Truss has had months to prepare for recession, the energy crisis, the cost of living crisis and any other issues headed our way. But empty pageantry, infighting and a desperation to squeeze her neck into the leash of “the donors” has led us to where we always knew we would be- rule by a party who looks after the rich on the credit card of the poor. The hypocrisy is layered deep in the UK status quo: but what is true patriotism if not the antithesis of what we are fed by media and deranged thoughtless reactionaries, and how do we seize this true patriotism, pass it through the bars of our prison and lead ourselves through revolution into the UK we need- not the UK we have?
Governmental ineptitude at your expense
Liz Truss has never met a moral she can’t ignore. From a republican to speaking at the Queen’s funeral, Lib Dem to leader of the Conservative party and from staunch remainer to helming a country so battered by the trifecta of Brexit, Covid and lacklustre leadership we’re slipping past some eurozone countries in regards to quality of living. Truss has already demonstrated clearly to us that she intends to do nothing to assist in the living conditions of the downtrodden but will pull out all the stops to bolster the supports holding we, the underclass, under our supposed betters.
Unfortunately for Ms. Truss, that nebulous descriptor, “poor” continues to expand, as more British households slip into poorness, poverty and desperation due to the economic malfunctions of a government long off the rails. Truss has created an energy plan that pushes the crisis further down the ways, all (naturally) to the expense of the British tax payer. Her economic taxation will save the poorest households less than one pound a month, whilst benefitting the already wealthy: but did we honestly expect some subversion of the Truss we’ve always seen when she has so readily shown us who she is and how she acts so many times before?
She describes herself as a “no nonsense northern straight talker”. One suspects that a no nonsense straight talker would have told the companies that have turned unfathomable profit into CEO salary instead of investment into green energy, onshore wind farms, more efficient forms of energy capture- that these failures couldn’t stand, and would have begun implementing hefty reforms on the businesses operating here.
Truss eats out of the hands of these companies not just because she used to be in the upper echelon of Shell, but because these companies throw money at her party in return for their servile response to this energy crisis. It’s like asking your boss to tell the CEO to close their office door when they’re insulting the HR team: it won’t happen.
One must remember that the conservatives who have been in power for almost 13 years have faced a steady stream of reminders from a nonpartisan group of government ministers since 2012 that an energy crisis was looming because the UK had no onshore infrastructure which needed to be addressed: was it? Absolutely not- the flat ignoring of this long-looming crisis has meant that energy infrastructure actually plateaued, with only minor changes made, surface changes which impacted nothing. Additionally, the installation of Truss who is apparently moved to the approximation of teary eyes by seeing solar panels has meant that any government schemes to incentivise businesses to pursue green energy infrastructure are dead in the water- water that is now being filled with sewage, because of course it is.
Broader than this though, the cost of living crisis hangs over us like the clouds we Brits are so used to. And what are the government doing to ensure that we don’t drown in debt just so we can purchase butter for our crumpets? Why, making sure that bankers’ earning potential is uncapped of course!
If the almost immediate move to deregulate bankers bonuses did not plainly show where this government’s interests lie, what does? I, and I’m sure most people reading this, don’t care about bankers bonuses in any way more than wondering why they can have unlimited earning potential when we have empirical evidence of how badly that works for the economy: I give it less than a decade until a harangued and as yet faceless PM (it won’t be Truss) pops up on tv to tell us that we’re not only giving energy companies our money to float their businesses but we’re going to do the merry go round of paying bankers another set of bailouts.
But isn’t this all just the milieu of Britishness now? It feels like we’re a nation of the abused, sat stirring a cup of tea quietly, terrified that we might accidentally tap the side of the cup with the spoon and bring down on us the ire of our betters, be they crown wearing, crown serving or supposedly the businesses that work for us. It won’t be long until the UK’s energy companies take the line of South Africa’s main energy supplier, “load shedding” IE shutting down the national grid for hours at a time whilst admonishing us silly, selfish proles for daring to use the energy that we literally pay for.
And as if having a government of openly hostile, privately-but-not-well-educated bad faithers strutting the halls of our parliament wasn’t bad enough, watching the collective St Vitas’ Dance madness unfold around the death of Queen Elizabeth has been absolutely flabbergasting. However you feel about the royals, and you have a right to feel however you want, the reaction from the British working class has been galling to the point of making me wonder if I should simply delete my social media, the blog, the podcast and just give it up as a bad job. From people wearing cardigans daubed with union jacks saying that “proper British” people accept “the way of things” to watching working class people confirm that yes people SHOULD be arrested and in fact should go to PRISON for being critical of the monarchy, I’ve sworn at my various screens more times in the last month than in the last 6 combined, and that’s quite a feat considering Johnson was still our PM a few months ago.
