The British political establishment continues to decline before our eyes, and though at the beginning of 2023 a national revolt or general strike seemed inevitable, confoundingly these rumbles of discontent have ebbed- but the steady stream of stories highlighting Westminster corruption continue, today with the news that ex Attorney General and now deportation enthusiast Suella Braverman has been breaking laws in a “limited and specific way” again.
One must begin to ask at what point we look at the decimation of political standards which, coincidentally, fits hand in glove with the erosion of our standards of life and question when we begin to fight back bodily for a country we know lies under the mire of corruption spilling from our political leaders.
I’ve already had pushback for mentioning the Braverman story. “There’s bigger issues going on than something like speeding” I’m told. But it’s not about that one incident- it’s never been about the one incident.
One thing like this would be enough to sink any other party’s minister: Diane Abbott had weeks of racial abuse for drinking a can on a train, Gordon Brown was decimated in the press for calling a woman bigoted on a hot mic. So the first bone of contention to note is the slavish attitude that terminally mediocre politicians like Braverman are given by the press and even their own party- the double standardisation of who is castigated and when we’re given the old eye rolling forbearance of our complaints. Let’s look to Boris Johnson who weathered the scandal of breaching laws he himself implemented to stop the spread of a virus which took the lives of hundreds of thousands of our countryfolk- Braverman went to bat for him, scoffing at the idea of his law breaching- much as she did during her defence of his “damn them all” Brexit strategy.
Secondly though, it’s not just about the hypocrisy which threads every damn thing the conservatives do- the “I can do it but not you” serfdom wound around their reign, because one instance of hypocrisy is, as the pathetic weasel that is Matt Hancock described of his own disgusting dereliction of duty, “only human”- it’s the never ending, always expanding patina of lawless indecent behaviour which has typified this radical, useless government.
The conservatives hold everyone else to standards they fail to meet. Johnson broke the law not just with Partygate but with PPE contracts, with an arguable churlish attitude over protecting British lives when he ignored a joint EU/UK ventilator scheme, he fell foul of the laws around his flat refurbishment paid for by a tory lobbyist- and what sank Johnson in the end? His flipping appointing of a man he knew was a sexual pervert to his closest aides, with the wink wink dismissal of the man’s propensity for sexually assaulting his colleagues. Then we had months of absolutely no leadership as the conservatives collectively decided to let the country falter under a cost of living and cost of heating crisis. After a juddering competition where even ex-“moderate” tories like Penny Mordaunt gleefully carved up any decency they had and threw it to the pyre of potential governance, Liz Truss inexplicably emerged on top, perhaps winning because of her repeated demonstrations of propensity for throwing her own beliefs in the sewage pipes formerly known as the British coast- an ex republican who paid cringeworthy deference to the royals, an ex remainer who sold out common sense for popularity like so many other awkward dolts, Truss’ time in power was underscored not by myriad small scandals but by the echoing shotgun blast she delivered to the throat of the UK economy.
Truss and Kwarteng’s blazing stupidity will echo across British bill payers’ lives for a generation, as she melted down our banks in one fell swoop. A decent political would have quietly resigned and gone to live somewhere far away. Truss is now attempting to restyle herself as a misunderstood genius, appointed at the wrong time- I personally get the same vibes from Truss’ redemption arc as I do every awkward tweet from Elon Musk from his large and no doubt echoingly empty home. There’s as much collective genius between Truss and Musk as there is sexual chemistry between me and fitness model Ken Bek- and he doesn’t even know I exist.
Finally Truss slunk awkwardly out of the job and the role- the top governance role in the entire UK I may add, the job reserved for the best politicians we have, the most able, brilliant minds we keep on shore- was handed perfunctorily to Rishi Sunak, a man who ostensibly played a role in the Bankers crash that necessitated austerity. Sunak was described as a “winner” by Sky’s Beth Rigby recently- an irony. Can you call it winning when you have every single thing handed to you whilst you lay prostrate, sticking your nose up at the idea of having working class friends?
Sunak fucked up his banking role in tandem with so many others that we had a world wide recession, he married someone else who is eye bogglingly wealthy, as chancellor he open handedly threw public finance into the sea and continues to float on the idea that he came up with the furlough scheme. Whilst the scheme was good, its no less than I’d expect from a mildly talented chancellor and I saw it with a pall of dread, knowing that it would lay the groundwork for more predictable tory gutting of an economy already threadbare since 2009. And what has the illustrious Sunak done with his time in office? Brexit prevarications, bending over for Braverman’s ERG racket, scandal after scandal from the front benches to the back- and of course, a second FPN for his casual lawbreaking in the back of a car, not to mention we’ve never heard the conclusion to his “oops I forgot to declare my actual domiciliary status correctly so my wife and I underpaid our taxes” saga.
It’s said that Sunak is a big fan of the Star Wars movies- one wonders whether he’s rooting for the plucky rebels or sees himself in the shiny bleak surfaces of the empire’s ships – I know which side I think he’s on.
It just seems ironic, doesn’t it: seems to me that the party of law and order has something of a problem in adhering to the law.
The problem with British politics is that we’ve normalised weak, average people in politics. We jeer at the corpse haired dilettantes like Fabricant, we mock the 3 IQ on a good day ruffians like Gullis, we mock 30p Lee and his ridiculous half a weetabix mixed with some dehydrated milk, poor person tears and Kleenex lunches- and the stumbling, stuttering and painfully insincere speeches that Sunak awkwardly meanders through: how sad, though, that these people are meant to be the brightest minds in the UK, the most talented and able of our political leaders. The woman currently in charge of women and equalities thinks women should grin and bear their menopause (lets see how quick your tune changes in a few years by the way Kemi), our current chancellor took an open kick at the backside of our NHS workers in 2015 and 2016, the chancellor before him neglected to pay his taxes- maybe it was this slip of millions of pounds in country revenue that endeared him to Sunak who pulled the same trick?
Our politicians aren’t mediocre. Mediocre would be a dream, a gift, a premium upgrade. We started with mediocre and over the recent years have paved way for establishment dilettantes, clinging to bygone eras where the working class was widely too focused on living to fight back- and they saw those heady days of political betterment on the backs of the workers as an aspiration, not an aberration.
Braverman, Gove, Baker, Dorries, Johnson, Truss, Kwarteng, Badenoch and more- all of these names sit in an ever growing pile of political scandal, every day they tip their hand more to the obvious, indefatigable truth that they cannot handle power because they seek to bend it against those they see as inferior or simply ignore it. The conservatives have had their time, been able to try to prove themselves to us over and over again, had facelifts, shiny new slogans, shuffles and reshuffles, they’ve changed their promises, broken the new ones… they are dead in the water, but still swimming: exactly when do we fish them out, discard them as a bad job and get some new guppies in?
Ultimately, the status quo of British politics is woeful across the board. But even mediocrity would be a huge improvement upon this bunch of collective charlatans. The question isn’t if, but when- and between the haemorrhaging of damning news from the front bench and the slow bleed of taxpayer money to projects like “helping the private companies improve infrastructure” (that’s why you were privatised in the first place?) one has to wonder exactly what the conservatives have to do short of collectively dressing like the hamburgler and going door to door to take our valuables, for us to make the move to oust them once and for all.