Welcome to Britain: watch out, we’ve gone quite mad

By Daviemoo

After two arrests due to “anti-monarchist sentiment” and further police violence & the blithe ignorance of it I think it’s safe to say that Britain has gone utterly insane, contracted a state of collective madness akin to St Vitas’ Dance with genuflection.
The acts of arresting people for the crime of not giving unabashed fealty to the crown and to the veritable stranger beneath it are heinous enough- but both were justified in the worst possible way – and fits neatly into the exact reason some of us have been shouting from the rooftops for over 2 years, showing a stomach churning continuation of the ever-steady march towards state oversight that simply should not be there.

“Be respectful” has been daubed indelibly across my eyelids now. When I get into bed at night and close my eyes it lights up like a neon sign, burnt as it is into my vision. It’s hardly an alien sentiment: someone has just died, a person has lost their loved ones, so of course be sensitive at this time. However, we must drop the pretence that this death is similar to our own losses: losing your mother, your grandmother, is a horrific loss which swallows your entire world: but it does not swallow the entire world the way the loss of a 92 year old monarch who has long headed a country known for its violent imperialist past does. Nor (I would hope) does it stir up such polarising emotions in differing crowds who all want to be heard. The queen’s death is sad in the way that any inevitable death of a person is sad: a person who existed now does not. But sentiment runs high on both sides of the wall: those who do not support the monarchy and those who are actively opposed to it are unable at present to voice their frustrations without fear of very real repudiation.

We are told to be respectful by not mentioning the transgressions of the crown historically and more recently against other nations, other peoples – or even our own laws, as though it is not recent history that the queen intervened personally to ensure her wealth was hidden from public scrutiny, that shadowy work was done to obscure just how true the “the royals pay for themselves in tourism” line is, that Charles is legally exempt from inheritance tax laws because “they” (whoever this oft referred to “they” is) would not wish to diminish the wealth of the crown. We are asked to keep our sentiments to ourselves. I understand. I don’t mind on a personal level: nothing will change whether I verbalise my distaste for the idea that some are just born more special, more important than me or not- people will support that system no matter the eloquence of the argument, and of course people will be offended by it because it questions beliefs they’ve ingested at every casual glance at a “HMQ” postbox since they were born.

But there it lies, bare to see: those who cry that people should be allowed to offend (the tory government is full of these people, you will notice) have crafted, carefully, legislation that endorses the right to offend – but only if you offend who they want you to.

Where are the “free speech” loving Brits now that two people have been arrested under one of the worst scrivances from Priti Patel’s poisoned pen: the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing bill? If you want to defend free speech, this golden essence of it that you have supposedly so deeply imbibed, surely you must be agog at the idea that one man was arrested for questioning who elected the new king and a woman who was arrested for holding a sign, something which we quite literally decried Russia for when brave dissidents were arrested for holding anti imperialist signs – or just blank or random ones – on Russian state TV?
It is, as I’ve always said, not about “free speech”. Nobody wants “free speech” if it doesn’t agree with them, and the right are just as censorious as the left. We should- we must- drop this pretence first of all, if we are to move this ridiculous debate forwards. Be honest! I don’t care if you’re anti “free speech”, I just beg of thee to utilise your free speech to verbalise what it is that you want to censor.

But the broader issue is, Britain has been forced, prodded, cajoled into a maddening period of enforced grieving to which very few of us may actually subscribe.
This is not to lessen the very real pain of those who may feel sad, upset, angry at the loss of a figurehead they relate to: I have been upset and grieved for people I didn’t personally know when they died, be it music legends like the late great Amy Winehouse, historic figures who passed before I was even born but whose efforts allow me as a gay man to enjoy the freedoms I do now: and harsh repudiations won’t stop someone from mourning anyway. I don’t understand what those who so hate the monarchy expect to achieve. People either already know of the crimes of the crown and the British state and flatly don’t care, or they don’t know and won’t suddenly change their minds because you expose it to them in this state of heightened emotional turmoil.
However, when the literal law is turned on us to hem us in to this collective outpouring of feeling and forces us to only verbalise sentiments in line with public acceptance, this is too far.

Prohibiting people, on pain of arrest, from expressing their distaste whether long- held or personally directed at King Charles (even typing that made me curl my lip up) is a completely inappropriate use of power. Precisely what verbalising anti monarchic sentiment does to “threaten or endanger” anyone at the proclamation did, one cannot guess. And not asking for but telling a country we must show loyalty to a man who has had a peripheral presence on our lives, known mainly for a bottomlessly classy ex-spouse, for large fingers and a propensity for sexting his wife feels like true authoritarian nonsense writ large for all to see. But it appears that we collectively got the wrong glasses out… very few are reacting with the apoplexy I expected at this brazen display of monarchic countenance.

Most of us were born under the rule of Queen Elizabeth and knew nothing else: she was just there, on our stamps, on our money, sometimes on our TV. She partook in silly sketches, she set a supposed example (most of us didn’t need) during coronavirus- but one suspects it was easy to stay at home when your home is larger than my entire apartment complex, easy to isolate when you had staff on hand who were prevented from mixing with their own families to continue waiting on you. We didn’t question or begrudge it because it was part of the daily milieu that made up our lives. It just was, an incontrovertible fact.
Suddenly we are not asked, but told- take that energy, that passive flow of acceptance and direct it at this stranger: and best yet, do not question, simply do. There is no room for you mongrels, you lessers, you peons to object to this change- this is your new figurehead and you will like it or you will face consequence! How dare we not meekly nod along with the idea that fealty is not earned but taken!

This, though, is part of an even larger trend of even more blatant deepening of the authoritarian wave which has been sweeping the UK more and more openly for years. Many of us have been up in arms since its announcement about the disgrace of a technically minority government authoring voter disenfranchisement, eschewing public scrutiny on covid law breaking and PPE contract violation to the tune of millions of pounds of public money disappearing into the bank accounts of the already reach, the meek passing of the police, crime, courts and sentencing bill -for months and years we’ve attended protests, signed petitions, written to our MPs, formed pressure groups and spoken to glossy eyed family members because we didn’t think but knew bone deep that it would spell nothing but horror for our expression as free countryfolk. Are we wrong?

Chris Kaba was recently shot to death by police, and conflicting reports are awash: he was/was not armed was/was not in or out of a car, was/was not running from police. One suspects it’s simply a matter of time until this new, draconian, arms-of-cthulhu bill is invoked to somehow justify the death of a man who should not have been shot. And adding insult to quite literal murder, sky news falsely reported that the march for justice for Kaba was actually a march in memory of the queen’s death. Kaba’s murder by police is the latest link in an ever growing chain of police malfeasance and one of the many reasons a host of people ever growing spoke out against the utter foolishness of enshrining more vague powers to the police and paring back public assembly rights. The PCCS bill was always tacit revenge for the temerity to gather in objection to racist murder, and it wasn’t (as so many will try to sell) imported from America; Renni Eddo-Lodge spoke eloquently about the Brixton riots in her book “why I’m no longer talking to white people about race”, so if those among us want to deny that the UK has a racism problem it doesn’t just show a gilded perception of the nation itself but a fundamental ignorance, an unwillingness to engage with critical literature and therefore a justification for us to disengage entirely with the conversation.

When I say that the country has gone mad, I wish it was simply the state I was referring to – Liz Truss is off on a jolly jaunt around the country to try and ingratiate herself with a public exhausted by a chain-link of horrifying public issues, along with the new King (lest he forget that she once spoke passionately about being a republican herself) amid the deepening cost of living crisis.
But it has long been obvious to those of us with any semblance of public awareness that “the state” in in “a state”: it is in crisis, helmed for two years by a sentient balloon animal filled with the air of lies and before that by a woman whose most salacious deed was, by her own admission, running through a wheat field and not the disgusting mismanagement of mass deportations under her gaffe-rich time in Patel’s role as home sec. But it is not just the state. Many people I had admired for their forthright, punctilious commentary on the monarchy have simply folded, given in and begun to tow the line: “be respectful”:

Bear with me whilst I pull up memes you shared all of 9 weeks ago where you made fun of the concept of hereditary monarchy which you’re suddenly reporting people on twitter for sharing, like an overzealous school prefect.
Is it fear of the draconian crackdown on the true essence of free speech- speech used to criticise power and the state, or is it simply that it was popular to insult the monarchy until it wasn’t? I’d say have the courage of your convictions but that could be more literal than we want to admit before long, apparently.

