Today’s interview between unelected cockroach Liz Truss and worlds most servile client journalist Laura Kuenssberg was the inexorable tearing point. The blithe dismissal of a key question about who actually voted for any of this broke something within me that has been fraying for many years. Now we must ask ourselves, as citizens of the UK, whether we are prepared to continue to lie on the floor as they waterboard us with gasoline, all the while impetuously telling us it is for our own good.
The time to stand against this government is at hand, and to the folk of the UK at large, I ask- if not now, why?
“How many people voted for your plan” Kuenssberg asked, in a rare show of something approaching criticism of the people who have allowed her unfettered access because of her creeping protection of them. A trademarked pause, a dismissive smirk and an offhand “what do you mean by that”, replied Truss.
In that response, I heard the tangible *RRRRIP* of the last of my patience. The phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” was never more relevant than today. It was an innocuous response at best but summed up everything that has led to this moment: a direct question, an exhortation to explain who it is that actually wants this- and Truss can’t answer honestly. Even the gaggle of conservative voters who voted Truss in did not choose this haemmorrhagic attack on the UK’s long troubled economy, and any of them with sense and without bank accounts stacked high with money would not have done so. Truss’ determination to leave a lasting impact on the UK left her with a Putin-esque wish to wreak destruction upon us, and Britain’s glib concurrence with anti-democracy has handed her the remit to do so: our silence, our long compliance with a government we hate- that is the mandate Truss and her useless cabinet cling to. And so, in that moment where Truss tipped her hand that she believes she does not need a remit to have savaged our futures, I lost my temper in a way I have not done in the years preceding.
I’ve said this so many times that it tastes dry on the tongue: in my youth I was raised by a grandfather with a history of national service, a man who believed to his core that the UK was sacrosanct, that it’s citizens would take no nonsense, worked hard, deserved the best.
The UK is not beyond scrutiny. Yes, there are benefit scroungers who sit at home all day watching tv and smoking cigarettes.
I don’t care- at least, I don’t care about those people as much as I do about people who get away with ruining the UK’s economy with the smirking assent of the government. People coming away with £17k of benefits a year aren’t as much of a problem to me as the people defrauding us of millions of pounds of taxation, not the least because the benefit people put that money back into the system when they buy whatever they buy with it, but the millionaires use shady bank accounts and purposely badly written legislation to keep their money away from public investment.
And every stupid tory voter loves the idea of not paying more tax- as if tax goes directly into the back pocket of some illusory immigrant rather than into the roads, the schools, the hospitals we all use. As if paying high tax isn’t one of the most brazen solutions to fix a country in decline- to fix infrastrucure. Of course paying more tax under the tories is a bad idea, because they’d privatise their bowel movements if they could. They funnel tax money into their friends and families limited companies, to the detriment of the public, all the while using the willing press to jab jewelled accusatory fingers at imaginary enemies. It’s not years of open idiocy that has resulted in the public decline of the country: it’s trans people! Or foreigners! No, it’s those bloody politically correct teachers, those lefty institutions.
Need I remind you people the tories have been in power with various majorities for THIRTEEN YEARS.
If the tories actually thought foreigners, or trans people, or benefit scroungers were the problem- they could fix it in a matter of weeks to months. They don’t fix these problems because if they did act against those minorities, it would show how little threat they pose- and because these minorities serve as scapegoats for people desperate to hate anyone but the arbiters of their misery! When’s the last time a trans woman from Iraq raised your taxes and spent that extra money on “Selfish.LTD” who made 30000 pieces of defective PPE? Is it more than, or equal to, never?
The UK’s population has lain prostrate for years under a government without a real terms majority, without a competent modus operandi, without a plan as they did nothing to aid us. They have stood above us, implementing austerity measures, holding transparently manipulated referenda based on lies, blaming us for our own quality of life declining- and at all times they have held the reins. The conservatives transparently fail to hold themselves accountable for their myriad failures, constantly dodging and diving- but the advent of the post- Cameron politics pre-to-post brexit also added in a Trumpian insistence on doubling down on nonsense unashamedly, an art that Boris Johnson refined and Liz Truss in her short tenure has perfected.
We cannot hold to scrutiny people who are pathologically unable to feel shame: and the time to try has passed.
Not Liz Truss, nor any tory, are the people to guide us through encroaching brexit fallout (it’s still not done by the way), through economic and domestic crises, health crises, through the no doubt impending world war. We need decisive ,competent and bold leadership who does not maintain the well worn lines of the status quo- because the status quo has not worked for one day of my life- the tangible decline of the last 13 years is proof ignored by millions of people numbed to the slow decimation of our country: people ignore the cracks just barely hidden by union jacks plastered on every surface.
When it comes to the semi-immediate future, I expect a labour government to take root. But labour must be bolder than it is. It must root out its own problems, the problems which are wielded against it. Labour at its heart is meant to be the broad church of the left: and it must not fall into support of extremists who believe in “kind” authoritarianism rather than the blatant sort of the tories. Democracy must be held sacrosanct. It must start to deal with the nagging issues it has continued to shush its critics over, from allowing shills like Rosie Duffield to ascend to, and keep, power to ousting those who say disgraceful nonsense like Rupa Huq. But most of all, Labour must promise to steer the country in a different direction to the tories. We deserve better. Labour must offer better.
Any incremental change is crumbs- and perhaps, in the face of history, it is time to let us eat cake.
We will not escape the coming civil upheaval without casualties, and that thought itself is enough to instil a fear of it into a great many of us: lest we forget those who have already been let down to die by this government: the people who lost their lives due to austerity, who froze in their homes even before the energy crisis, those whose benefits were frozen under the now head of the NHS Therese Coffey, our brothers and sisters who died alone because of a flippancy over the severity of covid. We aren’t headed towards a clash where some of us will die- we have been lined up against a wall for years as the tories took potshots at us from afar. But now the blindfolds are falling away. There is no alternative for us but to rise up together, as one, and declare ‘no more’.
Scotland will have its independence referendum. Deservedly so. Wales will leave, Ireland will reunify. The tories have besmirched the union to the point of farcicality. But more than tearing the union asunder, they have made us suffer together, huddled in the wreckage of their maledictions. Together the UK must impart a fear of the masses into politicians that will persist long after the death of the unions. Together the people of each country must stand arm to arm, shoulder to shoulder against this government and against any other that comes to power after. For too long we have been silent when we should have been screaming, and now we’ve started may the echoes of our rage ring in the ears of every political party from now to eternity. And down the line may we each remember that we failed, time after time after time, to hold these villains to account, and may we say “never again can we let this come to pass”.
We have the chance now to live on our feet instead of at the feet of the Conservatives. Let us take it.
Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.