From Covid to Russia, from Remoaners to the nasty EU… It’s never Brexit or it’s famously pig eared supporters, is it

By Daviemoo

The day I woke up and saw the result of the referendum I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Some would say that I wasn’t being patriotic, wasn’t believing hard enough in Great Britain. But facts are stubborn little things, slithering their way through the shafts of what we once thought was Sunlight on the uplands. Brexiteers will do back breaking gymnastics to point the failure-finger at everything but their precious brexit. But some of us remember.

I knew sod all about economics in 2016. At the time I was under increasing mental strain: people in my family kept dying of cancer, my partner at the time was a horrendous person, my job in the NHS was plagued with the demands of managers put into their roles through nepotism. I’d been off work just over a month when the referendum happened: I was signed off with stress because I calmly explained that I was going to kill myself over a small slip up at work and to escape how horrible life was- so as you can imagine, I was not exactly in my right mind at the time.

But I do remember spending hours reading about trade, trade deals, EU/UK relations, market reliance, import export statistics, various EU laws that the UK both loved and hated according to Straight Banana enthusiast Boris De-Waffle Johnson. At one point I went out for some food with a friend who was an economist. We actually went out so I could talk to him about how depressed I was, but naturally the conversation tilted to the looming referendum. And his words about what would happen to the market have come true to the very letter. It was, in retrospect, a bit like sitting with Cassandra from the Greek tale, desperate and dire warnings which crashed around the ears of everyone to no avail.
But all of this meant that, despite feeling completely out of sorts at the time, I felt very clued up when I stepped into the empty primary school that was my local polling station to confidently say “of course, leaving the EU is a bad idea”. As I crossed that box I assumed others around me had done the same research, had come to the same obvious conclusions and were not buying into the happy fish cheaper mortgage better goods nonsense being pushed by government ministers who had one agenda: deregulation, less work for themselves.
I was wrong.

My local MP at the time was Jo Cox, who was a passionate campaigner for remaining in the EU. I was actually practically around the corner when she was murdered. The reason she died? The malignant, supremacist guff whose tendrils had spread murkily through the chatter around leaving, around stopping them nasty forriners comin ere an stealing are jobs. It’s that simple: she was murdered because of the blunt, ridiculous conclusions of a white supremacist racist whose grasp of economics extended no further than his nose and who believed that murder was a better expression of his discontent than discussion.
I thought of Jo too when I put a cross in that box. I knew she was right in her convictions, and I knew it was wrong for her to die for them but I felt it right to honour her sacrifice. To this day whenever I think of ardent brexiteers I remember they’re dangerous: that’s how far some of them went for this, ignoring the actions of a deluded extremist murderer. And how did the government at the time respond: Boris Johnson told MPs terrified by Cox’s murder that they needed to vote for Brexit to keep themselves safe… Remember that well used line from cheesy US action films? We don’t negotiate with terorrists? Johnson was actively encouraging fidelity to the wants and whims of an extremist to prevent more terror. I bet you won’t find that in any favourable coverage of him.

All of these things were not a culmination for me. The referendum, at the time, seemed immaterial in the pulsing flow that was my life. I wasn’t going to let a referendum about economics define me when everything else was so wrong, but it was also important to me. I was proud of our EU membership because it showed we were a nation happy to work together with our neighbours to achieve success. But as it went on, as I had accusations of betraying my country or not believing hard enough in the magic healing that would take place with the leave result, or as I saw sneering politicians like Jacob Rees-Mogg or whichever else they squeezed on tv to trot out lies about NHS funding or happy fish I got more and more annoyed. I was being told to ignore the research and expertise I’d worked on to believe Ben our local crazy and his idea that once we were free from the chains of the EU we’d all have a castle, a unicorn and our illusory freedom form bureaucracy.
How much shame I feel now, having watched our country’s petulant behaviour over the last 6 years.

