The cruelty is the point

By Daviemoo

I’m constantly moved by those who fail to realise the ethos of the tory party: one of their many monikers is literally “the nasty party” and it’s not just because a worrying number of MPs look like the recently reanimated.

Look at the faces of the tory party: Patel, implicated in a bullying scandal so severe that the UK taxpayer fronted a settlement with an ex employee, Braverman who dreams of sending desperate refugees to Rwanda, Williamson who thinks helping someone in debt means he “owns” them, Gullis who happily screamed and jeered in parliament in support of a PM who threw back libation whilst we were legally secluded, Rob Roberts, suspended for a month for being sexually inappropriate with staff (and by all accounts trying to do so with constituents, sending out letters asking for pretty young female constituents to visit him privately) and of course the tory MP who we all know is a rapist but can’t name for fear of jeopardising his case and letting him off the hook: and of course the face of the party for nearly two disastrous years, Boris “beat up a journalist letterboxes bum boys let the bodies pile high” Johnson.
We have to get over this obsession with the idea that the tories are tough but fair- I know, I know in my heart that tory voters believe this somehow- that they think the tories are the party of “we’re doing this for your own good” but it’s not the “we’re taking the hard decisions to improve your lives in the long run”, it’s more akin to “you’re making me hit you because you won’t just lie down and take it”.

The tories have pushed through legislation after legislation to hurt the British people- not just the opposition, though the way the tories are stirring up hate against those who disagree with them is indicative of that- but the actual British people. I often have people tell me they think the voter ID bill is good, after all it’ll stop voter fraud: ah yes, just like how anti speeding laws stop speeding, how anti drug laws stop drugs and anti homeless bills make homeless people have homes!
Voter ID laws disenfranchise people: at last count, 2.5 million people will be disenfranchised from their ability to vote in the next election and 2.5 million people is more than enough to sway politics in a direction the country doesn’t want. Fortunately initiatives LIKE THIS (spread the word, share widely) help us to somewhat combat voter disenfranchisement, but we can never recapture all the voices who are silenced by insidious moves like this by the government to control the voting narrative. I’ve said before, the people most likely to be affected by voter disenfranchisement are the poor, the disabled and the young- all demographics who certainly don’t vote for tories in huge numbers: what an odd coincidence, I’m sure.

Then of course we had the police, crime, courts and sentencing bill, a bill that said “protest away! Just make sure you have the assent of the local police force”. The local police force who did stuff like this before the bill was even passed:

And a bill that said “unauthorised” protests, even one man protests, could result in imprisonment. The wooly language of the bill, no doubt in part due to its writing by Patel who was trying her best not to slip into plagiarising Mein Kampf, was so wooly that we still don’t know what an “unauthorised” protest looks like- mayhaps we’ll see a wealth of protest insurance companies pop up, ready to give you indemnity against all the eye gouges, pepper sprays and shield injuries you can muster?

But they weren’t done, were they? No, we thought Patel, the grand high bitch was bad enough but they managed to improve on that formula and go from fascist lite to fascist with Suella Braverman. Braverman has crafted a new bill which functionally criminalises you if you’ve ever gone to a protest- even a peaceful one. Braverman wants to electronically tag people who have been to protests and control their ability to even speak about protests online- that seems like pretty abrasive moves to control speech from a woman who is also encouraging the police to allow hate crimes against LGBT+ people.
Braverman is trying to imprison four people for tearing down a statue of a slaver: said slaver, were he alive today, would think nothing of seeing Braverman chained by the neck and forced to clean his floors, and she’s simply slavering at the idea of defending his honour over asking whether the British people might not want to lionise figures who killed 15,000 black people (and fyi that is just those who died during travel) by chaining them up, ripping them away from their homelands and forcing them to work for snooty Brits. Remember, the tories leaned hard for years on “the will of the people” as their catchphrase for everything and yet if you asked the British people if we wanted statues of arseholes like Colston around, I suspect the answer might be now. They say it’s part of our cultural heritage and yet they’re deathly afraid to teach us what slavers did- raping black slaves, allowing the mutilation of innocent people for our convenience: what a strange dichotomy to want these people’s faces in public to celebrate, rather than to disturb and warn us never to become so heartless again.

