Reader, I have to be honest. I didn’t think this would happen. I assumed that, at some point, someone would talk common sense into the admittedly plankish head of our esteemed Crime Sinister Johnson. But as tomorrow looms with no last minute sanity from our erstwhile government, some thoughts.
When I saw that Sajid Javid, a man who has been health secretary for less time than I’ve had bell peppers in my fridge, confirmed that he’d been diagnosed with COVID-19, my first thought was “right, well his name is now Sajid Covid in every video I make about him”.
I felt a small hope that perhaps this might prompt Westminster to realise that their diet eugenics plan probably wasn’t so brilliant after all. And most of all, I felt absolutely sure that Javid, as was shortly confirmed thereafter, would have shared a room with our mop haired muppet prime minister- and I wondered how he was going to escape this one.
I don’t want anyone to suffer from COVID-19 – I’ve seen, in front of me, someone die in a very similar way to the way this disease kills you if you’re so unlucky as to suffer that fate. I’ve heard someone complain that they’re drowning in their own pleural fluid. It’s not something I would wish on anyone, best friend or worst enemy. It’s part of the reason I’ve been so careful throughout the pandemic, acting as best I could without going absolutely insane. You can imagine, then, my dismay when this morning’s news brought an update that both our illustrious thatch haired goon of a leader AND Rishi Sunak would NOT be isolating as we have, for the last twelve months (delayed, “world beating” app) been told is the “right thing to do”.
The outcry from the public was thunderous and for once I was pleased that the British public were outraged by something. But fleeting that feeling was because of course, they did their little U turn and all the Johnson fans jumped straight back on the bandwagon.
I have to wonder exactly what “freedom” it is that people are missing? Those who haven’t wanted to wear masks haven’t been doing. Many a right wing grifter has been proudly declaring in their ignorance that they never downloaded the crap and trace app. And as for social distancing, the amount of sweaty headed idiots I’ve had spluttering at me throughout the pandemic is… many. I think I must have a different understanding of freedom. People seem to think that risking other people’s lives, hell, their own lives, is fine. I can’t tell you how many people have told me we just need to “get on with…” whatever. Our lives? Bit difficult when I’ll be worrying about passing on a virus to anyone I care about that might mean heart failure, coma, death, long term lung issues and more.
I’m not sure what the people desperate to go “free” think will happen next. We’re all up for the chopping block now. Likely we’ll all be sick, some of us very much so. The shops they’re so desperate to avail themselves of will shut again due to sickness. The coffee shops will become endless breeding grounds for the disease. Hospitals will fill and shut down.
Doesn’t seem like much of a freedom day to me.
I suspect if I get COVID-19 I’ll be okay, though my chances of long covid are still high. Who knows.
But I want this blog post to stand as an epitaph for anyone I love who I lose. I’ll write your name here, and that will give me the fuel for the fire I’ll summon to utterly destroy the enduring legacy of the charlatans running our government who allowed this disaster to unfold.
EDIT: it’s 23:06 on 21/01/2022 – since freedom day, 24,727 people have died in the UK from coronavirus. Twenty four thousand countryfolk, who have died at the hands of a government desperate to prop up their economy using the corpses of hapless Brits.
As Crime Sinister Boris Johnson is set to reopen the country with zero restrictions on the 19th, a quick reminder that a vast chunk of England seem absolutely fine with walking gently into mass hospitalisations, long covid cases galore and, indeed, the needless deaths of our loved ones.
I don’t like the conservatives.
You might have picked up on this simply by standing near me for more than 10 minutes, watching my internet videos or reading this blog- or simply sensing that I possess a moral compass that I actively try to align to true north when I can.
I haven’t liked them for a very long time, and frankly it started out as a grumbling resentment that the party of “family values” so openly touted a distaste for me and people like me simply based on my sexuality which still persists to this day with the animated ancient mummy herself Baroness Nicholson leading the charge.
But over the years this grew from a distaste to a naked hatred- not necessarily of conservative voters though I do find conversation with right wing voters entertaining because the pretzels they can knot themselves in to escape the reality of voting for bigotry is truly impressive- like watching one of those people that can fold themselves up to fit in a box.