British people are suffering from a collective Stockholm syndrome. Ruled over by hopelessly distant elites who use their paid shills to tell us over and over that we want it to be like this: innumerable people fit into the openly visible underclass of the UK. We’ll soon have no working time directive to protect us from unreasonable demands from our workplaces, implanted no less by a government who partied during the biggest health crisis the UK has seen in over 100 years, had 3.5 months in meltdown, came back for a week, took 10 days off for the death of the monarch, will go back for 2 days, then will be off until OCTOBER- but don’t forget, little workers, you’re amongst the laziest people Dominic Raab AND our new PM Liz Truss has ever seen. Truss made this comparison against China, and the reason we may be lazier than Chinese workers is probably because in China an errant word against the government can have you arrested. Just a thought.
Moving to the royals: the mere acceptance of a monarchy is to accept that there are greater and lesser humans. To believe that a god chose and beatified a human to raise a lineage of those with inconceivable wealth and power to rule over a land, free of election, free of discussion. The UK collectively allows itself to be held prisoner- and why? Because of the most infuriating adage in the British language: “we’ve always done it that way”. Tradition does not obfuscate the need to question whether, at the start of a cost of living crisis announcement, we watched our now king sit atop a golden throne next to a stolen jewel worth millions in a palace worth hundreds of millions as he told us we were in for a difficult time. If people feel so collectively strongly about the monarchy, put it to a vote! Why are you afraid of reaffirming the nation wants a monarch? And why, in particular, are you afraid of people like me? It’s not like I’ve made a habit of being on the winning side is it? I backed Corbyn, I voted against Brexit, I called for an election when Johnson was finally put to the governmental sword… I’m sure we’d vote overwhelmingly to keep the monarchy but at least we were asked.
Apparently patriotic behaviour is accepting the collective delusion of a nation filled with people who, a year ago, swore that wearing a mask for 37 seconds to buy a 20 pack of Marlboro lights was the equivalent of the subversion of bodily autonomy suddenly deciding that it’s ok to tase people who aren’t openly weeping about the death of a total stranger.
But what IS patriotism?
Patriotism is, shockingly, not the concept that we must unblinkingly accept the foetid corruption of a government determined to undermine those who disagree with it, by stripping back the right to protest. Patriotism isn’t being forced by violence and with threats of police retribution to suddenly give fealty to a man who was hated for his mistreatment of his wife when I was ten years old. Patriotism is not waving union jacks in the streets of a country failing it’s citizens so badly that we went from 35 Trussell Trust food banks in 2010 to having 11,650 by 2020. Patriotism is not the calm and certain acceptance that people awaiting cancer treatment were at risk of, and in fact suffering from, the loss of their booked appointment because of a funeral, a funeral which you were compelled like worker ants to imbibe by the removal of any other avenue instead: shops shut, gyms shut, libraries, museums shut… you will mourn: or else.
Layer upon layer of injustice is spread like a permafrost across the UK: a government who continually prioritises the rich few over the poor many, and then with no hint of irony talks about not pandering to minorities… A media who blithely behaves to the antithesis of how media should act, ratifying the lies and missteps of the government, the police, the royals – its own self…
The UK has fallen so far from where I hoped it would be. And yet I, we, fight on. We endure the insults, the degradation, the threats and the infighting, we read and write about how things can be, could be, should be, will be better for people who go out of their way to insult and malign us. We steel ourselves for abuse every time we press “send” on a message- but why? Because despite it all the gossamer thin but steel strong strands of hope run through us: hope that we can reach someone out there who feels similarly and make them keep fighting. Hope that we can reaffirm those beaten down by these injustices that things can and will be better. Hope that those disaffected by the nonsense and noise will rise up with us and fight to improve the status quo.
That- this- these actions, this is patriotism. It’s not the gormless acceptance of a country and state that have failed us for so long in so many ways, it’s the razor sharp and endless conviction that we can, that we will win and that in this victory we will seek a better country and a better future for ourselves and even for those who may not deserve it after aligning themselves with the forces who worked to derail this change.
I know- not think, I know that we can make a difference. That we can change the direction we’re headed. But all hands on deck, people. Things aren’t working, things aren’t improving because not enough of us are willing to throw our weight into it. The tories call us lazy, but laziness is letting the country sink. So gird your loins, wrap your hands in the work ahead and repeat this phrase that I have imbibed on my heart
We Deserve Better.
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.