Those of us who so often have callous insults jabbed at us with the immediate defence of “but free speech though” are rankled and full of rancour at this dislocation of sanity: amazing how in the UK, the nation of free speech lovers, it’s fine to aim jibes at minorities you hate who have less societal protection and power than you, but heaven forfend you criticise the rich, the entitled, the born-into-more privilege-than-you-could-ever-fathom crowd: lord knows I’m sure Charles is feverishly scrolling twitter and reading every critical tweet, gnashing his teeth as he did at the aide who wasn’t quick enough to move his pen-box.

The UK has begun to suffer a collective delirium, a mass case of the vapours and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that right at this moment I feel surrounded by those who feel as I do: like I woke up in another dimension the other day, everyone around me alien but unaware of my covert status: mayhaps we’re the mad ones! Slap on a tiara and just mourn for the sake of peace… but I can honestly say I don’t think we are the mad ones. It’s honesty.

I’m more than happy to let people get on with the business of publicly grieving a figure they may have liked for whatever reasons they chose to do so, but I won’t be compelled to partake in it because “it’s the British thing to do”- everything I do is “the British thing to do”, because I’m British whether you like it or not. I won’t offer feelings I don’t feel… unless the state care to compensate me as an actor (my rates are steep but fair), nor will I try to silence those who raise fair objection over the monarchy, the crown, the state- because people are allowed to feel and say as they do, and the least harmed by criticism are those who have power encapsulated into their very being, like hereditary heads of state: the crown still costs more than I will ever earn, regardless of how I feel about the person wearing it. So allow us the freedom, at least, to feel how we feel: and if that freedom is truly lost as these arrests and the behaviour of the police continues to indicate, let us drop the pretence that we live in any sort of democracy or free country and at last vindicate those of us who have expressed our fear of that loss at long last.

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.

They think you’re stupid

By Daviemoo

The Conservatives think you’re stupid.
This isn’t some controversial hot take from a loony leftie- it’s factual. Do you think when Dominic Raab refers to us as “amongst the most feckless and lazy workers”, or Boris Johnson says “the working class man is likely to have a drinking problem” or Truss blithely declares that we “don’t work as hard as people in communist China outside of London” that they are mentally adding a postscript to exclude you and yours?
The British are guilty of a hilarious type of exceptionalist elitism, where the rhetoric is- “everyone is bad but I”. But every member of the conservatives looks at every one of us, and especially every person who props their shambolic government up, with the open scorn and the quiet dislike we reserve for those we feel are beneath us. This is beyond question- and the only question left to ask is, do you prove them correct by voting for them?

The UK media has propped up and enabled every governmental misstep for years. From it’s “both sides but here is Nigel Farage as an ‘expert'” coverage of brexit to the desperate commands of the Daily Mail and Express to forgive and forget legal transgressions aplenty under tory governance, it’s hardly an open secret that British media is bought and paid for by and large with the thrombosis blue cash of conservative pundits.

BBC Bias & the mishandling of COVID

Emily Maitlis casually confirmed everything we leftists have been saying for years last night; that the BBC is increasingly biased in favour of positive coverage for the conservative government, and that critical coverage of their performance is met with consternation- not just from number 10 which has long been the case, but from within the upper echelons of the BBC itself.
When top advisor to Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, broke the lockdown rules to travel the length of the UK from London to Durham- and despite lack of police action, he DID break the rules- the BBC rightly scrutinised his actions. And yet, the BBC, hand in hand with the party, convinced a critical mass of people to calmly accept the lie.

In any other administration throughout history (and no doubt in any future administration which has extricated itself from the miasma of corruption which blights the conservatives now), Cummings’ transgression would have been met with immediate repudiation. His actions endangered people- simply stopping for petrol could, and would, have spread the coronavirus to people around him. Cummings reported later that he was “testing if his eyesight was ok” by driving to a town nearby- begging the question of how he felt safe to drive 200 miles when first becoming sick with the virus. Had Cummings had an accident whilst driving (likely- as coronavirus can make you extremely unwell and especially at the time), his actions would have spread coronavirus throughout whichever hospital was unlucky enough to take him. The hubris with which Cummings et al. handled this betrayal of the British public did two things: compounded the conservatives ability to simply double down in the face of outrage and disgust, and expedited the collapse of the British public’s trust in the government.

Maitlis confirmed in her speech that her opening remarks on Cummings breaking the rules were met with fury from those at the BBC who supposedly oversee impartiality. Justice is blind, the saying goes, but everyone at the BBC who has failed to step forward is guilty of wilfully covering their own eyes to the facts surrounding a lack of non partisan coverage, throughout the pandemic and in the run- up to the leadership contest in 2019.
Many right wing pundits regularly accuse the BBC of a lack of impartiality but when one side says “be less biased” and the other side said “be more biased”, this is not the battle for impartiality the right claim it to be.

Remember as well, the reaction of conservatives to the BLM protests; back then, how dare people risk the spread of the virus at any cost? How disgusting and disgraceful that this is how the social justice warriors flaunt lockdown- and yet every time a conservative broke the rules, that exception was acceptable. the double standards and division of equals has been driven into an engine shaking overdrive by the tenure of Johnson.
Many of us at the time knew that Johnson’s term would be a disaster- and we cannot blame Johnson for the initial effects of coronavirus, as this was a freak occurrence. What we can do, however, is zoom out: coronavirus does not exist in a vacuum. It’s damaging influence also wrapped tendrils into every other problem the UK was facing. From the continuing ablation of security data leaks via Dido “dataloss” Harding heading up the most vital tool in coronavirus protection and prevention to Governmental backroom dealings were brought to the forefront by the brave actions of Jo Maugham of The Goodlaw Project. Even broader still, the economy was already shaking at the knees prior to the pandemic as businesses shored up their interests against the well known but insidiously unreported effects of a horrendous EU withdrawal agreement. This mess, however, can be laid at the feet of Johnson and his unscrupulous enablers, from Priti Patel who formented an anti EU group long before the referendum was announced, to Lord Frost who- just like tinpot Thatcher-a-like Liz Truss, defected from remain to leave just to taste the winner’s champagne- only to discover those of us shouting poison were correct all along.

Coronavirus no doubt exacerbated many problems faced by the British public, but despite being its own distinct illness, coronavirus and its subsequent mishandling was merely a symptom of the long-term disease British people have unknowingly suffered from for many years- governmental malfeasance.

Truss, Sunak and post-Johnsonism

The liar, the switch and the million pound wardrobe

The most insidious aspect to hiring Johnson on as prime minister was the tacit acceptance of the normalisation of political lying. Johnson’s duplicity was “priced in” we were told, better to have a disgusting truth twister as PM who could bluster his way into every situation that came up and leave wreckage behind, because at least he has funny hair and makes us laugh?
The country is in shambles, in every possible way it can be- Johnson cleaved a divide in the nation through nationalist rhetoric, polluting the nature of pride in Britain- it was wrong to be proud of Britain for being multicultural and diverse, wrong to be proud of our progressive steps towards acceptance of the LGBT+: the only thing to be proud of was Britishness itself. So long as you help your bloo passport up high and kept quiet about the ever decreasing living conditions you passed the tory test and were welcomed into the fold as a true patriot, glibly accepting the country’s decline whilst denying the evidence of your eyes.

Who cares if your rivers are suffused with human offal, it’s BRITISH offal…

And what has that led to? Johnson’s eventual ousting has left us with two choices:
Rishi Sunak, a man who has been variously seen to disparage working class people as roundly as his other colleagues, a chancellor whose short sighted stabbings at sense have decimated the economy that, as aforementioned, was already bowing under pressure, a person whose moral fibre is falling apart because he committed the same open transgressions against the British people as Johnson did during lockdown.
And Liz Truss, a woman who has never stuck to a point she didn’t hear cheers for, a woman who changes her allegiance like some people change shoes. Truss has been widely derided in every position she’s been in- known as the “inequalities minister” down the corridors of Whitehall because she’s done not one useful thing for LGBT+ people during her long tenure- except for trying to sneak the LGB alliance, now deemed a hate group in Northern Ireland, in the back door to replace the LGBT council she dissolved out of spite when they criticised her.
When sent to the UN to hold talks with Russia about its assault on Ukraine, Truss managed to infuriate Russia so much that it was rumoured they stepped up their alert on nuclear weaponry and laid the explanation of why squarely at Truss’ lack of diplomatic skill.

The shadow of Johnson looms still over the country, dampening the light of truth- but in the dimness, puppets like Truss and Sunak have been able to fester, and so we end up here. Their normalisation of lying is enabled at every step by tory rags like the express, whose front page today (Thursday 25th August 2022) Tells us that we all must suffer because it helps Ukraine in the war: Make no mistake that our suffering is a political choice by a party so consumed with self masturbatory leadership hustings that they think we can wait until they’ve settled on which head of the hydra gets to speak.