Am I saying that all bigots are right wing? No… having stepped further and further left I do sometimes worry that some of my fellow far left folk fall prey to a different type of bigotry, one that assumes that we’ve always been how we are- “sensitive souls”, those who care about the people around us enough to hear them out and try to accommodate them. The fact that the left sometimes continue to condemn people even when they apologise openly for their behaviour confounds me- though I often find it right to do so when the apology is contrite and focuses more on the feelings of the accused, rather than sorrow for the harm their actions caused.
Nevertheless I do feel an open dislike for conservative voters to be quite apt at the moment, as we’re watching England in particular careen towards what I and others like me see as an abject humanitarian disaster. Below is a graph that shows the figures in England on lockdown day 2020- vs the repeated fuckups of a government run by a shaven orangutang in an ill fitting suit, vs now.
I’ve listened with numb horror to every bit of news coming from Downing Street for several weeks, sure that it was more right wing pomp, the showmanship of a man convinced that if he acts rough and tough despite looking like a dishevelled fop, people will laud him as a tough, decisive leader when we know- from the literal mouth of his previous adviser and sundry leaks- that he is incapable of doing the job which the tories wangled him into.
But no. Here we are, heading into literal disaster, a worst case scenario so unutterably dire that I cannot process it- and still bay the tory voters, “we just need to get on with our lives”.
Were this not a matter of life and death for others and, who knows, maybe even myself – I’d sit back and watch as these people lose their grandmothers, wives, cousins- and suddenly realise that maybe charging naked into a bush fire isn’t quite the brave notion they think.
But I know many vulnerable people who will be paralysed with fear in their homes, unable to take vaccines, unable to visit shops during the day for fears of crowds of people so excited to return to normality that they’ll cheerfully sacrifice the over 1.5 million seriously disabled among us who, and I can’t believe I have to write this, also deserve to “return to normal”.
Of course I’m not foolish and I know that the internet is a vacuum and people will spout their nonsense there, only to toe the line when the chips are down – but the sheer number of people excited to reach “freedom day”, an odious term coined by the office of our lacklustre leader, feverish to ditch masks which are treated like the lead at the neck of a particularly ferocious dog, terrifies me.
Firstly, a word on oppression- the reactionaries’ current favourite term.
If your oppression consists of the act of wearing a bit of material on your face so you can walk into asda for some custard creams and a pint of milk, or being asked to not breathe directly down the neck of the people in front of you at the pub- what a privileged, easy life you must lead.
The types who feel this is oppression are so quick to compare it to Nazi Germany which proves beyond doubt they’ve never actually read history books or accounts of what exactly it was like to live in Nazi Germany. To think that we walk amongst people so cosseted that they believe that mask wearing, an act that protects others more than yourself, is oppression, would be laughable if it were a pastiche- so ridiculous that you wouldn’t believe it.
I remember seeing this meme about six months into the pandemic and even though it made me laugh, it also made me sigh and understand that this was the “normal folk” I was expected to walk around with. It simply said something to the effect of “any zombie movies after this will be really unrealistic if a huge portion of us don’t go running towards the zombies to prove how undeadly they are”.
That meme has become a mental symbol of how I’ve coped for so long- making comedy out of the growing insanity of the country to get by, because to look at people’s behaviours factually I think i’d have snapped in May 2020.
Heading to disaster
I wake up every day, a little bit amazed that we’re allowing the tories to just blow the doors off the pandemic because “if not now, when?”- we were told so many times we had an amazing vaccine rollout- surely it does it an injustice to open before it’s finished? But people don’t care. A worrying portion of people somehow function in their daily lives whilst equating vaccines to poison, population control, tracking and an exhaustive list of other fundamental nonsense.
I can never imagine what it’s like to be someone so insane as to think that almost every scientist, doctor, nurse, politician and more, in the whole world, sat down and said “so we’re going to pretend that this virus exists/ so we’re making an evil vaccine- don’t tell anyone though, we’re making a new world order for *insert laughable reason here*”.