The charitable part of me gives a grain of amusement to the passionate brexiteers whose unfailing defence of brexit never ceases to amaze. It’s not because of brexit, it’s… the nasty EU making it harder to leave, they’re punishing us!
Yes, naturally. They don’t want other member states to do it so of course they are going to make it difficult; that was one of the many deciding factors.
Well, yeah but… It’s about sovereignty isn’t it!
Ah yes. What has sovereignty brought us? A radical government incapable of balancing the books who stripped your protesting rights back, endorses pointless legislation against voter fraud- essentially the US’ voter disenfranchisement laws copy pasted for the UK, and economic backslide so harsh that the UK is like an elevator with its wires cut screaming down the shaft to the basement as other economies overtake us: not because they’re good. Because we’re bad.
OK but what about covid then!
Well, about that. Covid has certainly contributed, there’s no denying that: it’s obvious. But you seem to be overlooking the fact that the EU offered a mid-term extension to the brexit window which Johnson and his cupboard of morons turned down. And whilst covid has indeed damaged the economy, factually, reporting shows that brexit has been worse for the economy on its own than covid was or would have been.
…Well, it… it’s the war in Ukraine then!
Nope. Again, all of this was predicted by knowledgeable economic forecast.

Here’s the thing. Economic forecasts can vastly differ depending on the pessimism of the economists conducting them. Think of it like going fishing on a lake. On a sunny, warm day with the right gear, the right lures, a flask of nice strong coffee and having long experience of how to fish the waters, the chances of you getting a good haul are pretty high. On a rainy day with a stick and some string and a hook fashioned from one of Boris Johnson’s eyebrow hairs you’re probably not coming home with a bounty.
Economists who were pro brexit were operating on the idea that everything would go our way, that the EU would capitulate and/or be friendly and a myriad other things that didn’t happen.
But the big difference is, economists whose forecasts looked bad were this terrible, inescapable thing: realistic.

Every single thing brexit was meant to give was a lie.
Freedom from EU bureaucracy. We still have to trade with them so, you’ve actually got more paperwork now.
Cheaper prices. Everything is more expensive both at retail price and for import.
Cheaper mortgages. Hahaha.
The chance for US to make decisions about our OWN laws! I attended 17 protests featuring thousands of people about voter ID, about the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill and they still passed, I’ve signed at least 30 petitions calling for everything from benefit reassessment for the poorest to windfall taxes to early elections- all ignored.
Every single promise a twisted straw mat of lies, beckoned over by Nigel Farage who promised it was a king size mattress.

Brexit was never going to do well, and maybe its impact wouldn’t have been so gargantuan if we didn’t have 145 crises all kicking off at once, now with Liz Truss picking up a shovel to heap more on top of us- but it is now an abject disaster. And I’ve noticed a trend with brexit conservative types. It’s always the “imagine the for instances that’d be much worse!!”
“Imagine if Jezebel Cranglin had gotten in, we’d have empty she… I mean, the pound would be worth nothi- we, I mean… we could be at WAR…oh I…”.
Or of course the “but imagine if these things HADN’T happened!”
“Well yes BUT if covid hadn’t happened we’d be FINE”.
These people live in their own imagination constantly, in a world where the bad stuff didn’t happen and the good stuff did- I invite them out of their own heads to observe reality.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a maladaptive daydreamer who spends my time in a fantasy world when I’m not working. We don’t live in a world where Corbyn won, we don’t live in a world without covid or war or whatever else you want to sling blame at. So I ask you brexit enthusiasts to STOP living in your imagination, fun as it is. You imagined your way to sunlit uplands and ended up with human offal floating in your rivers. You imagined a nightmare scenario with Corbyn at the helm and yet every example of how that would have been bad is happening, and you imagined brexit would have been a rip roaring success in a world where exactly what’s happened didn’t happen.

