Today, illustrious Crime Sinister Boris Johnson announced a 1.5% tax hike to NI to “pay for social care”. Johnson’s manifesto literally stated that they wouldn’t do this, as did Johnson in a litany of public appearances pre-election- so tell me Tory voters: why should we trust what he says it’s for, when he said it wouldn’t happen in the first place?
I’VE SPENT SOLIDLY the last 24 hours arguing with people online about how I’m sick of being told, as a 33 year old single man, that it’s my fault I don’t have a mortgage. I actually had a not insignificant amount saved with an ex, who kept that money when we separated because he is, and if you’re reading this- you are- a huge piece of shit. And I’ve worked hard since 2016 to pile money away into a savings account, only, at the start of covid, to be met with a sexy little 0.1% interest rate which means I might as well have slit a hole in my mattress and started feeding fives and tens in there to accrue interest from the bed bugs.
No amount of “not buying coffees” will help when the cost of living just keeps going up, whilst my salary has more fixation than a pathologist’s latest patient.
My favourite part of these fruitless exchanges though is how older generations rail endlessly against young people protesting an increase in NI. “When I was younger we were miserable” is a fair point until I then ask why, if life was so hard and you were so miserable, you want to pass that experience off onto us- isn’t the whole point that we make the next generation’s lives easier? But that’s also wilfully missing the whole “we’re in a pandemic after a Brexit we didn’t want and we were there for 9/11 and that whole thing messed us up” thing. Our lives aren’t easy, haven’t been easy and- between, Brexit, pandemia, tax hikes and general tory ineptitude, will continue to be this way.
When you actually look at how much this increases our burden by, especially the poor, we’re much worse off. Plus everything is getting more expensive and we have more necessities these days. And there’s always that fun little graph that shows the parity between house prices and salaries go from the width of my hopes that the tories might do good, to the width of my conviction that, under them, we’re roughly fucked.
There’s always a suspicion that things like that graph are too simplistic- so today when I saw someone with a massively detailed one showing that property prices are marginally cheaper up north – but job prospects mean it’s harder to find the money to BUY one. Fun!
Ultimately we’re having our shows run by a man who thinks £150,000 for a newspaper article he wrote between taking MDMA and drinking chateauneuf is “pocket change”, so I don’t really like knowing he’s responsible for how much comes out of my take home.
Frankly it is difficult to see an end to the misery heaped on us by the government, and the complicity of the voting base who even now are filling my various inboxes with “CORBYN WOULD HAVE RAISED IT BY 5%” rather than dealing with that nefarious little thing, reality, is causing me something akin to grief.
Trapped here on plague island, I cant help but feel that we’re so numb to the misuse of the system that no one actually wants to fix it.
Here are some of the stock responses I receive from fellow brits that drive me insane.
“All politicians are corrupt”
Why do we accept that? Why not remove every last one until we know those who embezzle and bedazzle and lie and cheat are gone and honest people who wish to improve the country are in place.
“It could be worse”
Of course it could, but just because I only have one broken leg doesn’t mean I’m flagging people down to snap the other one.
Tories need to be told to get over Corbyn’s loss even more than Corbyn’s staunch voter base still do.
“He’s doing his best”
He is the prime minister, not a 3 year old doing a finger painting of a butterfly. Grow up.
Therein is the issue! People are so numb to what talented politicians, reliable politicians can do, that we’re willing to accept a cabinet built like an Ikea knockoff, stuffed with so many inept Johnson stooges that they can do a terrible job so long as they tell him he’s doing well.
And loath as I am to insult Labour, this is a government whose opposition should be decimating them in the polls. Whatever issues Labour has need to be fixed NOW because the continual infighting and lassitude of the left is actively contributing to this government’s ineptitude.
Lately I’m consumed by wondering what the match that will light the ever increasing tinder will be. Why wasn’t it broken promises made for Brexit, delayed lockdowns, mass deaths, callous disregard for those in care homes, jokes about our lost family members, PPE scandals, health secretaries sleeping with mistresses hired on our dime, another one throwing off all safety measures, blatant data manipulation, dereliction of duty by a foreign secretary, the anger over a home secretary castigated by the police and, now, the French, the embers of the always smouldering culture war flaring up to burn a PM who “refuses to involve” himself- but fans the flames, always, with his past and present words, increased NI which will specifically hit the poor more than the rich, food shortages, HGV Driver shortages, broken manifesto promises, inaction on unsafe flat buildings, mass deportation of those with the right to be here, an education secretary boasting of his CO2 protection system that is our children’s only safeguard and isn’t installed, tory MP’s involved in sex scandals, harassing their constituents and workers… Wherever you look at whatever level of this government corruption oozes like thickening blood to scab over an ever more septic wound.
Look at that list there and tell me why this country and it’s citizens are not in open revolt over JUST THIS.
The British public seems all too happy to roll over and show it’s delicate underbelly to a government ready to rip it open and revel in the entrails.
4 thoughts on “Dear UK: What more will it take before we break?”
The truth is, life was easier in lots of ways when I was 16 in 1981, but most people from that time a/ believe the Monty Python sketch of ‘living in a shoebox in the gutter’ and b/ have no clue just how hard it is for the younger generation today. It’s appalling that the group of people hit the hardest by just recent history, are the ones that have to pay, and keep paying, the most. Our tax system needs a major overhaul and people who have owned their houses for years and built up equity for which they have added nothing; no skill, no advantage to society but think they’re clever need to pay tax on that equity. I am with you in that I cannot understand why people are not angrier about this. Talking to my own children aged 18 to 25, they’re tired and scared and feel insecure about their futures. It started with Brexit for them (one of my UK born sons was told, at 11, after the referendum vote, he could ‘go back to where he came from – that’ll be Essex.) and has continued through Priti Patel offering aid to the Israelis, the attitude of TERFs, anything this government has done at all, through to the handling of the pandemic and now the tax increase on anyone who is working. I have to hope there is a brighter future out there for them but in truth, I am really afraid the future isn’t that bright and it’s my generation’s fault and we need to pay for the advantages, privileges and benefits we had.
I think there has to be a brighter future but it’s not going to be given to us by those we trust with our well-being. The time has really come now for the youth to have their say on how they want to shape their future. I wish there was a way to easily engage younger people in politics and shake off that “nothing to do with me” attitude. And the irony is I don’t blame the younger generation for feeling how they might, but the mindset of “I had it hard so you should too”. Thank you for this comment because it did make me feel like I’m not yelling into the void and your words are comforting. I hope your kids are doing as well as they can during this madness
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A lot of my children’s friends, when faced with their first opportunity to vote, didn’t know how to (surely this should be taught in schools?), didn’t know who to vote for (trying to find information on candidates is time-consuming and sometimes impossible), were worried about their vote having ‘no impact’ or, felt so disenfranchised that they couldn’t be bothered. All scenarios which play into the hands of my generation, who do vote and generally vote blue. Essex is completely blue because most of the working-class here believed the Thatcherite lie of ‘work hard, reap big’, because, yes of course Gary, in your white van, by working 80+ hours a week in your plumbing job, you too can reach the heady heights of being a 40% tax payer. What a lot of people don’t understand is that the truly wealthy don’t pay anywhere near 40% of tax on their money and that having money garners advantages on beyond tax privileges. I talk politics at every opportunity with my children and their friends and voting, even if they spoil their ballot papers, is the one thing I have always insisted that they do. I stand in awe of your generation; you’re educated; articulate; resilient. If, as a generation you can just have the energy to push back at the next election, then there is hope for this country.
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I was a teenager in the sixties and life was great for me and everyone I knew. Life continued to be good into the seventies, until Thatcher happened.