All of that- the disinformation that’s been allowed to spread, unscrupulous characters trying to shill their idiocy to a nation all too willing to believe the one person who says no when 99,999 other people say yes, a government headed up by a man who, we now know without a doubt said “let the bodies pile high in their thousands!” rather than facilitate a lockdown out of a fear of his friends’ pockets getting lighter, has led us to this moment. As we stand on the precipice of what I confidently believe will be a disaster for the people of the UK, I think I’m more offended for the people failed by the education we were given by a state in disrepair who believe the nonsense than I am by the man so callous as to push for it.
There seems to be a worrying amount of credence to the notion that Matt Han-dsoffmywifeyou-cock was removed from his role by angry tory backbenchers who knew he was throwing rope at an intern he hired with public funds, who then facilitated the installation of Sajid Javid who would be their mouthpiece for the end of lockdowns. The reason? Isn’t it always money? Need you ask.
I don’t have the spoons today to go into the Brexit reasoning behind reopening, plus I think that brexit is only a factor, not THE factor in reopening. Plus saying Brexit three times usually gets you mobbed by angry people who are genetically incapable of speaking in cogent arguments.
And now for some pretension!
I feel like Cassandra. If you don’t know who Cassandra is, here’s a little history on Greek tragedies for you.
Cassandra was a woman gifted by fate to see the future- but cursed to never be believed when she told people what she saw.
I imagine if Cassandra were here now she’d be screaming at the top of the shard, begging people to stand up against a government who seems to be falling just short of eugenics, as people point and laugh and call her crazy. But we don’t need Cassandra to spell this out to us- we have doctors, scientists, immunologists, people whose roles are to study pandemics past and advise us on how to get through it, telling us en masse that this is a bad idea.
Of course there’s conflicting opinions- people saying it will work – but we live in a world where Nazis still exist so to speak for the mental acuity of individual, educated people who speak out in favour of the erasure of measures, is not exactly ground breaking, nor does it mean that they are the pied pipers we should be following.
My concern comes for the people of the UK who may – I hope I’m wrong, I don’t want to see abject suffering and mass deaths of course and woe betide the tories if I lose someone I love- be facing a nightmare from which the escape will be long, arduous and filled with the suffering of those we care for most.
I repeat, I hope things work out okay- but if things do go wrong, I hope Johnson and the scum who enabled the disaster to unfold are hoisted high from their own petards and castigated by the masses they’re so willing to throw to the wolves, all in the name of the post-Brexit economy.
I suppose my main question is as simple as this: how and why are so many people absolutely fine with the possibility of getting sick themselves, of their families getting sick, of losing friends, loved ones? The usual answer seems to be that “we’ve sacrificed so much”- begs the question why we’re so keen to sacrifice more.
After another loss at a football tournament, the curtain was pulled back and never has it been clearer that the peace and security of a nation depends wholly on the satisfaction of white men.
I don’t know if you were unfortunate enough to witness the myriad scenes of violence, unrest and vile behaviour across this nation yesterday. If you weren’t you must be an expert at avoiding social media for the good of your own mental health.
To witness the scenes yesterday, you’d be forgiven in believing that finally the uprising of a frustrated proletariat was underway. But no, the “gentleman’s game” was reaching it’s conclusion at Wembley.
People were drunk from 9am, and in a country in the grip of a serious pandemic and on the verge of unleashing it’s populace on “freedom day” in 7 worrying days, we saw scenes like nothing I’d have pictured before it and hope not to see again.
Jubilation there was not- from watching a man hoisted in the air and sniffing a line then screaming at his cheering fellow gammons, to the streets crusted with litter, cans, glass and blood, or the violent scenes at wembley basically the entire day, who actually enjoyed anything yesterday is a mystery to me.
My neighbours broke covid restrictions- again- to have a viewing party of the game.
Of course many who may read this blog post would decry it as the minority of people- and yet I have to wonder at what point we accept that this minority is a terrifying amount of people, minority or not.
Twitter is awash today with reports of racist violence, racism, attacks on people who were simply walking by at the time these Neanderthals decided to unleash their smooth brained stupidity on the nation who so quickly disavows their actions.