The fact is, we’re all inconceivably small. Tiny people, less than cogs in a huge machine rolling around trying to reach equilibrium and the referendum presented a chance to change this. Finally, we little people could have a say about the direction of the machine! We could change our very destiny! And so many people fixated on the EU as the cause of all their problems! It’s the EU’s fault my job doesn’t pay well, it’s the EU’s fault my business is failing! It’s the EU’s fault that Sarah my wife caught me cheating and kicked me out, please let me back in Sarah I just want my cufflinks… And they grasped that sad conclusion with all their might! They stuck both fingers up at the EU. Defining their entire life around putting a pencil x in a box. The biggest decision in their lives, and it’s been a wash. No wonder brexiteers are so strident in their defence of it: it was their one chance to improve their lives and they fucked it by choosing the options smarter people told them not to. Brexit is the equivalent of a toddler grabbing a hot pan and then yelling at their brother, who stood there telling them not to the whole time. SHUT UP TIMMY, WHY DIDN’T YOU STOP ME. We did try of course, but then you get told freedom of speech, that they’re tired of experts. BREAKING NEWS: Cutting your nose off to spite your face quite painful actually- more at 11.

So to brexiteers across the land I have some sage advice: get real. Wake up. Stop living in a fantasy world where you blame “remoaners” or “socialists” or “the nasty EU”, or Covid or political correctness gone mad or war… and start blaming brexit. It wasn’t the brexit you wanted, right? The brexit you wanted was in your imagination: what you wanted was for your life to improve and you’ve voted against that consistently for years.
So just for good measure, for me, for my own mental health- start taking some of the blame yourselves. You were warned.

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.

Daviemoo is on hiatus: or, why the left in the UK doesn’t deserve to win right now.

By Daviemoo – who is posting this and running far away from social media for the foreseeable.

My last post was my hundredth, though it’s not the hundredth article I’ve written for politically enraged- I cleared out 23 drafts the other day. Thank you to everyone who reads what I write and enjoys what I do but I have to be honest, of late everything has become somewhat exhaustingand not because of the always growing wankery of tories and their voters, of the arm waving gammonry of the politically dumb- because leftists in the UK are, as a whole- acting like fucking dickheads.

I wasn’t aware of the shitstorm ignited by commentary on a video which emerged recently until last night, and truth be told I was not sober when I was made aware. I read with abject horror some of the comments I, and my friends, had received for calling out what I pretty confidently would call racist dog whistling.

I have to be honest, in the way that my latest podcast episode is quite honest; I have no idea what people actually want any more, and as I grew from “back labour no matter what” to “we can critique labour healthily and listen to those with opposing views but I can’t see an alternative that works in this broken system”, my surety in what I was saying diminished.
I look at that as a gift.
I don’t want to parade the digital halls of social media, telling everyone what I say is definitely right, throwing out deliberately divisive tweets and confidently telling you any alternative to what I say is wrong because I don’t know. I don’t have the self confidence, nor the confidence in any political figure or leader, to state that we’re doing the right thing, on the right track, and that you should lean over and copy my answers on the test of “how to move forward”.

Equally I’m disillusioned with any faction I once called mine. The more center-left labour seem, no offence to those who keep staunchly backing it, to be willing to compromise on stuff that I’m not; but also lack the nuance to understand that just because I’m critical of labour’s brexit stance or Wes Streeting’s weird “they’re both bad” stance on transphobia in labour for example, doesn’t mean I’m trying to subvert support for labour. Dealing with problems is how you deal with them, and making compromises for them or flatly ignoring them doesn’t. Labour has some issues it needs to deal with by talking about them out loud, and by allowing voices who want to bolster the movement but don’t understand the direction to speak up, labour could allay these fears, embolden its supporters and move ever onward to a progressive alliance- not with other parties, with it’s broad-base supporters itself.
On the “far left” which is a term that makes me wince a bit because it’s so often used to describe the “has socialist in bio but acts like a 4chan edge lord” type, I’ve been absolutely stunned to see misogyny, bullying campaigns, I’ve had direct homophobic nonsense and people like the ragged trousered philanderer blithely being disgustingly transphobic guff – behaviour I genuinely thought was beneath people I once respected and now can’t stand to know I associated with.