The leadership battle has shown another crack in the conservative armour- so eager they are to blame social justice for the ills of the nation, that they overlook their 12 year tenure; if anyone is responsible for the culture of a country it is the leaders of it, especially when they have had almost 13 years now to address it…

The UK is dying- Scotland wants to leave, Wales will seek to leave, Ireland even hopes to reunify. And still there are those amongst us desperate to cling to the long-dead conservative ideology. Starmer appears to have won back those who defected to tory in 2019 and whilst many of my fellow lefties see this as an indictment on Starmer and his stances (and whilst you may have validity in some of your criticisms) there is no doubt that traditional conservatism has a certain brand of popularity in the UK, and that brand has long since failed to be offered by this iteration of the Conservative party.
Johnson’s (and soon Truss or Sunak’s) cabinet is crammed full of the sort of political ne’er do wells whose entire ideology rests on the accurate recitation of the party line. Not one tory has actually had the courage to draw a line in the sand since Christian Wakeford defected to Labour. I have my own issues with Wakeford simply because he was who he was and did what he did prior to his defection. But every single conservative sat on those benches has been taught, like hell’s own choir, to sing in tune for their supper, to repeat the same tired lines about levelling up, about getting Brexit done, about getting on with the job or the vaccine rollout- to gulp the oxygen in the room and strangle any talk to the contrary, and in doing so they have imbibed every other egregious fiction the upper level of the party have spat out.

Every tory is as guilty as the wordsmiths for their failure to condemn Johnson and Truss’ dismissal of working class brits, every single MP on those benches is culpable for the mass death and ongoing trauma and misery the UK face with the coronavirus pandemic (and no doubt monkeypox). And every person who continues to spiral in tighter and tighter turns to deflect the constant patter of criticisms of this government, wears the badge of dishonour Johnson tore for himself from the ragged material of the Union Jack he so vehemently claims to stand for.

Restricting your rights

Would a prime minister confident in their ability to discharge this oft-fabled “will of the people” feel the need to force through strict curtailment of protest rights?
It seems to me that it simply would not occur to a decent prime minister that he, she or they would have to safeguard against an uprising of people furious at their malfeasance. And yet that is what Johnson and his lieutenant Patel did- despite the open fury at the legislation (I myself attended no less than five protests specifically about the injustice) of the Police Crime Courts and sentencing bill, they kept pushing until the Lords accepted that it was merely- what was the phrase? Ah yes, “priced in” as the cost of a tory government, that UK Citizens should have a tightening of the restrictions on their ability to protest.
Tory supporters would and should have felt a frisson of horror at their government placing these collars around their necks, but were too busy pointing and laughing as it was fit around ours- but a government doing a good job does not waste time debating legislation around whether it’s people can protest or not, because a good government isn’t protested against.

The fact is- the tories aren’t wrong when they look with distain upon some of us. Because a disturbing chunk of voters wilfully crossed that box, gave the tories their assent that this was the status quo they wanted. They were tired of listening to experts so they hired on a government of headline grabbing louts, affair having, law breaking, contract stealing, rights curtailing scum. And some of them have at last woken up- not that they’d admit that we were right all along, no, they’re convinced that swapping Johnson for one of his lessers will improve things, but Truss is as inept as Johnson and much worse with her verbiage and Sunak is just as likely to lie and fall back on culture war garbage to distract from his unfunnily laughable performance: and still yet, behind these folk are the worst- those who still believe wholeheartedly that the conservatives are the best choice for us, that the continually obvious evidence of poor governmental management is just because of social justice and equality even with a huge Conservative majority and compliant media. These people are stupid. And frankly I am tired of capitulating to them, giving in to their ongoing foghorn yells that they are oppressed because they are asked to look critically at the state of the UK and take ownership of it. You are not oppressed, you are not on “the winning team”- because of you we all lose, and those of us who aren’t stupid, who don’t buy into culture war drudgery and the continued propagandist push to accept lacklustre government are sick and tired of having to baby a population of UK citizens unwilling to accept that their ideology was always a shibboleth for the small minded, xenophobic bigots to gain and maintain power.

You made your bed, we warned you it was full of glass- don’t complain to us about your cuts.

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.

The Homeless Generation- how the governments of the last 50 years have betrayed the generations to come

By Daviemoo

I used to have a savings account choc full of money with an ex. When we split up I was so desperate to escape him I didn’t even fight over the money in that account. I will never regret it- he was, and I don’t use this term lightly, evil.
Successful, single at 34, I’ve watched property prices explode out of reach again and again as my savings went from just enough to never enough. My hands are caked with the soil that covers my hopes of affording property, perhaps until I marry another man or my media career somehow ignites and I can supplement my income.
But why?
Is it my desperate need for chai latte, my selfish need to live in a nice flat or my lazy refusal to take on a third/fourth job that means I can’t own property… or are we just being screwed by people who don’t live the life of the average Brit, but know how to convince the average Brit that their strife is their own fault, or the fault of some illusory shibboleth?

I woke up to a text this week. It was just a link to an app that helps you save money for a mortgage- it’s name was so ridiculous I’d never have considered using it anyway- but the message rankled me nonetheless. It felt like the sender was implying that my lack of home-ownership was due to my laziness, lack of effort or some other jibe. I thanked them and closed the conversation- I couldn’t be bothered to be drawn into another defensive delineation: “I saved money in my old job because my salary was good. I saved money again recently because I have not only two jobs but I freelance as a journalist”.
There’s many things you can say about people like me when we tell you we don’t own property. Idealistic? Sure. Scatterbrained? Absolutely. Lazy? I wish.

There seems to be an enduring belief by the British public at large that owning property is a salve for all of the monetary issues we face. I refuse to buy into the endless recitation of the “avocado toast and latte” nonsense: even if I bought one coffee a day at £3, that’s £90 a month: that, hardly a mortgage does make. We foster a culture of “pay into the economy to make it strong”- so deeply pushed during the pandemic that the eat out to help out scheme may have contributed to thousands of avoidable coronavirus deaths- ironically, despite that, our economy is still on ventilation and atonal breathing. But think how contradictory those messages are: “don’t spend, save for a mortgage- but also go out and spend for the precious economy” and yet those messages coexist in some sort of peaceful harmony in the heads of many people, the irony somehow missed.

The problem isn’t saving up or lack thereof (I did, though not so right now), our problem isn’t our proclivity for purchasing hot drinks- the problem is that we exist in a system that has continually failed to provide for the next generation, whilst shoring up the assets of those who built and maintained it.

Studies show that in London in particular, by 2030- 7.5 years away- the average property price in London will reach a million pounds- someone who bought a London property for the average, £130,000, in 2000 will have seen an increase in their property price of £870,000
London is, however, its own mini entity within the UK and its property prices are an aberration – but the phenomenon around the property price increases is not.

This graph stops in 2020- but the pandemic saw the disparity increase even more

In the 70s, the average house price was approximately four times the average yearly salary. Now in most areas, the average house price is nearing eight times that. Bear in mind that is the AVERAGE. The average salary in the UK? 31,000. Guess what I, with my 2 jobs and freelancing earn? And another cherry on the cake: because I can’t use my rental receipts as proof I pay nearly £900 a month and because my rent, council tax, electricity etc have all gone up in price, not only have my savings stagnated, they have started a slow decline- and I can’t prove legally that I can pay a mortgage of £650 a month…

My rent, when I moved into the flat I live in was £850- I’d previously been living in a very very small, moth infested flat which only cost me £550 a month: bear in mind though that when my dad saw how small my old flat was, where I lived for a year during the worst of covid- he actually got upset for me.

Moving here was costly but was a reward for getting through a year of total isolation due to covid, in a hot, tiny flat crawling (sometimes literally) with insects that I couldn’t find the source of. I had to move somewhere else and at the time I was doing a job that paid enough.
Why not move somewhere nice, I thought- I could always make more money… my mental health had been crushed by living in that dank little flat. So here I am, and for 12 months I dutifully paid my rent on time every month with no complaints: I chose to move here, I can hardly quibble about the rent price, and because I can be quite frugal often I managed to keep making savings. Can you see the storm clouds yet?

A mere nine days after the papers began to speak in earnest about the cost of living crisis, I went downstairs to get my mail to find a letter from my landlord.
The letter thanked me for living here but said that now the pandemic was over, so was the rent freeze- they planned to increase my rent by £24.