Lets look, as we should, to our leadership for the reasons this country may be in the mire it is…
Prime Minister Wafflestick McMuffintop suggested that the team should be lauded as heroes- always with your fingers off the pulse prime minister, because it’s nothing to do with their actions on the pitch that they should be held up as heroes for- it’s the fact that Marcus Rashford has created and maintained a sustained campaign to feed hungry school children, victims of your twelve year austerity and more than lacklustre choices for Education Secretary. It’s people like Gareth Southgate running a sustained campaign of inclusion even in the face of his team facing abuse from their own fairweather supporters.
Home Secretary Priti Patel whose famed distaste for anything outside of homogeny, from anti LGBTQIA views to the most restrictive bills on immigration since Enoch Powell’s inflammatory anti immigration posters graced our shameful nation, was seen condemning the racism on twitter- mere weeks after endorsing kneeling and booing the players.
The hypocrisy of two people who mock, ridicule and deride what they see as “gesture politics” to then flip flop on their views stinks just as much as any of the political corruption that daily oozes further from Westminster and over a beleaguered nation where these negative attitudes thrive, and move further from the dark corners to which we’d like to banish them daily.
A side fact- thanks to tory interference in a bill lodged by Labour, it’s officially possible to face more jail time to assist someone seeking refugee status in england (which is NOT ILLEGAL for the 10000th time), than it is to rape someone. Tories voted down a bill to punish rape as a more severe crime whilst Patel pushed through legislation to give those who aid refugees a possible DECADE in prison.
But again, let’s look at the parallels. Loath as I am to invoke the name of Ms. Sarah Everard in this mess, the rage I feel towards a nation that fosters scenes like THIS
Where came minimal or NO police or security intervention, and yet the peaceful and impassioned vigil for a woman murdered by a policeman brought about violent arrest of women standing up for their right to feel secure in the street.
Why, we ask ourselves- knowing the answer. That women, defenceless against the thuggery of police with batons and riot shields, are easy targets for brutality – but these embittered, empty headed scumbags can do as they please because no amount of policemen could tackle the tide of thuggery they wish to commit.
We live in the illusion that police can and will protect us- but against this, we must ask, how? What threat did women standing up against murderous police pose, that could have been matched by this? Nothing- it is simply that when the targets are easy to take down, suddenly the police leap into action.
Let’s then look at my favourite comparison so far: The BLM protests.
Even if every BLM Protest (less than 6% of BLM protests were violent) had created swaths of damage, comparing a social movement combating THIS VERY THING- Racism and white entitlement- are unfairly compared. Every BLM protest I went to was peaceful – simply there to share the pain and lessen the load of people of colour in a country that does not and will not support them to better their lives by curtailing the entitlement of the people who maintain a system fundamentally made to hold them down.
To conflate BLM protests, a cause with righteous anger behind it, to thugs throwing bottles at each other because some rich men were kicking a ball, is the most hilarious false equivalence.
High irony that the disgusting Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts bill isn’t in action – I wonder whether it would have made the slightest difference in these scenes which have so disgraced our nation- unlikely. The bill is purely designed to quash dangerous activities like gentle protest against racial inequality, a government mired in corruption or to silence those already silenced by misogyny.
Let’s also look at the scenes no one needed to see- one man had a lit flare placed somewhere that only his wife should see when he leaves a room, and another decided that thrusting what can only be described as a knoblet at the air was appropriate.
My favourite comparison to make here is that the people there would cheerfully say the stock homophobia lines like “They’re just forcing it on us” or “why do they need a parade where they’re all naked and being sexual”.
Pride, again, is a protest against a heteronormative system that holds us down, under the thumb of- well, these people. Not once at any pride parade have I seen a penis or breasts. But the ignorant flag wavers so proud of themselves for these displays will believe the salacious lies of hate groups like the LGB alliance who so often compare sexuality with sex and stir up hatred against the groups they claim to represent- and they refuse to see that a parade to show that we’re proud of who we are even in the face of hatred is important and necessary and is not lesser than the need of a football fan to insert a lit flare into his anus on camera.
My disgust in this country grows every day- the fostering of a government who doesn’t even have the popularity of the nation, disgraceful acts by large groups of people who claim that it’s their right to boo anti racism gestures as they foist racist abuse on the players they cheer when it suits them, a police force built to crush opposition to anything but what is deemed by the government as acceptable; and of course, the rallying cry of the gammon- “if you don’t like it here just leave”, something I now find much harder to do, because you brexit voting sausage rolls took away our right to free movement.