I made fairly definitive critique of a man who used the argument “ethnic minorities and upper working class people want to destroy labour with liberal politics” (its Neo-liberals you’re referring to I assume) and spent 4 hours reading comment after comment of people deciding I was trying to sabotage labour, sabotage EiE, sabotage socialism itself, and not merely pointing out that if socialism means small-state bollocks where you point the finger at “ethnic minorities” and fellow members of the working class as the enemy instead of trying to make a cohesive movement with those very people, I don’t align with those views. It’s not exactly guy Fawkes-ing the EiE HQ is it, saying “wow this is really disgusting sentiment” and yet I had supposedly left wing people saying shit like “Tommy Robinson isn’t a bad guy now, he realises it’s the state, not muslims who are the enemy”. This the same Robinson who, literally 5 days ago was demonising Pakistani men? Or saying that I must be tory if I don’t imbibe the sentiments that foreign working class people are trying to sabotage the… what, “native” working class? Sure, Jan.

Dempsey’s views on calling Tommy Robinson supporters “the scum of the earth” make me laugh. Because Robinson supporters are the scum of the earth- not indelibly, forever scum- racism is a choice, bigotry is a sword you can put down at any time. Robinson supporters don’t care about unionisation, or workers rights, or emboldening the working class- they care about ‘the nasty foreign people coming here to steal are jobs’ and whatever other half baked cuntery they pull out of their racism-frazzled brains. There is no excuse for what he said- none. Pushing divisive rhetoric about factions of the working class, levelling blame at ethnic minorities? No way would I ever align with those views, and offering forgiveness to Robinson supporters until they showed actual contrition for falling for the racist dog shit that gave him the money to put a swastika on his neck? No thanks. You don’t fix racism by not being racist, you fix it by being anti-racist- and you dont fix capitalism or FPTP by espousing more politely worded, general racism.

The fact is, there is no perch on which I’m comfortable on “the left” after all of this, after being squeezed between the pro and anti starmer people to bursting point, and I’m certainly not a centrist but I don’t necessarily hate those who are (there’s a difference, to me, between ‘this policy isn’t pragmatic enough to work’ and ‘oh sure they want gay marriage illegalised but look at that tax plan!’- that’s not centrist pragmatism, it’s selfishness which is a byproduct and ethos of the right)- and I cant stand the right. It’s to the point where if you still back right wing parties now, now that the masks are off, you’re either so deeply radical I can’t help you or you’re so twisted you don’t need guidance, you need an assessment.

I call myself a progressive now for lack of any better option. Because the factionalised shitgibbonry of the left as a whole is pathetic, puerile, childish and yet it’s also deeply dangerous. I’m sick of big leftist figures acting like paragons of goodness whilst setting their followers on other left wingers, unleashing tidal waves of vitriolic bullying and acting like making other leftists come away from social media is some sort of victory for your movement instead of proof that you don’t give a shit about politics- if your entire goal is just to push your own agenda so hard it steamrolls other people, that’s not ok.
I’m sick of seeing people demonise those they share particulates of political leaning with rather than taking aim at the actual enemy. Half of you are overthinking it- it’s not some secret complex game of guess the secret baddie, like ‘Guess Who’ with rosettes- you’re either for voting against the tories or you’re not. I say it a million times a day, the system is broken so if you’re not happy with this iteration of labour, what’s the plan? Oh some long winded spiel about reforming the system by not partaking in it- apparently it’s actually a huge part of disinformation farms to push the idea that not voting is some wise political choice- not voting just means you need to shut the fuck up about any and all repercussions because you literally cut out your own tongue when asked for your opinion. Miss me with that “I’m so big brained I don’t participate but I feel entitled to moan” shit. And even better, nobody who insults Labour seems to have an actual plan- even big leftist figures whose bank is aflow with the money they earn by bashing labour come down on “well im still voting for them but I’ve been consciously telling people not to for months”. Mmmm, I also like hypocrisy. Again, the lack of nuance. You could constructively criticise and platform those who do the same, but I guess acting like rabid dogs with 200 characters or 2.20 seconds to bark is easier. The option I often have wafted at me is “i’m just going to vote for this other political party that won’t win, but at least my hands are clean (and the tories will still win but that’s not MY fault, right)”. Every person who suffers under tories doesn’t really give a shit about your clean hands but whatever helps you sleep at night I guess.