I emailed my landlord, pointing out how hilarious it was that they chose the beginning of a cost of living crisis to increase rent and asked whether they felt any remorse: they said that they had to “cover their own costs”. Two days later I went on a trip to London to the Byline festival and as I left my flat to get the train down, I found a fully dressed man unconscious in the corridor, sleeping outside one of my hall mates doors- I took a photo, sent it to the landlord and asked them if the rent increase was to pay for rehab.

But lets do some maths: there are approximately 110 flats in my building, the adjacent and opposite ones and the square next door- all owned by the same company. so that’s 880 flats, and I assume the smaller flats rent went up by less and the larger flats went up by more- but for simplicity, lets say that we all had our rent increased by £24:
24x 880= £21,120

My landlord, with the printing of 880 letter, increased their profits- just from increasing the rent- by over £21,000

At the same time as my rent increased, we started seeing the huge bump in energy prices. My energy has also gone up by £41 a month. My council tax is up £20. My food bills have escalated insanely because goods simply cost more to buy now. Everything is more expensive.

Now let’s talk about salary stagnation!
Everywhere you look at the moment, everyone from rail workers of all job delineations to doctors are planning strikes because their salaries don’t cover their cost of living. Are these strikes annoying when you depend on the services provided? Absolutely! Which is why you should be backing those workers all the more: their labour allows you to live your life smoothly, and their labour isn’t paying them enough to live.
Mick Lynch has been a steadfast storyteller, the de-mythologist of the idea of the lazy strikers, and has explained over and over to somehow continually glib listeners that companies are maximising profits which only hit the pockets of a select few shareholders and CEOs whilst the company does not reinvest that money back into itself to the benefit of its users or the staff who run the businesses.
Wage stagnation is at it’s worst level in, drumroll please- TWO HUNDRED YEARS in the UK.

My favourite response to my talking about this is “why don’t you just move somewhere smaller?”
I looked at a flat further out of town which was smaller and cost £660 a month last Monday.
It was on the market for 4 hours and 30 minutes before it was taken by someone else.

When I asked to view one of the studio flats in my block, the man literally laughed and said “I’d just take it mate, property’s going quick right now”- they wanted me to move into a smaller flat that I’d never seen. Welcome to renting in 2022!

The sad fact is that now, thanks to real terms pay cuts, pay stagnation, inflation, deregulation in the housing & property sector and the increase in goods prices due both to Brexit and covid sprinkled liberally with the awful governance from the unfathomably wealthy ex chancellor & final contender for grand high prick, Rishi Sunak, over ten percent of UK citizens survive on £18,000 a year or less which puts them at or under the poverty line.

Property ownership isn’t a distant dream- it doesn’t even register as thought when you can’t pay your rent and bills with your salary.

Tom Tugendhat, recently eliminated contender in the soulless despot of the year competition, stated that we needed to create more houses. To Mr Tugendhat, to Ms Truss, to Mr Sunak and indeed to those steady of ear in the other political parties, I’d like to introduce them to the idea that the issue isn’t simply creating more property- it’s the affordability of it.
I’d be happy to forego six months of hot drink purchases if it meant the end of my ever spiralling financial woes- but when those woes are caused by the increasingly flailing decisions of a ridiculous government, when your lack of property ownership as you march ever closer to 40 without home ownership is caused because property prices diverge ever further from salary, it’s nice to see those responsible not only helm solutions to the problems, but place the blame on their own shoulders and not yours.

The overarching point is that property ownership has been made almost impossible by the continually more vapid and short termist decisions of successive UK governments who have not only decimated the economy by making unfortunate decisions, but allowed landlords to lean heavier on the ‘lord’ part of their title whilst providing less and less of the land.
The master stroke as always is for the government to continue to point the finger at everyone but itself- it’s definitely the foreign gay trans people making property prices explode of course, not the people who have been in charge for hundreds of years- and if we only work harder, if we only forgo any pleasure besides the consumption of endless ramen packs in a dark, cold flat wearing threadbare clothes we’ve owned for 7 years, perhaps we can afford a matchbox for one in the next 5 years.

We would all, I’m sure, be happy to invest in the economy by purchasing a house, furniture and more- but until everything else stops paring back our finances and gnawing at the bones beneath we will be stuck in a cycle of saving, then checking the market only to see that extra £2.5k that we saved didn’t keep up with the rise in property prices- back to the drawing board again eh.

We’ll have to forego the precious dream of owning our own pied à terre, at least until politicians in the UK can grapple with keeping down the price of a pomme de terre.


Boris Johnson is a symptom- British politics is the disease

By Daviemoo

The guillotine falls- the sharp ring sound of blade on flesh rings out followed by the heavy thud of head into basket. But the body keeps writhing.
Johnson’s milkwater speech & his removal as the leader of the conservatives is not even a step forwards for those of us with a keen interest in reconciling decency and politics- for Johnson is the head of the hydra, and now head is being severed from body, new problems begin to form at the stump.

Johnson was a problem for conservatives as much as he was for those of us suffering under his leadership: at most recent poll, sixty nine percent of the polled public wanted Johnson out. It’s understandable- he has mainstreamed political mistruths with the same unrepentant showmanship as his counter in the US, Donald Trump and has contributed to the “footballification” of politics. Many of us began to find politics interesting as it began to directly affect us and a core of this currently deeply engaged group will flit back to political indifference once the times stabilise. But for some of us who have the pleasure of meeting our forerunners, activists who warned of all this to no avail, the times are no less frightening now the sword of Damocles hurtles towards Johnson’s crown than before. We must not stop fighting.

Some amongst our number fear Johnson will not leave. He has levers at his disposal to consolidate his power even with minority support from ministers and the public, levers which would deeply damage British democracy if pulled- yet the grubby hands of our erstwhile PM rest upon them regardless. Johnson has demonstrated time and again that he does not care about the damage his presence and continued displays of political substandard parlance has done so to assume he has a level, a point at which shame would kick in is incredible. PMQs threatens to be even worse- what does the man who has lost it all have to lose? Will he make more accusations of Labour’s leader that led to him being harangued by crowds of far right extremists? Could he lean harder on the war in Ukraine to clutch power? He could well be in backroom discussion with loyalists planning the UK’s no doubt quintessentially more ridiculous January 6th. Let us not forget the levels of unabashed stupidity Johnson has sunk to before- from doxxing a fellow journalist to having an affair, being sacked for lying, homophobic and racist statements he still refuses to walk back on, Johnson’s political legacy will have been to inject his own poisonous disregard for honesty, decency… humanity, into mainstream British politics.

But even if, somehow, against all odds he is ousted, he goes gently into that good night, his party will continue to rage against the dying of the light. The tory party was gutted by Johnson’s appointment as those tories who don’t openly distain human beings were shuttled out, and loyalist parodies were parachuted in. From those foolish enough to punt for the leadership role to back benchers, the party is a shambles and has been for longer than Johnson’s woeful tenure.

Sunak has released a video desperately appealing to the farcical notion that he’s a man of the people: Sunak was chancellor of the exchequer and he doesn’t even know how to pay for goods with a contactless card.
Braverman was unfailingly loyal to Johnson, blithely defending his lawbreaking over the NI protocol and partygate- she is unashamedly “anti woke” and though I dont feel its appropriate that I as a white man go into the particulars of why this may be, several friends of mine who have Bravermans in their family have given me an understanding as to why she so reviles the notions enshrined in the right’s imaginary bogeyman: the woke.
Liz Truss has been such a terrible equalities minister it is rumoured she is referred to as the inequalities minister in the corridors of westminster- the only reason Truss wasn’t papped at the parties in Downing Street is that she has been too busy running from photoshoot to photoshoot, desperately plying a very bored public with images of her pretending to be Margaret Thatcher 2.0
Steve Baker speaks for himself- unfortunately everything he says is unrepentant nonsense, usually a bastardised bible quote.

As to the “more decent” tories, I’ve heard many people quietly applaud Penny Mordaunt for standing with LGBT+ people: just like every right winger, suddenly people like Mordaunt realise the virtues of my hated word, “tolerance” when related to an LGBT+ person. Mordaunt’s brother, a gay man has rightly criticised the conservatives for being unabashedly anti LGBTQ+.
Tom Tugendhat- everybody’s favourite placeholder tory, a man who still voted cheerfully for all the hideous things the tories have wrought upon us, a man who continued to sit behind Johnson no matter what he did. “Maybe he wanted to temper Johnson” many people say- and to that I simply reply “temperance does not arise from complicity”.