I made this post to piss off the gammons who so indignantly shout mental discord as if they understand what they say. To continue to watch this country wallow in it’s own filth is proving to be exhausting, and not just for me I’m sure. You can decry yesterday’s behaviour as “not all fans” all you want and you’re correct, but the fact of the matter is- it was anticipated. We aren’t the only country who gets violent when football is on, or other sport- but perhaps that speaks more to a societal problem with men who won’t publicly cry when their mother dies, but will cheerfully rip things cemented into the ground out of place because their sports team lost.
As a nation we need to address the underlying problems that these events bring out- the thuggery, racial hatred, ignorance and discontent of people let off the lead to act like fools with… what recompense but anger online.
And if you understand how many people realise that we live in a nation where you don’t feel safe because men aren’t happy then you’ve missed a stupendously obvious point- I don’t even have the spoons to give you resources to make you see the problem with that very salient point.
In a country with normalised ID for every citizen, mandatory ID to vote is par for the course- so why, in a country where photo ID is not state subsidised or at least heavily discounted, are the British populace fine with new voter restrictions- the right to vote is one of the most basic there is. Is it fair to pay for the privilege?
It seems a far stretch to call the new legislation to implement mandatory voter ID “voter suppression”, but a rose by any other name still smells as sweet, and restrictions on voting still restricts voters.
You may be fooled into thinking that the government had sound reason to fear voter fraud and it’s impact on electoral integrity – until you read the ONS stats on voter fraud convictions in England. Those out there I’ll politely term as reactionaries- or less politely, fucking idiots, will go with the already laughably piffling figure of five hundred and ninety five reported cases.
In a group of countries with 66.65 million people, we’re already looking at the gentleman’s inch of political issues- add to that that all but SIX of those cases being dismissed without charge, two being given police cautions and FOUR convicted. So you may be forgiven for calling this government their favourite moniker- snowflakes- for overhauling the actual law to prevent a crime that four people have been convicted of.
The issue, the insidiousness and, indeed, the explanation behind the implementation of restrictive voter suppression techniques- which have, by the way, been imported wholesale from the good old US of A off the backs of their election – comes down to the voters it’s most likely to affect.
When you look into who the bases who most regularly vote for political parties, suddenly what seems to be a strange lapse of sanity becomes a crystal clear attempt to further solidify the tories’ death grip on the throat of a nation that- simply looking at figures- didn’t want them in the first place.
Popular or populist?
The tories won the biggest popular vote since 1979 in 2019 with an astounding 43.6% of the total votes- it’s a huge margin. But when comparing that to the total number of votes cast this means that over half of voters did NOT want tories- nothing to say of course about those who did NOT vote, whose opinions we can’t guess at and frankly who I don’t give the time of day to during political conversations, because not voting then complaining is the intellectual equivalent of letting someone kick you in the leg then complaining that you let them kick you.
When you realise the implications of a party with less than half the country’s votes implementing the insidious rule the tories have palmed on us, you suddenly realise the farcicality of the recent legislations being passed- from voter ID to stripping our right to protest down to the bone. A party who traditionally caters to the older generation and doesn’t wholesale represent the youth of the UK has implemented restrictions on voting that will- not could, but WILL, impact on younger voters and poorer voters. Shockingly, the people less likely to vote for the tories- not LABOUR per se, but not tory- are the young and the more economically poor.
Ah, so here then is the crux of the issue. The tories aren’t concerned about voter crime, they aren’t worried about the already sterling job that those who invigilate for voting being compromised. This is- arguably- an attack against the people who could potentially swing votes away from their parties.
Let’s now discuss the pricing of documents that you’ll need to vote.
A new passport in England costs between £75.50 and £85.
The above info is taken from the government website itself and means that those of voting age, on the national minimum wage, would need to work 12 hours specifically to cover the cost of a document which is now mandated for use in the democratic and vital process. Half a day of work to save the money to cover a document that you will now need to exercise what is a fundamental, and vital right to employ to ensure that you are represented in this country.
