On day one of “freedom day” rioting shakes London as anti- lockdown protesters sizzle in the sun, desperate to be angry about something. Watching the scenes which, by the way, continue to make my frontal lobe itch, I have to wonder: What is it that it will take for the left to stop fighting amongst itself and wipe the floor with the right wing roaches forcing us all to endure their madness?
Every single day without fail I watch in confusion. There are so many issues that need to be ironed out, addressed, discussed, debunked, dealt with- there is no denying that. But anyone who can’t see the right eagerly throwing fuel into the gaping maw of the culture war engine we’re all riding must be wilfully blind.
Crime Sinister Johnson so recently declared that he REFUSED to partake in culture wars- this, the man who has eagerly poised his pen to pontificate on people of colour, on the LGBTQIA, on muslim women, who has so brazenly displayed his ambivalence towards the women in his life. Johnson stokes controversy in his wake, and it is one of the things I’ll admit he does well – he cannot breeze past a subject without infuriating someone involved with it.
But this is bigger than Johnson himself.
The media in the UK is owned and operated by oligarchs with a vested interest in keeping their fellows in power. The discord sown makes them money, makes their lives better, towering fortunes built on the rickety limbs of the unfortunate fools propping up these monoliths who so willingly believe the falsehoods and narratives spun for them by newspapers with an average readability age of 12.
So many people look at the simple fact that the media favourably paints their political fellows and think this is some loony leftie idea- digging feverishly through issue after issue they find one scant article critical of the government and wave it in front of you, screaming SEE?!! as if this offers proof paid that we’re wrong. We don’t quite live in a regime catered entirely to the right- so naturally, criticism pops up. But in a country currently feeling food shortages by Brexit, suffering a heatwave from climate change, and with no restrictions in place to prevent the spread of a virus which can cause myriad debilitating issues, the press focuses on the usual piffling nonsense- Katie Hopkins being rightly deported from Australia.
The scenes in London today – There are “anti lockdown riots” on “freedom day” – paint an image of the perpetually angry at nothing but desperate to blame something wash of people who don’t understand why their lives are the way they are and filled with the need to fight for a cause- a cause they don’t seem to understand or even know about.
A more charitable person than I would firmly blame terrible educational governance and in my calmer moments, I know that a country that insists on educating people the traditional way- shouting facts at them even if they don’t learn that way- then turfing them out into a world that doesn’t teach critical thinking, only to let them be engulfed in said rhetoric of IT’S THE GAY FOREIGN LEFTIES MAKING YOUR LIVES BAD, can muster some sort of understanding. I struggle.
I make myself sound like I’m above all this – I know full well I’m ocean deep in what could ostensibly be painted as anti government radicalisation, with the leftist propaganda the government sweats privately about ringing at all times in my ears. But I’m not willing to believe that the politics of standing up for everyone instead of propping up the rich is the greater of two evils when the current group in charge are quite literally casting its own citizens, voters- fellow humans – into the bottomless pit of a mass health crisis for the economy.
If there’s a person in the world who doesn’t live in a remote clearing somewhere who doesn’t think they fall victim to the rhetoric they choose, they are foolish.
Of course I see that in my case, it’s THE RIGHT WING UNCARING NUT CASES WANT ME TO SUFFER TO ENRICH THE ALREADY RICH- But when I’m given so much evidence to back that up, how can I ever feel like I’m wrong?
The right seems to come at it’s issues with one mind- the simple mind of “we need to win”. It doesn’t matter how far fetched the idea is- watch the right back it.
You can reel off a list of the things Johnson has let us down on and get the same answers back:
“he locked down late multiple times” He had no choice
“his cabinet has been illegally funding PPE contracts” He cant possibly know everything that’s going on
“he refused to work with the EU on procuring ventilators” Who wants to work with the Corrupt EU
“tory donors funded his flat even though he said he did” he deserves to have a nice place to live
“he said let the bodies pile high” lies from Dominic Cummings (even in the face of FREEDOM DAY…)
“he let “eat out to help out” happen” that was Rishi Sunak
“he tried to get out of isolating” he did the right thing in the end
And the irony is, I’ve seen people who have said these EXACT sentences to me laughing at the blind obedience of Trump supporters.
Oh, there is a comparison that Johnson supporters hate. They can’t, or won’t see, through the miasma of their dedication, that they’re willing to do as the Trump supporters do and reshuffle reality to allow Johnson infinite rope to hang himself, along with the rest of us.
The madness of the right backers will always confuse me.
But so too, does the madness of the lefties I regularly interact with.
Holding politicians to account is vital, necessary and important. But the endless castigation of politicians on our side who are, to an extent, powerless against a right-aligned media, and who are woefully underrepresented in parliament thanks to the (admittedly outdated) FPTP system, does no one any good- except those who wish to maintain power.