The long and the short of what I’m saying is frankly, this: there are no decent tories, no Conservative party to salvage. When they sold the British public out by allowing a suffusion of far right entrants through the brexit party and the other violent nationalist parties, they invited venom into their veins. That toxin has crept into every artery, suffused the entire party and now their corruption is laid bare for those with willing eyes to see. The party who at least had plausible deniability is gone and in its place is a grouping of extremists who have the taste of power in their mouths along with the astringent bite of rot.

The public desperately needs change and a functional government. When a battery dies you don’t just flip the battery around and put it back in- you put a new battery in place. So why must we accept more sub-standard words from insincere political shysters who will only propagate the problems they have so far failed to fix?

The way forward is clear but forked: do we go the route other nations appear to be embracing with full scale revolt? As I write this, Sri Lanka’s president has been chased out of the presidential palace… violence is not an answer but in times of great economic strife it becomes a brutal means to an end. We should strive to avoid it- but it should also be something the government actively works to calm, and with MPs like Andrea Jenkyns flipping off crowds and known liars like Sunak and Truss attempting to wrest control of the party it does not appear they are doing so.

The common sensical path is a coalition of leftist parties, deep discussions on the factions of the left to create a plan of how to move forward through tactical voting, installation of the government we want, pressure for what we need like voter reforms, PR, the removal of the tories destructive writs and more open dialogue in the UK on what type of policies we both want and need.

Clear before us lies political upheaval- the question is, will it arrive by fracture or by coalition?
Whichever way lies the path forward one thing is clear- the tories have inflicted much misery upon us, and we must at all costs prevent them from doing so again. Johnson is a fan of quoting Shakespeare so let us remember: there are daggers in men’s smiles- and only by raising shields against those weapons will we see a new Britain we can at last be proud of.

It Is Our Duty To Stand Against Fascism

By Jack Meredith- @politicalwelshy

“We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world, there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way”

~ Charlie Chaplin, from “The Great Dictator”, 1940.

This was Chaplin’s first speaking role, after years of being a silent movie star. It focuses on the plight of the Jewish people in the face of fascism, with a fascist regime headed up by Hynkel, the leader of the fictional land of Tomainia. The premise for the majority highlights the humanity of the Jewish people, compared to the buffoonery and selfishness of the ruling fascists.

The film’s closing speech, partly quoted above is regarded as one of the best speeches in film history, a call for peace and anti-fascism at a time when fascism was rife across Europe.

It is a shame, then, that this speech is more applicable to the modern-day UK than ever.

SNP MP Mhairi Black recently spoke in parliament, where she stated that we must be aware of the country’s move towards “the f-word” – fascism.

I am inclined to agree:

  • Asylum seekers are being deported to Rwanda. The Human Rights Act is set to be scrapped. The rights to freely vote and protest have been infringed. 
  • DWP civil servants have been given police-like powers to deliver fines upon suspected benefit cheats, no matter whether the person in question has been found to break the law. 
  • The electoral commission is no longer independent and will be brought under government control. 
  • Trans people are not protected under the conversion therapy ban. 
  • The Prime Minister, despite having broken the law during the Covid lockdown period, remains in power. 
  • The Culture Secretary is selling-off Channel 4, on the grounds of “being too high a cost for the taxpayer”, despite not knowing that Channel 4 doesn’t receive public funding. 
  • The Home Secretary wants to reform the Official Secrets Act, to imprison journalists for up to 14 years for “embarrassing the government”.

These only cover some of the worrying decisions made by the current Conservative government – this rap sheet can stretch back 12 years.

I would disagree with Mhairi Black on one point though: we are not sleepwalking into fascism. We are welcoming it with open arms.

Whenever we say “never again”, we are supposed to mean it. 

Instead, it’s become a meaningless phrase that we throw about on social media, along with a load of hashtags that are only included to differentiate ourselves as “one of the good ones”.

It is our duty to stand against fascism.

Let’s do it.

Really? During a cost of living crisis and the most corrupt prime minister in history you want to talk about GENITALS?

By Daviemoo

The law states that a transgender person- regardless of gender reassignment surgery- is their stated gender. So yes, by law a woman can have a penis. Whether you personally think a woman can have a penis or not is a personal decision, and doesn’t- and shouldn’t- change the law. But if you don’t have more important things to focus on than someone else’s genitalia then you live in unimaginable privilege and it’s time someone told you that.

As a young boy I was given a never ending list of things that made a man a man. If I’d imbibed them all I suppose I’d consider myself not a man now- or I’d have tried to become the woman bedding wood chopping dilettante that is constantly touted as what a “real man” is. Ultimately, whilst society can have a broad consensus on what constitutes a man or a woman it’s really down to every single individuals’ personal feeling, an answer that will of course frustrate any transphobic or regressive folk who read this- but think about it.
You know you’re a woman, yes? What makes you a woman? Is it just a lack of a penis or is it a multitude of things? And if someone else gave you a list of what they think a woman is that conflicts with yours does that make you less of a woman or is it irrelevant?
There is your answer to this entire protracted exhausting debate around gender. To themselves and in the eyes of the law a trans person is their stated gender and you can’t and won’t change that any more than the fact they are that gender to themselves alters your gender. NOW CAN WE MOVE ON?

Every day the media assails us with endless rhetoric around whether women can have penises, why do we need to call it chest feeding, what about bathrooms and shelters and on and on- as if suddenly 70% of children instead of around 0.7% identified as trans, as though trans people are positively sweeping the globe! It’s the new catchy phenomenon- that affects less than 1% of people.

Ah but then of course comes the argument- should 99% of people be made uncomfortable by this less than 1% of people? No… but they aren’t. Transphobia is not the popular theory we’re constantly told it is by right wing knee jerk reactionaries like the person who prompted this article today, the ever ineffable Nick Ferrari. Most people don’t feel uncomfortable around trans people because most people realise that a trans person is a person trying to live their lives in a world that seems to be doing its utmost to hinder that. Would I expect women to be comfortable with the pontificating, red faced pillock that is Ferrari tumbling into their gym changing room and haranguing them about their dress size? No. But Ferrari isn’t identifying as a woman, because he isn’t one. There’s a gulf between a trans woman and a cis man and the constant ignoring of this fact is what drives most of us who are not trans but are fucking sick of the endless recycling of the anti trans talking points are fed up of.

How often do you see strangers’ genitals? Me, usually about 50 minutes after I’ve hopped on Grindr, and other than that never.

I avoid looking at people at the gym because I’m not a creep- and if you, like utterly obsessive people like Staniland, spend your time talking about furtively staring at the dangly parts of strangers in the hopes of justifying your moral outrage, you may come to realise that you are the spooky one, not the person just trying to use the facilities.

Ultimately, I feel I need to say this very clearly for transphobic people- and I’m sorry to my trans mates, I don’t mean this to sound as insensitive as it will but- the correct answer to “can a woman have a penis” is I DON’T CARE. I don’t care what’s in your pants, what you were born with or as, I don’t care. I care about you on an individual level and the only time your genitals factor in is if I want us to see each other naked or if you plan to weaponise them against me.
The stats clearly speak to the fact that trans people are not a danger, not simply because they barely exist in the first place but also because trans transgressions (say that five times fast…) barely exist as well!
Websites developed by TERFS would have you believe that around every 3rd turn in a city a trans person is waiting to assail you with what they conceal beneath their clothes- it’s confected outrage and the fact that so many people endlessly fall for it is so consternating. Maya Forstater claims to care for women and yet has declared previously she doesn’t believe in period poverty and only referenced the overturning of abortion legislation in the days after it was leaked to say WOMEN, NOT PEOPLE. Truly, picking at language is the real indicator that you’re a champion of women.

With all of the things going wrong in the UK right now- coronavirus killing approximately 83,000 of us a year, a government making their own corruption legally unassailable, the breakup of the union, the worsening war in Ukraine and our ever increasing march towards direct involvement- focusing on whether a person has an inny or an outy in their private personal area is the height of pathetic. If you feel like trans people are encroaching on your freedom you may want to double check you can still vote after the restrictions on ID came in. If you feel that trans people are taking your rights away I hope you dont want to protest about it because you literally can’t do that any more without risking legal repercussions. And if you feel trans people are dictating laws and sensibilities to you, you may want to know that the government is enforcing laws that means the far right are able to visit and speak at universities and cannot be turned away.
All of the posture, bluster and noise around trans rights has done absolutely nothing but allow actual fascistic rhetoric to embed itself and breed in the fabric of the UK- and that’s why when people tell you you’re supporting fascists and authoritarians, they’re right.