All of this leads us to a very simple conclusion: the tory party are total cunts. The will, of course, say that they’re doing these things for our good… what good? To stop the “just stop oil” folks? They might be delaying trucks from dispensing the goods that finally manage to run the self imposed slalom from the EU to here, but considering there’s a widespread medicine shortage that isn’t being reported on I’m about 99% convinced that four teens and three old people glued to a road in Middleton for three hours isn’t the cause. And people ask, “why don’t they do something more radical?!”.
Did you know a climate scientist self immolated (for those who don’t like fancy words, that means set fire to himself) and it was barely a blink in the eye of the public. The only time people paid attention was when a painting got some soup thrown on it for fucks sake; people are more bothered about Campbells on a wall than they are about someone literally roasting themselves to death: what a sad little life we all live together Jane.
The tories aren’t trying to stop people gluing themselves to roads or wasting a tin of Heinz cream of tomato: they’re trying to forestall the true dissent they know is coming because of years of their shit leadership. This isn’t about letting us “get on” because if it was, you’d think they would sit down with rail execs, nurses, postage staff, university staff, doctors and everyone else who is striking and actually iron out the problems. And I don’t want to “get on” with it any more! I want the problems to be fixed, not plastered over with posters akin to Enoch Powell’s rivers of blood in 240 twitter characters.

The tories are meant to be cruel- they don’t do it to help people, it isn’t tough love. It’s a distraction technique, a handful of dirt in the face of an outraged camper. They throw distractions at you to make sure you don’t focus upon the obvious: that things are bad when they are in charge.
They could easily do all the things they promise- roll back trans rights, stop people boating here, but they don’t, or they do the bare minimum and why? Because when trans people have no rights and no boats land here and your life still sucks, you just might realise that the real problem is them.

The other day I was walking along the Headrow in Leeds and outside one of the pubs I walked past a guy who said “what we need right- Australia: they have it right, shut our borders yeah”. Every part of me wanted to argue with him (Bet you were pissed off when they stopped Djokovic from coming in due to his vaccination status eh) but why bother? There are so many people convinced, utterly sure that migrants are the problem here, that those nasty foreigners darkening our doorstep are the issue.

How many foreigners voted to dump raw sewage into our rivers? How many trans people voted not to feed school kids, or make sure our pay goes up in line with inflation? How many gay people protect a man who quaffed champagne whilst our loved ones died, or back a woman whose idiotic decisions tanked the economy to unprecedented levels? How many people who arrived on boats liked the eat out to help out scheme which may have seeded coronavirus all around the country and contributed to more deaths? And how many of these people who sneak into our beloved country cost us as much as people bathed in wealth who pay less than their fair share as we get taxed more and more?

Migrants are not the cause of your shit life- your voting choices are, your desperate need to back people in charcoal suits with the right accent, the right haircut, the right demeanour because that’s what you think politics are. So many people are determined to see people like me, tattooed and pierced and extolling the virtues of maybe trying a different way after years of this one not working, as the enemy. You’re more scared of the word socialism than you are losing your houses to overinflated mortgage prices, mortgages you worked for years and sacrificed to save for if your avocado toast slander is to be believed. And you’re so angry at the benefit claimants you never once consider that there but for the grace of god goes you! I’ve claimed benefits, because I had two jobs- one working as an admin for a recruitment company, one in a bar- the recruitment company shut down (and didn’t pay me my last month’s salary by the way- I had to sue my own money out of them) and the bar decided to downsize its staff and I was new. Benefits saved me from literal starvation and I was treated like dirt because I was on them- IN THE MIDDLE OF THE 2010 RECESSION!

The tory party are still, somehow, perceived as the party of necessary evil and they aren’t.
One thing I can’t stand is the way Labour are desperately chasing the voters who love that side of the tory party. Starmer isn’t wrong that we have an over-reliance on immigration for short term staffing- but immigration itself is not a bad thing, and why it’s seen as such is beyond me. Having a country thats services- from coffee shops to the NHS – are staffed well, means we don’t have to scrape for every job going, should mean that money is flowing in a well regulated economy and therefore we can fund education better, giving better opportunities to British born people. This weirdness when it comes to migrant slander has to stop on both sides because it’s not true and it’s not sexy to blame some unnamed, faceless foreigner for our failings to prepare for anything. Operation Cygnus was ignored by successive health secretaries and would have made a huge difference during the pandemic and instead- here we are, 200,000 dead people and over 1.5 million long covid sufferers later and the most the government and the opposition can do is go “but migrants tho”.

We don’t need political parties in charge that cater to the wet dreams of racists, or to the entitled views of people who think benefits exist to do anything other than support people in unfortunate situations: and of course there will be those happy to subsist rather than exist- but blaming them for the system misses the entire point that the system exists with those loopholes built in.

