As the Conservatives push hard to renationalise imperial measures, something we’ve always had on our food packaging my entire life as an ostensible “brexit benefit” that doesn’t directly revolve around-but will likely contribute to – a poorer economy, one must wonder how it is not obvious that the party is trying to contribute to an overall shift away from the rest of the world: Little Britain will be unable to sell goods to a market that doesn’t understand the measures, or that has to do extra work to do so. But this isn’t the only way the tories are working to Break down Brits…
Imperial Measurements- an exercise in futility- Boris Johnson
Imperial units seem like some kitschy reach back into the not so distant past- some little move towards showing the world we don’t need them because we have our own way of weighing corn and meat… not one person who isn’t desperate to return to the smoky pubs and “it’s ‘ow we’ve always done it” rhetoric of the past is particularly interested in starting to use imperial measurements again, because it is of no benefit to anyone who doesn’t regularly start sentences with “back in my day…”
Imperial measurements will make it more difficult to:
-Sell to other countries
-Purchase necessary products and ingredients
It was also never “banned” by the EU, but to fit their standardisation model it was vital that we all used the same measurements- products in the UK have always been allowed to display imperial, just not as prominently as the other units.
So why would we do it? Because as always it pleases that tiny base who will thoughtlessly back the tories specifically because of nonsensical moves like this. Looking at the outlook of those who approve of this, they don’t care about the realistic damage and annoyance this move will cause now- but you can guarantee that they will be the loudest to decry it as soon as they experience issues resulting from it.
As we fall into measuring things here, we will lose step with the rest of the world- the pointlessness of making our coexistence harder rankles, but also fits perfectly well with the desired outcome of those in charge of implementing brexit: what seemed like a silly little brag fits in with the theme of isolationism behind brexit. Measures, money… what next?
The curtailing of university entry- Nadhim Zahawi
Recently it was announced that if you do not score certain fundamental grades, student loans will not be on offer, effectively curtailing university for those who fail to achieve in the earlier exams. This is a disaster both in terms of the hangover from coronavirus which adversely affected hundreds of thousands of peoples’ education, but is also- and there is no sensitive way to write this- a stupid idea.
I’ve written extensively about the myriad different learning styles for human beings, whether that’s an ability to absorb through physical action, reading, listening, watching demos and more- denying someone access to higher education simply because they cannot conform to the archaic system of listen, repeat in a slightly different way on a written exam is a disastrous response to the educational future of the UK. People can excel at university when given access to the right learning resources, teachers and allowed to study a passion subject instead the usual proscriptions of subjects given at a young age- and even if someone goes on to work in a completely different field, the ability to obtain a degree, masters or PHD is a vital skill that should be exercised for those who can – and want to.
Zahawi’s zest for preventing students who don’t excel at exams from reaching new chances of education is a transparent attempt to gatekeep knowledge from those who need it most desperately- and he should be looked upon with shame for this transparently reductive action.
Additionally, the spectre of “left wing censorship” and deeply worrying authoritarian moves to combat this nebulous nonsense has always been touted over university: searching student forums shows right wing students asking whether they will fit in- rather than simply acknowledging that their views, as all views are, will be questioned, it’s an immediate self censorship and a lack of understanding that an exposure to a wide range of people around you is likely to change your narrow views to wider ones: university isn’t a factory for spitting out left wing Leninists, they are buildings filled with knowledge, and intersected by tens of thousands of people you may not have met and learnt from before: you are not being converted, you’re learning other people’s lifestyles and exposure to this is the antithesis of reductive rhetoric.
Other tory ministers state that children should be asked to sing unsettling nationalistic anthems in schools– we truly are allowing steps towards childhood indoctrination to nationalism.
Throttling the media- Nadine Dorries
Despite 96% of respondents saying they wanted channel 4’s funding model to remain the same and a wealth of evidence presented that C4 is doing well in it’s monetary goals, Dorries has stated that the government will take steps towards its’ privatisation. Dorries has repeatedly demonstrated that she doesn’t know or understand- nor despite time and prompts, care to learn, how channels in the UK are funded (she has also wrongly stated information about the BBC, ITV and channel 4’s several messups). Dorries has stated channel 4 hasn’t “helped its case” against privatisation when “one of its lead presenters is shouting fuck the tories at a concert”. That would be a sentence in and of itself enough to sink any other culture ministers as blatantly taking revenge on a channel for a presenter not slavishly worshipping the government but Dorries is too busy making raps on tiktok to feel the shame she would if she viewed herself as a huge majority of the UK view her.
But the media also does the tories job for them- all of the big newspapers lean right, from the Daily Mail and its endless campaign to blame “lefty do gooder lawyers” for everything, the Express and its attempts to copy headlines that sound similar to those written in North Korea about their own “dear leader”. Other papers are too busy trying to scratch at culture war to make sales by punching down on minorities or both sides-ing debates which are patently pointless or a nonissue. Those media that do speak truth to power are often small or sat on, or- as we saw recently with Cummings’ admissions about the Johnson administration “throwing bungs” to right wing media whilst ignoring left wing or smaller media outlets, underfunded into oblivion.
Social media has seen an uptick in the amount of people desperate to speak truth to power there- its how I have come to what little prominence I have because the only place you can speak about the disgusting state of the country with little intervention (though lots of hate mail, the odd death threat and a sprinkle of doxxing) is social media.
The only way through this mire is a multi pronged attack. Social media is hugely influential when it comes to allowing the voices of ordinary people to be uplifted above the proscripted dross of the mainstream media- a phrase I hate but will indulge in here, but large scale organisation and a flat refusal to allow the government to pass damaging legislation must also start to take place. Fighting back against tory policy must take place both in cyberspace and in the real world – lobbying the government is ineffective right now, but we cannot stop and must in fact increase our efforts to battle them in the real world including against the frightening anti protest legislation they have inducted.
They will not stop us. We are many- and there are more of us than we think. Though decades of tory policy have enforced a miasma of glibly disenfranchised brits, people can be reached with the right message -we must find this message and galvanise those who would not normally move to counter this fight. We must- for without the voices of the discontented rising in concert, the zombie moans of a nation whose freedom is dead will only grow to silence us 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.