If people keep their genitals to themselves what they have shouldn’t concern you, and if you don’t believe trans people are who they say they are you have the legally protected right to think so- but you also can’t go around blustering at people about it because it’s rude- so you have what you want, you can air your views, you already have access to single sex spaces -but if it’s now gotten to the point that you’re dissecting, in depth, what genitals people have and don’t have you truly have walked off the reservation. I urge you to get some perspective and focus on actual tangible issues instead of the concealing of genitalia.

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.

Neutering the ministerial code was not a shot across the bow- it was a declaration of war

By Daviemoo

In 1992, the ministerial code was formally introduced for the purposes of balancing the highest level of government against the accountability and standards expected of those capable of doing the job. Every company, organisation and group has its code of conduct, and if you are unable to meet these high standards you’re likely to lose your seat at the table.
Under a leader too weak, corrupt and lazy to hold his ministers- and himself- to the quality we should expect the UK is set to sink beneath what the government can muster themselves to do: not what they must do for the
good of us all.

In every iteration of the ministerial code, themes have run concurrent: honesty and integrity. Transparency has always been absent- but when you imagine the weight of some of the information that passes through the office of the prime minister that suddenly seems acceptable. We don’t ask for every last nuance of political upheaval to be hauled before the masses and nor should we: but politicians have slowly become masters of extrapolating not telling the truth with lying and with building a bonfire of integrity, edging closer and closer to the fuse, all the while assuring us that we could expect the required & requested levels of the opposite from them.

The fact that it took until 1992 to introduce a code of conduct amongst politicians should have been the first alarm that something was not all well in British democratic discourse, and even having a code or a constitution doesn’t prevent political meddling: looking briefly to the shores of America we see the desperate thrashing of the left against the ever increasing radical right- no constitution prevented an attempted Coup in January 2021. These tenets are as tall as the clouds; but as wide as a strand of hair- though you can’t directly progress forward, it’s easy to step around should you be motivated to do so, and one could not ever accuse Johnson and his cohort of lacking motivation to circumvent vital scrutiny- we’ve read alarming tales of their fervour for being able to overturn judicial decisions, we saw them drop the reformations asked for out of the paterson scandal, they stripped back our right to voice displeasure through protest, they tell us to hold them to account at the voting booth whilst making that more difficult, they allegedly pay “bungs” to newspapers to report, or not report, what they need in the press.
Looking at this behaviour the idea that democracy and justice were a bulwark of protection becomes as fantasist as it is: all we have ever had to hold our upper echelon to account is the promise that they would adhere to this code and anything beyond that is illusory- so – every last one of us must stop expecting this low standard. If we cannot expect honesty of them we must demand it.

Johnson’s desperation to obscure his actions from vital scrutiny point to the idea that he must alter the very fundamentals of what scrutiny he is allowed to endure is a tacit admission that he cannot rise to the heights a prime minister must reach- instead he seeks to lower the bar so he can clear it and with that action he does not even ask the people our thoughts, he tells us that he knows best and we must sit back and watch- with the air of the misogynist husband who tells his angry wife to calm down, Johnson has put his finger to the lip of the nation in our fury, in our confusion and in our resistance, and shushed us: are we truly the nation who would take this slight?

The exsanguination of truthfulness

Honesty is a necessary part of the office of the prime minister, and something we could argue that many prime ministers long before the era of the Johnsonites has failed us on. Blair blustered us into Iraq, Cameron ran a referendum on EU membership to stop some of his MPs defecting to UKIP, selling it as a decision the people deserved to make when it was merely his attempt to wrench power back. May, a staunch remainer, flailed against the EU fruitlessly for months because she believed it was wrong to do what she was hired to do and she was deposed for it, all the while slated in the media as the lacklustre PM who was letting us all down even as she kept on top of other domestic affairs outside of Brexit: ultimately, her lack of fervour for the destruction of our relationship with the rest of the EU was her pyre – all of these events were a precursor to the level of dishonesty we now take as tacit from the office of the prime minister.
There is a method of torture known as death by 1000 cuts which is exactly what it reads as- a slow death, a shallow slash at a time. The person cannot escape and slowly, slowly, their blood drains until their body can be sustained no more. We were slowly bleeding from 900 wounds before Johnson’s government’s premiership- then he emerged and delivered the last 100 blows in quick succession.
If the lifeblood of a truly free country is truth, only an infusion could save us now- but the ambulance is in a nine hour queue to a hospital fit to burst with backlogged patients: will we survive this haemorrhage? Just like any wound, the longer we bleed, the less that is likely.

Dishonesty has, as we well know, dogged Johnson’s career as he has tumbled from vexatious attempts at literacy to being the laughing stock of a Brussels politician and somehow found the tenacity to scramble his way, always on the backs of those more talented and clever, to the office of the prime minister of the United Kingdom. So lacking in talent is Johnson that he may be the prime minister who initiated the deconstruction of the United Kingdom. Soon he will be the man who rules over a country who despises him, not the leader who unites several nations- all because he lacks the modesty to follow the true will of the people. It is easier for Johnson to feed the press machine that brought him to prominence and that he uses as a shaking podium, asking them to constantly press forward the storyline that everyone loves his caddish brand of politics and then to simply place his fingers in his ears and scream a bastardised version of the national anthem- as always backed up by his baying choir, the front bench MPs. Even as a huge proportion of the nation quakes in unleashed rage against the entirety of the administration, they continue to tell us collectively that we must move on from their betrayal: that is precisely what we must never do, for they will never dictate to us where we stand, why we kneel- or why we fight.

Integrity- democracy- illusory

One may have always disliked the politics of the conservatives. That is, of course, understandable- their politics was, and is not, for many. But one could never accuse them of the unparalleled heights of hypocrisy plain to see now. Years ago, an illicit affair would be enough to dismantle a politicians career and paint the entire party with the deep stain of shame- but politics has been gamified by a media that must exist by pushing salaciousness as our bread and butter.
The public love scandal- and politicians have been all too eager to give in, to align with a media who publicises every tawdry detail and as we have watched, agog, politicians have gone from the best amongst us, the smartest and most moral amongst us to affair having, children starving, fat shaming, law breakers- even now, the reports of the Sue Gray report contain a barely concealed glee that politicians drank, fought and had sex behind the black door of number 10 which Starmer recently rightly called a representation of our democracy. Integrity was not just respected, expected- it was required.
Thatcher never recovered from the lies she told as PM, nor did Blair- and rightly so. Their legacy is written against the lies they told- but Johnson? His legacy IS the lies he has told, for it is all he has done- from the moment he was placed in office he has plied the public with so much dishonesty, rhetoric, obfuscation and technicality that we can no longer discern- or rather, we don’t know where to focus on to find the truth for everywhere you turn is a lie.

The issue with fighting this level of political dishonesty is simple to explain, and can be applied to everything from brexit to election promises to the daily besmirching of the people’s office.
The truth is a stubborn thing, as unchangeable as bedrock because it is, and it exists only as itself- it cannot change; you can put a coat of paint on the truth but it will always still be the truth.
A lie can be anything you want: if you can lie with an air of plausibility you can sell almost anything- let us take brexit as an example- take a peoples who have suffered under austerity for several years and use media to repeatedly push the idea that you are poor, your mortgage is expensive, your roads bad quality, your food expensive because of your EU membership (see the stupidity of straight bananas) and suddenly you have people desperate for a brexit that doesn’t benefit them- but of course, many will see through this, so then you bring in the rear guard on a different line of attack- anyone who still wants to stay in the EU is a traitor, doesn’t believe in the UK. Not only do you forment the blaming of the EU for people’s poorer lives but the very idea of questioning that makes you a traitor. Add to this a deepening sense of the nationalism that tells you two contradictions: Britain first, British people are better and Britain is the best it can get- and people who want better for Britain through any means other than waving its flag and declaring its wonders are traitors.

The problem we face is thus: all we ever had to fight back against governmental malice was the hope that they were the best of us: now we know better than ever that this is not the case- but what will we do about it? Starmer continues to try to assail Johnson using the rules he has already gleefully destroyed, so how could this ever work? We must change tactic- but here, my thoughts run out of steam. I am simply not smart enough to articulate the next move, and I don’t know it. Starmer’s advisors are old guard labour members, active since the 70s, 80s, 90s and they too cling to the idea that the archaic modus operandi can hold Johnson et al to scrutiny. They will fail -so we must shift attack. But how? What do we do? Let us not forget that shame, contrition and genuine remorse were the weapons we wielded in the past against governmental malfeasance. This government does not, can not- will not, feel the sting of these weapons. So what weapons will penetrate their hide: how do we re-arm ourselves and win the battle they have dragged us into?