I don’t want the nasty party in charge. They’ve had very nearly thirteen years now and what have we seen? Societal divide and decline, increased poverty rates, food bank usage shot up by 14% in a YEAR, shortened lifespan and lower quality of life, less rights.
We need alternatives, and as my good friend Dr Maria Norris said, we need to rely on hope, not fear. Fearing migrants isn’t solving a problem, it’s assigning it to something. And no migrant ever voted to restrict your freedom.

Embracing the different is what strengthens us – the way iron itself is more fragile than steel, drawing in disparate elements creates strength and this too is true of society. I don’t care about where you were put on this earth by your mother, whether you’re gay, if you want to transition to another gender: I care about your values and your willingness to leave the world better than you came into it. This isn’t a shallow fight for who can hoard the most resources to their chest, it’s not a game of who can get the most stuff- we all end up hollow corpses or piles of dust, but what’s important is making sure we leave the world better than we found it, that we eliminate the struggles we faced for the next group of people for whom fate aligns to put them here. And to do that, it’s true folly to look at this country as ending where the seas begin and to think that simply being born here means you’re better than those who weren’t. From the devices you type your angry messages on to the surgeons who remove your tumour, nationality is not relevant as much as intent and prowess: and that doesn’t come stamped on your rear like three lions or a white and red cross.

If you want to improve your country, start at its power center, start with the government and work outwards and perhaps, when you get to the borders, you will realise that the invasion was always coming from within.

Voter ID- Disenfranchising The Disenfranchised

By Daviemoo

In a country with normalised ID for every citizen, mandatory ID to vote is par for the course- so why, in a country where photo ID is not state subsidised or at least heavily discounted, are the British populace fine with new voter restrictions- the right to vote is one of the most basic there is. Is it fair to pay for the privilege?

It seems a far stretch to call the new legislation to implement mandatory voter ID “voter suppression”, but a rose by any other name still smells as sweet, and restrictions on voting still restricts voters.

You may be fooled into thinking that the government had sound reason to fear voter fraud and it’s impact on electoral integrity – until you read the ONS stats on voter fraud convictions in England. Those out there I’ll politely term as reactionaries- or less politely, fucking idiots, will go with the already laughably piffling figure of five hundred and ninety five reported cases.

In a group of countries with 66.65 million people, we’re already looking at the gentleman’s inch of political issues- add to that that all but SIX of those cases being dismissed without charge, two being given police cautions and FOUR convicted. So you may be forgiven for calling this government their favourite moniker- snowflakes- for overhauling the actual law to prevent a crime that four people have been convicted of.

The issue, the insidiousness and, indeed, the explanation behind the implementation of restrictive voter suppression techniques- which have, by the way, been imported wholesale from the good old US of A off the backs of their election – comes down to the voters it’s most likely to affect.

When you look into who the bases who most regularly vote for political parties, suddenly what seems to be a strange lapse of sanity becomes a crystal clear attempt to further solidify the tories’ death grip on the throat of a nation that- simply looking at figures- didn’t want them in the first place.

The tories won the biggest popular vote since 1979 in 2019 with an astounding 43.6% of the total votes- it’s a huge margin. But when comparing that to the total number of votes cast this means that over half of voters did NOT want tories- nothing to say of course about those who did NOT vote, whose opinions we can’t guess at and frankly who I don’t give the time of day to during political conversations, because not voting then complaining is the intellectual equivalent of letting someone kick you in the leg then complaining that you let them kick you.

When you realise the implications of a party with less than half the country’s votes implementing the insidious rule the tories have palmed on us, you suddenly realise the farcicality of the recent legislations being passed- from voter ID to stripping our right to protest down to the bone. A party who traditionally caters to the older generation and doesn’t wholesale represent the youth of the UK has implemented restrictions on voting that will- not could, but WILL, impact on younger voters and poorer voters. Shockingly, the people less likely to vote for the tories- not LABOUR per se, but not tory- are the young and the more economically poor.

Ah, so here then is the crux of the issue. The tories aren’t concerned about voter crime, they aren’t worried about the already sterling job that those who invigilate for voting being compromised. This is- arguably- an attack against the people who could potentially swing votes away from their parties.

Let’s now discuss the pricing of documents that you’ll need to vote.