Starmer’s labour is mired in issues so deeply we can barely see it- only a fool would deny it. From internal issues relating to transphobia and an unfortunate resurgence of Islamophobic rhetoric, to supposed “long time labour supporters” declaring their refusal to vote for a party that “conditions children to be LGBT”- Its LGBTQIA by the way, at least be correct in your stupidity, the labour party has issues that need to be addressed and the daily insistence that all is well is tiring. Another issues of course is the weighty ghost of Corbyn. Endlessly we’re told that he would have been the magical panacea to fix all woes- I’m not quite so confident in Mr Corbyn as others, though I didn’t dislike his politics. But ultimately, I can see why Labour, and Starmer in particular, struggle. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – a political savant Starmer is not. Even I, who pay close attention to politics, sometimes fail to see why he comes down where he does on the issues he speaks on. But he is not, as so many people regularly say, a red tory. And frankly I’d take a fractured government over one who pours outright malevolence. Somehow, week after week, month after month voters still stick to the frayed threads of the well travelled lines we’ve been fed since January 20 – “it would be worse if Corbyn got in”.
No. It wouldn’t. How could it be worse? Abject dereliction of duty in an ongoing health crisis, corruption with public funds, billions thrown away on an app that fundamentally does not work run by a woman literally famed for data loss – which also happened, a health secretary forced to walk the plank so backbenchers can make money, a home secretary who used public funds to buy off someone she bullied, credit taken for a vaccine program they had little to do with, care homes flooded with the virus at the hands of a man who only cared about reaching an imaginary testing figure he made up on the spot, a new health secretary with close links to privatised healthcare – and at the top of it all, a prime minister so embroiled in hate speech, ignorance, lassitude and outright ineptitude that how he holds a position more senior than lamppost is beyond me.
Anyone else of some sort of sense can see that a government which cares even vaguely for the people it oversees would have fared better.
So begs the question- what on EARTH has to happen before England (in particular, as the spoilt brat of the UK) realises that the infighting around Starmer not being everything of the 27 things the traditional labour camps want him to be, means that this continued warring means that we’ll just keep seeing Johnson or his acolytes succeed.
There are so many suggestions for alternatives:
Zarah Sultana- An amazing politician who is far too young to be in the highest office in England.
Andy Burnham- He stood up to them! True- what else does he stand for…? Great choice.
Recent Labour Joiner John Bercow! – Probably would be a good choice for some- but forget absolutely any far left representation, Bercow appears to be precisely one eyebrow hair’s breadth over the line of centre left, though I’d be happy to be proved wrong.
Angela Rayner- who can’t even admit she stood directly next to Corbyn at a photo op.
Frankly at this point I don’t care who heads the Labour party- come who may, just get the corruption moving, drain the wound, burn out the corruption.
I’ve explained many times that I’m not actually a hardcore labour supporter and I’d love a further left alternative. So many people have said that I and people like me should start a new party (like for example, the NIP- a wonderful and absolutely infeasible idea), which is a brilliant way to even further divide an already ratbitten left. I’m a pragmatist at heart, and stand behind the left that I see having a chance to take power from the tories. Frankly it doesn’t matter who they are- and this, reader, is the crux of it. I think I have the attitude the right do- but on the left. I don’t care if Kier Starmer isn’t the best leftist politician we’ve ever seen. I just want the tories out of power, and after that we can damage control. If Starmer is the devil so feared by many we can oust him and install one of the many other choices people feel prepped to back over him. But until we form alliances, we’re doomed to keep the cycle of conjecture until there will come a reckoning where, whether we want to or not, finally the realisation that we might have to back a leader that some of us don’t like- if it means ridding Westminster of the current devils so determined to make the system work for them at the expense of all of us. Is that Starmer? I do not know- there are people much more politically savvy than me who think he is, and he is not, the man to lead the charge against the tories. But I and a friend of mine both agree that I’d cheerfully see a rotisserie chicken in office over the clumsy bumbling of a buffoon like Johnson.
I plead with anyone who reads this to understand that the unfortunate truth, whether you want to accept it or not, is that an undesirable option is still an option, and without a cogent coming together of the different facets of the left, we’re doomed to sit under the conservatives until this country collapses in on itself- quite literally from the response to the COVID crisis alone.
It doesn’t have to be Starmer, but it has to be someone. So stop squabbling and start working with those you might not necessarily agree with or resign yourself to this- this utter mess- this sham government- ruling over you for the foreseeable future. A shoddy government we install can be dealt with – one who actively works against us to the baying of the ignorant will only keep making our lives worse.
2 thoughts on “Dear Fellow Lefties: What Will it Take?”
Agreed! The right will always win on messaging because lack of critical thinking ability allows for more uniform thought! The left needs to start thinking as a collective on issues that every facet of it will have in common and which lots of people on the right also agree upon but are manipulated into thinking the left would take from them.
Also HOW STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO SCHEDULE AN ANTI-LOCKDOWN RIOT ON THE DAY ALL RESTRICTIONS ARE LIFTED???!!!!!
So much of this, to me, feels like ‘Football Politics’. My team is better than your team. There are far too many people acting like this on both sides. I 100% agree that the left need to come together to stand a chance of removing the Tories but sadly it feels somewhat impossible. It still amazes me that we don’t have PR in the UK.
I am nowhere near as politically savvy as you and I am still learning a lot. I couldn’t tell you for sure where on the left I would sit entirely but I do know that I have traditionally always been the kind of person to avoid conflict or mediate rather than go off on one. I find myself trying to challenge this sometimes and I’ve made mistakes along the way and try to own up to them when I can. This has taken a bit of a tangent but I think the point I’m trying to make is that the biggest problem with politics is the people. If that makes any sense?