Currently, a worrying proportion of the American further and far right are floating the idea that they will provoke a civil war against the left- and as they are the side who wholeheartedly back a lack of gun control, they truly believe it is a war they will win.
Guns are weapons- and so is knowledge, and both can be wielded to wreak havoc, but only one can truly be wielded for good. So how do we harness the capability of knowledge, weaponise it to turn the tide of this war we find ourselves in?
Only those in charge may tell- but tell they must, and soon or dire consequence will befall us- not may, but will. Knowledge cannot deflect gunfire, so we must start our deployment now, and fight back against the ignorance that will lead to it: not just in the US, but in the UK- in all the countries who claim democracy, yet only hold their leaders to the standards they can be bothered to uphold. The deepening storyline that the left want to take away freedoms even as the right does so, that the left want to force you into a body you don’t want as the right force you to carry pregnancies you don’t want, that the left want to censor speech as the right ban books about LGBT+ people or flatly refuse to report on governmental failure, that the left want to come after your children as prominent right wing politicians both here and in the US are jailed or investigated for child sex offences- somehow we must break through this cloud of hypocritical disinformation and expose the depths of right wing political corrosion to people willing to prop up governments who hurt them all to fight back against an enemy who doesn’t exist- of course, amongst right wing supporters are those who know the truth and don’t care, or know the truth but want it to be this way, but amongst them are those whose eyes can be opened to the simple fact that this polemical politics poisons them against those who want honestly what is best for all of us.

If we can reach those on the right who have been consumed by this saturation of us vs them narrative, I have hope that the real enemies of truth, those who must rely on diversion over talent will become clear to them, and we can add them to our side.

At least once a week, I write that we deserve better in the UK: we deserve better from all of our governments- but we don’t just deserve better, we need better and without it we face a dark and uncertain future, where the meeting of the lowest standards is not only acceptable- it is applauded. This is Johnson’s legacy- the 8 feet under lowering of societal standards, integrity, honesty, freedom, and on the tombstone shall be carved “here lies the UK- we could have done better- but we didn’t”.

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.

It is time to move on Prime Minister- for the good of the country, go

By Daviemoo

We’re asked to move on from partygate. Just like we were asked to move on from the paterson scandal- move on from PPE VIP lanes, move on from late lockdowns and lacklustre pressers with poorly articulated advice. We’re asked to move on from a brexit that has pushed inflation up and contributed to (though not caused) the cost of living crisis. How many times will we be asked to move on, how many scandals must we endure before our society simply gives way. Johnson courts the rage of a wounded nation and asks our forbearance.
I say no- do you?

The first time Boris Johnson faced recompense for his lies was the last 1980s. He’d shot off an article to the Times newspaper which included a quote from one of his relatives which described a salacious relationship. Readers were enthralled by his piece- until it turned out that Johnson had quite simply made the quote up in its entirety- in fact, his family member had died over 13 years before Johnson had described the events in his now fictional piece. The Times, quite rightly, fired him and Johnson faced a tough brush to scour clean from- that of a lying journalist. But many who know and have known Johnson have always been happy to make excuses for the man- ebullient, funny, a people person. All admirable qualities, until you contrast this with the other side of Johnson. A liar, a philistine, homophobic and most of all desperate to claw his way to the top.

Dominic Cummings today reminded us that Johnson described himself as “the fucking fuhrer” and as Mhairi Black harkened to with her haunting speech against encroaching fascism in Parliament only this week, this is all too close to the truth: Johnson’s unrelenting assault on parliamentary standards, aided and abetted by his cronies and a coalition of people who think he is the best man for the job and people who simply don’t care because they don’t trust any politician, has been an unprecedented ruination of the long standing pillars of democratic surety that have underpinned British living since long before our forefathers began casting out to other nations. Johnson’s ravening of the political codes of honesty, transparency and decency has led to a paralysis within parliament, an impossibility of holding the man to account. Prominent political journalists and MPs alike cringe in embarrassment as they see him trotted out to other nations, ostensibly to serve the role a prime minister should by making links with our fellows across the globe- but, always, without fail we await another gaffe, another stupid quote, another silly outfit or ostentatious speech punctuated with “forgive me…forgive me… forgive me” as he shuffles through his poorly prepared notes.

The office of prime minister was always meant for the best of us- for those amongst us who could rise to the challenge of overseeing a nation of people hopeful to live up to our nation’s history as world leaders, as a nation of hard workers who respect each other. Where has this proud history gone under the frizzy haired stormclouds that forment a Johnson rule.
We often hear “isms” when referencing other political leaders- Blairism being a prime example, and Blairism is not looked favourably upon by a vast swathe of us- so what does “Johnsonism” enclose?
Is it a desperation to reach the top job only to abdicate your duties to beleaguered staffers who get so drunk on power that they will ignore not only sensibility but morality:

Excerpt of the Sue Gray report where flagrant breaches of COVID guidance are written off as a “comms risk”

This is indicative of Johnsonism in its’ essence- Peter Oborne describes the time that he worked under Johnson at the spectator, where Johnson was rarely seen and left the running of things to more talented and able fellows, but was happy to sleuth in to take any credit whether due or not. But the converse is also true- Johnson, as he has done with partygate, is happy to hoist junior staffers on his admittedly short petard. Whilst taking what he calls “full responsibility” he overlooks the release of Allegra Stratton whose crime was to joke about the parties, he overlooks the sacking, moving or redeployment of staff to “shore up” Number 10- surely full throated responsibility would be that of a man humble enough to realise that these events occurred under his leadership and is indicative of a man seen as such a poor leader that they could occur in the first place- a man who realises he cannot lead, should not lead and will therefore step down to allow someone who can to take the reins.

But Johnson only seems comfortable when embroiled in scandal. Selling out his country comes naturally to him, as he did when he allowed himself to be cajoled into switching from remain to leave. Johnson’s only goal has ever been to be given the invisible crown of prime minister, and now it rests heavy upon his head he refuses to be wrested from his seat- no matter the cost.

Of course the world stuffers under this cost of living crisis- but we see other countries rushing to help- Spain implemented the sort of windfall tax labour has pushed for. Germany has issued care packages to its lower paid residents to protect them. Other countries are scrapping VAT. Johnson’s government is too deeply embroiled in the thrashing death throes of self preservation against its own scurrilous actions to actually help people. The usual mealy mouthed promises were mocked in today’s PMQs- what has actually been done to help people he was asked, and all we got was the usual recitation of thousands of nonexistent pounds for people on universal credit and open falsitudes about upcoming relief which are only enacted to bury rage over the Gray report- interspersed as always with fruitless swings at the opposition who haven’t touched power in 12 years and deeply disturbing jibes at leaders passed.

Johnson’s government exists as a self perpetuation of bad governance- the bad governance will continue under Johnson, and Johnson will continue under the bad governance. The tories should be routed from power, torn out root and stem for their open rebellion against their much touted phrase, “the will of the people”.

The will of the people is thus:

Credit YouGov poll

Over sixty percent of the British population has held for months that Johnson should leave his role, because honesty and integrity are not parlance for the working class, they are discs of the spine that holds up British pride in democracy- and Johnson is spineless. If he truly wished to fulfil the will of the people, his next step is clear.

As to his enablers, they fought their way into Downing Street on that very promise- to fulfil the will of the people- even today, they declared that brexit was done, not even a week after the intractable promises Johnson made to blow up his own post brexit trade agreement meaning that negotiations would restart- hardly done, is it? An Irish MP asked Johnson to promise that Brexit wouldn’t deter the government from assisting Irish citizens- he could not fulfil that promise. So is Brexit done, or will we still keep watching British standing in the world’s eyes diminish for the ego of one?
Every MP who stands behind Johnson has signed their own temporary contract. Not one who willingly backed this man and sang his praises will remain in post when the change to remove them comes.

For Johnson’s government to continue is to endorse more despatch box lies, more fragmented promises and more figmentary notions of bettering a country who will only suffer beneath the weight of a man wholly unprepared for the job he has been given by grift, not graft.

To harken back to one of his own MPs during the initial findings of the Downing Street parties- in the name of God, go.

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.

Evil Triumphs as the Good Do Nothing

By Jack Meredith @PoliticalWelshy

It is quite apt that this piece’s title is a paraphrased quote from Edmund Burke, often regarded as the philosophical founder of conservatism.
Remaining silent at a time when truth to power must be spoken is often the catalyst for corruption to take hold, embed its toxic roots and create something so diabolical. 