Let’s now look at obtaining a new provisional or full driver’s license in the UK.
Much more reasonable! Until you consider that purely paying between £34 and £43 pounds is a misnomer- either you’re paying this fee to have a driving license you only need to prove your legal age for various reasons and vote which means this is a cost brought to you SPECIFICALLY AND ONLY to vote, or you need this license because you are planning to learn to drive- which costs, buy and insure a car and use it- which costs – so the actual costs are much higher if you want to implement this ID document for it’s purpose, and if not- you are literally paying money to be able to vote, which you can do for free now.
I could then further break down how this would make voting infeasible when factoring in more expensive food prices, rent or a mortgage, transport to work, petrol, car insurance and basic necessities to live but you get the idea I’m sure- this move by the government means that those who are paid the least are now vastly less likely to be able to afford the basic documents needed to have their say.
When you compare this against the current system where voting incurs only the cost of getting to where you vote, or not even this cost if you vote via postal vote- you’ll need to forgive me if I look confused about the necessity of mandatory ID.
This of course the Government could combat somewhat, by bringing in an optional UK Personal photo ID card – an idea floated when I was just reaching the cusp of the voting age, but said to be too close to surveillance and a nanny state.
This is still true- but if the goalposts for voter freedom are to change, then so is the necessity of the state providing an affordable way for it’s citizens to cast their vote, otherwise this legislation can be called by it’s true name: a voter suppression bill.
A better way?
Stacey Abrams, US politician, led a storming campaign in Georgia running from 2016 to present to ensure that disenfranchised voters- or as I like to call them, people adversely affected by legislation just like this one- were able to access the provisions needed to cast their vote, and the time is nigh for a politician in the UK to take up our own seat at this table. The UK government, failing as it is to import anything successfully post Brexit, did manage to import the voter suppression bill passed in what I can only call revenge for Abram’s amazing work, so I’d heartily suggest that UK politicians who do value the tiny flakes of democracy we still treasure here do their work to ensure that this bill affects the minimal folk it will – because I guarantee you this will affect voters.
There are many other people who would be adversely affected by the implementation of this bill – for example, those who are legally barred from driving due to disability. Herein of course is another issue we need to discuss – the right wing fervour to disregard the rights and freedoms of disabled people. This would limit people who cannot work due to disability and who cannot drive to – exactly what options for ID documents to vote? And are we convinced that those who invigilate will have sufficient training as to recognise the scant options left for people- not an insignificant group mind you – who would be effectively limited by this foolish legislation, or forcing them to vote in more drawn out ways which may impact on them in different ways as usual not thought of by a government too interested in pandering to it’s own voter base at the expense of everyone else- and, ironically, sometimes it’s own base.
I’ve been accused of many times of being overly critical of right wing governance and the irony is, i don’t know how I will react the day I’m finally under a more left leaning government. I’d like to think my moral compass is aligned as closely I can get it with basic decency, and if I felt a lefty government was letting down it’s people I’d be just as critical. I suppose this small paragraph is going to stand as a testament as to whether that happens in the future- provided we aren’t stuck under authoritarian rule as long as I live due to the machinations of those uncaring clowns in power now.
Speaking of moral compass -I ask you, readers who value the true basic right enshrined to us all to vote, please contact your local MP and lodge your displeasure with the disgraceful legislation being pushed through parliament. Sitting angry does very little to help those in need who can’t speak out – so you do it.
And while we’re at it – ENGAGE YOUNG PEOPLE WITH POLITICS.
I don’t care what political party you’re aligned with – with exceptions, if you’re a nationalist fuckwit please kindly visit your closest pier and walk off it – please encourage your children to understand the absolutely vital role they will play if they engage with and vote in political discourse in this country. The tories are the party of keeping old people’s money secreted away. Young people need to find the people who represent their morals, their values and who offer them an alternative to the bleak decade we’ve just had. They have a chance to change the future for the better- for themselves and heck, for us too. Whether that hefty mission of undoing the damage of the conservatives lies with labour or another political party, discovered or undiscovered, I’m unsure. But I know for sure that young people deserve to have their say irrespective of this disgraceful coup of a bill. Help them realise how vital their voices are.