I genuinely hope we get PR in the near future- not just because I have grandiose hopes for a more democratic spread for voters to choose from, but because I’m sick of being hemmed in to a wing of politics that’s become even more toxic than the forced birth loving, force my religion on you-ing, worship the rich-ing tosspots on the other side. Having to share politics with people who act more despicably than right wingers is pretty grim- and because the system is fucked up, there is no alternative.

I’m taking time away from it all, to sort through my feelings on it. The fact is, I see little point in talking about politics right now, because there’s no view you can have on leftist politics that isn’t polarising. The left is radicalised against itself and it’s pathetic. We don’t deserve power any more than the scum in power right now do. It’s an embarrassment of a movement- half of it more bothered with deifying the dusty words of old white men who engaged in theoretic thinking, whose lives didn’t even slightly reflect our way of living than actually looking at the system we’re in and asking how the fuck we make these hazy dreams come true without employing the same scary ass totalitarian governments who push for socialist structure, the other half desperate to compromise on some of their own long held beliefs because they think winning can come at a stupendous cost and that giving up on long held core beliefs of their movement is acceptable. Ah yes, we win everyone! Brexit’s never being reversed, it’s ok to be transphobic and the laws that stop us protesting, force us to abide by ridiculous voter disenfranchisement and keep us locked in a broken system of capitalist dogma even as we cant afford electric or water are still all things, but we win!

Frankly everyone, go for it. Tear yourselves apart, tear each other down, demonise each other- I’ve pushed for unity on the left ever since I saw a bigger picture lurking in the background. But what’s the point. I don’t want to align myself with any of you right now because all of you are behaving shamefully. So do what feels right to you, be tribal, be vile to each other- It’s nice to see under the mask and understand the dangers of political polarisation laid bare and to understand this ever growing “if you’re not in, you’re out” mean girls politic in the UK.

I’m taking some time away from all of this because my head is abuzz with realisations. when I come back I hope some semblance of maturity magically manifests itself into the forebrains of leftists in the UK because right now- you’re all acting like idiots, and as loath as I am to level the accusation of enabling the tories I am – the whole lot of you attacking each other instead of talking constructively are doing exactly that.

Peace out, enjoy your fighting folks, I’m going to work, gym, read some political theory and come back ready to focus on the actual enemies rather than my bedfellows.

The Stupidification of Brits

By Daviemoo

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
-Cook
-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.

It’s either a gentle step to the left or another goose step to the right

By Daviemoo

I can’t take any more political discourse that uses the worst “both sides” lamentations. So many people will insist on telling me that all politicians are scum, liars, wrong, bad- and the irony is that I don’t disagree. I’m aware that politicians are unprincipled. But the temperature of UK political discourse just keeps getting hotter on one side.

Let me make this clear before I move forward: I don’t like Keir Starmer. I don’t even particularly like Labour under him.

He’s made snafu after snafu, he’s slow to react, labour seems to be a seething pit of argument and discussion that amounts to the same endless friction that has persisted, albeit quieter, since 2019.

There are myriad issues that labour need to deal with. On Starmer, the latest sin he’s admitted to is that he will break promises if it means winning an election.

So many of the political savants I follow online or speak to in person happily decry Starmer, led by the latest op-ed from Owen Jones- and it’s not that I don’t understand why people dislike Starmer or Labour under his governance. I’ve sat quietly, swallowing back criticism after criticism as Starmer seems to drag labour further towards the center. I’ve defended him even when what he’s done has annoyed me because I’ve assumed automatically that there is some grand plan I’m unaware of or that he/ the labour leadership must know better. But the rabidity with which every single thing Starmer does is shocking to me, even as someone that frankly thinks he’s a strange mix of a bit wet and also ruthless towards those who he should be courting.

Where, though, is the perspective? So often I’m told “not tories is not a good enough reason to vote for someone” and in normal times I’d agree. Under a shoddy but functional government, that argument would of course hold weight but right now it folds like damp paper.

