. The Tories genuinely expect us to believe that that is all the fault of migrants. That’s how stupid they think we are.
I refuse to believe that the majority of British people are racist, xenophobic knuckle daggers who will believe whatever they are told by their Tory overlords. I refuse to believe the majority of people listen to murdochs hate rags spewing their bile about migrants as if the 2008 banking crash and subsequent chronic mismanagement of our economy never happened and actually buy into that. I think better of us than that. I’m sure even the people who voted to leave the EU didn’t want our human rights taken away, foreign citizens monitored and our NHS closed to international health professionals. But that’s happening in our name. The Tories think that’s who we are. That’s how low they regard us.
The Conservatives have allegedly rigged the election, then taken us out of the EU by accident, now they are very deliberately stripping our rights as quickly as they can strip our kingdom’s assets, stirring up hatred for Immigrants while segregating children by wealth and giving poor children the choice between a life of fruit picking or a chance to be cannon fodder in the next unwinnable, illegal war, and they do it brazenly, without shame, in our name.
I wish I could see a happy ending to all of this, but with both Trump and Le Pen gaining ground and May kicking off the vile kitten heels to strap on the jackboots instead, the future is looking a lot like the past we swear every November we will never forget.
2016 has taken some unpredictable swerves, but I never thought I’d end up being nostalgic for Hameron. To the people who voted to “take control” Because The EU is, air quote “undemocratic” I need to ask: is this what you had in mind? Really? This isn’t control, it’s Mayhem. It’s fascism. It’s not us. I want my democracy back.