In the context of an institution, it can have the knock-on effect of keeping the silent in an uneasy state of complicity – speak up, and risk losing everything you have garnered so far, damn yourself while also acknowledging that you benefited from the corruption. Stay silent, condemn others to the corruption, and allow its toxic roots to strengthen and grow until they can no longer be removed without doing away with the institution entirely.

And this is why it is so apt to reference Burke; this is the situation Conservative MPs find themselves in.

It has no lie that the Conservative Party has placed many of its electoral hopes upon the character that Johnson portrays. To many across the country, he isn’t Johnson, Mr Johnson or Prime Minister – he is “Boris”. He created an “every-man” figure that relates to the common person in the street (despite having studied in Eton and lived a life none of us could ever imagine!).

It seemed like a great idea at first; pinning their hopes upon “Boris” won them a landslide in the 2019 election, helped them convince the British people that they could “get Brexit done” and had the power to vote through whatever legislation they wanted.

And then, as it goes with every tale too good to be true, reality hit hard.

He is currently overseeing a cost of living crisis, with the options to implement a windfall tax and cut VAT to lessen the impact on citizens being rejected – by himself and his government. Asylum seekers arriving in Britain are being sent to Rwanda. The right to freely vote and the right to protest are being infringed upon. Inflation has hit a 40-year high, reaching 9%. The “oven-ready deal” Johnson promised on Brexit had expired, with the plan to rewrite the Northern Ireland Protocol rejected by both the EU and US. 

And, of course, he is the first sitting Prime Minister to have broken the law. This is a fact that no matter how much Boris Johnson would like to brush under the carpet, isn’t going away anytime soon.

While so many sacrificed seeing loved ones, some for the last time, Johnson broke lockdown rules and held illegal parties in 10 Downing Street.

What has been the response from MPs, to everything that has so far transpired? Have they held a vote of no confidence, kicked Johnson and his allies out of the party and reformed top-to-bottom? 

Not quite…

A flurry of “no confidence” letters here, the occasional television interview calling on Johnson to resign there – but no action. The threshold needed to trigger a vote of no confidence has yet to be met, and the MPs that make their grievances public continue to serve under the Prime Minister.

They stay quiet, while evil triumphs.

Jack Meredith is a prominent political activist found on twitter, tiktok and often writing for the Lib Dem Voices- his social media is linked at the top of the article.

People of the U.K. – We are failed by our government

By Daviemoo

A government in crisis: the cost of living, an investigation into lawbreaking and the betrayal of the public, slow lockdowns and a desperation to ignore the virus still working its way across the countryPPE mismanagement and misspending, rapists and date rape and sexism, islamophobia, a refusal to protect LGBT+ people from legally condoned torture – and what are the Conservatives doing?
Making up excuses for Johnson’s behaviour, throwing senior civil servants to the wolves via the front page of the Daily Mail and assuring us in the face of our rage that we have moved on: I have asked before and I ask again: how much more must we be expected to take, and when will the UK public look around at the troubles wrought by this government and say: no more.

This morning’s front page of the Daily Mail is dedicated to Sue Gray, and is a desperate attempt by the Conservatives to smear a woman who may be about to release a bombshell report into the lacklustre leadership number 10 has endured under the eternally prevaricating hands of Boris Johnson.
Even the snippets of the released report were a tacit indictment of leadership at number 10 under Johnson: but the stories in the news made that clear. Suitcases of booze being dragged into the back door, sneering civil servants mocking the sacrifices of the public on video despite the seniors involved clinging to their role and drugs being found in the toilets of our most ancient and esteemed political buildings. The findings speak for themselves.
As many in the UK shear off into debt and hopelessness under the cost of living crisis, as more fold their businesses because they cannot compete with bigger competitors thanks to the red tape of brexit and as still more sign off sick from work because there is no mitigation against the coronavirus that still quite literally plagues us, the government wraps tightly around itself for protection: but what good is a government more dedicated to self preservation than the country it swore to serve?

Rishi Sunak still continues to ignore the increasing cacophony of voices asking for an emergency budget to ease the cost of living crisis- will this be released at the same time as the Sue Gray report to distract us? Or will the report be a wash, protecting Johnson et al from the accusations that they are simply not up to snuff when it comes to representing the UK as a functional government. One can only imagine the cruelty behind a government who holds back vital relief as a figleaf to cover its continued dodgy dealings- and yet this is the government we have. Johnson appears to have murdered half the cats in London at this point, so desperate he has been to fling a fresh corpse onto the table at PMQs for weeks to distract from the shambles of his cabinet: and yet no amount of salacious stories can detract from the very real bodies of the over 155,000 dead covid patients, or the upcoming wave of people who starve or freeze because simply living in the UK has become too expensive.
Today Johnson’s face adorns the Guardian as he apparently “insists that working is the solution to the cost of living crisis”- yes, make more money for the conservative government who wasted billions on dodgy PPE, wrote off still more in covid fraud, who signed a brexit deal that has decimated businesses across the length and breadth of the country– but don’t work from home of course, you’ll be too distracted by pelotons and ironing to make that vital money to ease us through the crisis that’s completely out of our control and has always been in the hands of the tories.

And what have the tories done over the last six months to prepare us for this? Spent hours shoving officials into every news stream to talk about how minor and unimportant our officials throwing off the laws they enshrined is, blamed woke lefty remainers for being outraged about lacklustre race reports of the relocation of refugees to Rwanda, or made fat jokes at Ian Blackford when questioned about their behaviour. This is the bar of governmental probity set by Johnson, and the sooner he is gone the sooner we can ask that this bar be raised- and yet a core of the British public still admire the man for simply ploughing on like the titanic across the face of an iceberg- but we cannot hate the people who believe Johnson is above reproach because he has cultivated this opinion carefully via manipulation across the face of the country over many years.

Once upon a time, the Conservative party was a party that commanded respect for their rigour in adhering to the letter of the law- now they are stewarded by a man who is so dishonest we find ourselves questioning even easily provable statements he makes: people spend their time untangling the prime ministers’ words which are always dishonest at their core: G7 recovery is slow when he tells us we excel, the vaccine rollout is a storming success when it has all but stopped, the virus is over as hundreds of people die a week, brexit is done as he argues the importance of a border he signed into existence, work will fix the cost of living but he has done nothing to address the root cause of energy pricing, infrastructure, he hiked NI… tories tories tories, always the answer comes back to the government and their poor showing, but listening to them, we refused the lockdowns, refused the vaccines, refuse to work to address the cost of living- Johnson creates the problems then uses the population of the UK to soak up blame for them- and to the rest of the cabinet?

From a justice secretary with an appetite for scrapping human rights protections and replacing it with his own twisted version of what protection he, a man who believes “British workers are amongst the worst idlers” to a foreign secretary who was forced to resign for holding meetings with foreign officials for undisclosed reasons- and is now being asked to do the same over her lies about humane conditions for refugees and signing off on multiple bills which break international law- from a culture secretary who doesn’t understand the funding model of channel 4 and ITV and who thinks 96% of people being against privatisation is 96% of people for it: then we have an education secretary who wants to place trans children in harms way and endorses smacking, a transport secretary who denies the very existence of brexit backlogs… these are the bedrock of the government that continue to rot away at their own tenet of “the will of the people”. If the will of the people were to be observed, Boris Johnson with his 26% approval rating would be clearing holes on a golf course or back to writing his poorly researched columns: but still he sits on the proverbial throne of the UK and the UK public continues to reap what it sowed by installing such a man.

Whatever happens next the UK is in for a rough ride: even if a Starmer government took over tomorrow, a hostile press plus the malfeasance of the tories’ 12 year tenure has poisoned the UK’s political purity and left us with myriad issues- and so many are asked to believe over and over that the only cure is to just believe in Johnson harder, believe he can fix his own mistakes.

Brexit was a byproduct of the UK being sick of the status quo, an arguable thumb on the nose of our collective ire with how things were being done.
When people realise that this constant upheaval and political punditry to the detriment of the everyman, woman and they is the status quo under Johnson and that they could have it better under someone else: what will they do?

I’ve been told many times that I cannot rely on a litany of the terrible things the tories do to endear people to voting for an alternative: and yet I have to ask why? Why people are willing to accept this over anything else? “Labour would be worse” doesn’t wash with me: I’d rather see Starmer, or Rayner, or anybody else on the left try and fail than watch as Johnson continues to wrap his tendrils across the face of our struggling country and drag us still deeper into the mire of his government’s creation because trying and failing is, by all accounts, better than wilfully allowing the UK to degrade as Johnson climbs on our piled bodies to claim he alone is above it all.

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.