A new passport in England costs between £75.50 and £85.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

The above info is taken from the government website itself and means that those of voting age, on the national minimum wage, would need to work 12 hours specifically to cover the cost of a document which is now mandated for use in the democratic and vital process. Half a day of work to save the money to cover a document that you will now need to exercise what is a fundamental, and vital right to employ to ensure that you are represented in this country.

Let’s now look at obtaining a new provisional or full driver’s license in the UK.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/driving-licence-fees

Much more reasonable! Until you consider that purely paying between £34 and £43 pounds is a misnomer- either you’re paying this fee to have a driving license you only need to prove your legal age for various reasons and vote which means this is a cost brought to you SPECIFICALLY AND ONLY to vote, or you need this license because you are planning to learn to drive- which costs, buy and insure a car and use it- which costs – so the actual costs are much higher if you want to implement this ID document for it’s purpose, and if not- you are literally paying money to be able to vote, which you can do for free now.

I could then further break down how this would make voting infeasible when factoring in more expensive food prices, rent or a mortgage, transport to work, petrol, car insurance and basic necessities to live but you get the idea I’m sure- this move by the government means that those who are paid the least are now vastly less likely to be able to afford the basic documents needed to have their say.

When you compare this against the current system where voting incurs only the cost of getting to where you vote, or not even this cost if you vote via postal vote- you’ll need to forgive me if I look confused about the necessity of mandatory ID.

This of course the Government could combat somewhat, by bringing in an optional UK Personal photo ID card – an idea floated when I was just reaching the cusp of the voting age, but said to be too close to surveillance and a nanny state.

This is still true- but if the goalposts for voter freedom are to change, then so is the necessity of the state providing an affordable way for it’s citizens to cast their vote, otherwise this legislation can be called by it’s true name: a voter suppression bill.

A better way?

Stacey Abrams, US politician, led a storming campaign in Georgia running from 2016 to present to ensure that disenfranchised voters- or as I like to call them, people adversely affected by legislation just like this one- were able to access the provisions needed to cast their vote, and the time is nigh for a politician in the UK to take up our own seat at this table. The UK government, failing as it is to import anything successfully post Brexit, did manage to import the voter suppression bill passed in what I can only call revenge for Abram’s amazing work, so I’d heartily suggest that UK politicians who do value the tiny flakes of democracy we still treasure here do their work to ensure that this bill affects the minimal folk it will – because I guarantee you this will affect voters.

There are many other people who would be adversely affected by the implementation of this bill – for example, those who are legally barred from driving due to disability. Herein of course is another issue we need to discuss – the right wing fervour to disregard the rights and freedoms of disabled people. This would limit people who cannot work due to disability and who cannot drive to – exactly what options for ID documents to vote? And are we convinced that those who invigilate will have sufficient training as to recognise the scant options left for people- not an insignificant group mind you – who would be effectively limited by this foolish legislation, or forcing them to vote in more drawn out ways which may impact on them in different ways as usual not thought of by a government too interested in pandering to it’s own voter base at the expense of everyone else- and, ironically, sometimes it’s own base.

To conclude…

I’ve been accused of many times of being overly critical of right wing governance and the irony is, i don’t know how I will react the day I’m finally under a more left leaning government. I’d like to think my moral compass is aligned as closely I can get it with basic decency, and if I felt a lefty government was letting down it’s people I’d be just as critical. I suppose this small paragraph is going to stand as a testament as to whether that happens in the future- provided we aren’t stuck under authoritarian rule as long as I live due to the machinations of those uncaring clowns in power now.

Speaking of moral compass -I ask you, readers who value the true basic right enshrined to us all to vote, please contact your local MP and lodge your displeasure with the disgraceful legislation being pushed through parliament. Sitting angry does very little to help those in need who can’t speak out – so you do it.

And while we’re at it – ENGAGE YOUNG PEOPLE WITH POLITICS.

I don’t care what political party you’re aligned with – with exceptions, if you’re a nationalist fuckwit please kindly visit your closest pier and walk off it – please encourage your children to understand the absolutely vital role they will play if they engage with and vote in political discourse in this country. The tories are the party of keeping old people’s money secreted away. Young people need to find the people who represent their morals, their values and who offer them an alternative to the bleak decade we’ve just had. They have a chance to change the future for the better- for themselves and heck, for us too. Whether that hefty mission of undoing the damage of the conservatives lies with labour or another political party, discovered or undiscovered, I’m unsure. But I know for sure that young people deserve to have their say irrespective of this disgraceful coup of a bill. Help them realise how vital their voices are.