The tories are responsible for a disasterous mismanagement of the pandemic. Hancock killed scores of older people by discharging them from hospitals into nursing homes, was more concerned with meeting daily testing figures than actual practicable safety regulations, he had an affair with someone he hired using public money and is embroiled in sundry PPE scandals as are many, many MANY tory ministers. Patel forced refugees into unsafe, unsanitary accommodation which equates to prisons, and is set to do more to worsen their situations including opening “camps” in other countries to keep them- and has worked relentlessly to ensure that any meaningful protest in the UK is curtailed- purely as a reaction to unrest under her own government’s shoddy handling of the new civil rights movement BLM. Gove’s revealing tapes about wanting the north to suffer and calling us toothless, Raab- a man who accused the UK workforce of being amongst the laziest despite us working longer hours and on average working later, and when sick- abandoning his vital duty as Afghanistan fell, to stay at a hotel that it would take someone on minimum wage over a month of full time work to afford ONE NIGHT at. All the tories refused to vote for free school meals then when the UK public pressured them they mis sold the contracts and inflated the prices for sub standard goods- and MP Ben Bradley in particular said that his constituents would use the vouchers in “brothels” and “crack dens”. Rob Roberts was disgraced by sexual misconduct claims and yet continues in his role unabated. Lets also not forget about the horrendously inept minister for Education, Gavin Williamson and his myriad mistakes, most prominent of which was declaring proudly that the Co2 Monitoring systems for schools would protect children from covid- despite none of the monitors being installed when children went back. All of this of course helmed by the racist, sexist, xenophobic, bumbling and useless prime minister we’ve had foisted upon us – Alexander Boris Johnson. Racist articles and books, homophobia, islamophobia all of which he refuses to apologise for, corruption claims stemming back to his journalism days including a confirmed claim that he doxxed a journalist for a friend to allow them to suffer physical violence, calling huge salaries “chicken feed”, laughing and joking about the swaths of dead from covid, talking about bodies piling high in the streets, telling us lie after lie after lie about brexit from the alacrity of trade deals with the US to telling UK companies to “fix the issues with their supply chain”, to simply failing to understand the vital difference between animals slaughtered for profit going to farmers VS culling of animals at huge loss to their owners. He’s raised national insurance, caused inflation in bills, made food shortages nationwide… Johnson’s failings, both personal and professional are long and storied, and yet beloved he remains by many Britons who see this rich, daffy and doe eyed fool as one of them. Johnson wouldn’t stop to put a person on fire out, used to burn £50 notes in front of homeless people and wreck their businesses for fun, has had affairs behind the back of his cancer stricken spouse. He is a moral failure of a human, and a professional failure of a politician and those who love him fail to see that they have enjoyed supporting a confection, a fraud and a fake.

The tories may not always have been the party of scum, but scum they are now. Giving credence to the continued efforts to support the tories in their vast and storied failures, the british press- how anyone can continue in good conscience to allow the tories to run roughshod over the country they claim to love is beyond me.
Sometimes I feel almost paranoiac about it- it can’t possibly be as bad across the board as I see it? And yet the evidence is there, plain to see.

I don’t blame the tories for everything negative in my life, but for those things they are attributable, the links are plain and I cannot but judge those who- I can only assume- wilfully miss this ignorance.

Given all of the above let us be frank: British politics is a hellscape.

But this then is where my frustration mounts. Again, I think Labour has myriad serious issues at present and understand how poorly they are performing. And being told by it’s leader that he will lie or break promises to win the vote is hardly endearing. And yet I cannot feasibly see them as worse than the tories, bearing in mind the litany of things I’ve mentioned barely scratches the surface just of the last 5 years.

I understand, truly, why people would have huge distaste for Labour at present. But how can one truly thing that the better alternative are the tories.
People are so often calling labour centrist that they forget just how far right the tories have gone, and as someone who considers myself far left I often look longingly for a party that actually represents how I feel on myriad issues but the other parties in the UK I unfortunately know- specifically based on how our political system works – are a waste of time.

Any vote that isn’t for the opposition is a waste, and people can decry labour as centrist or corrupt or no better than tories- but tories we have. We are under the thumb of the most corrupt government in living memory. And I can’t help but look to America as an example of a country who held it’s nose and voted in what so many refer to as a centrist melt. Biden is a disappointment in grand terms as is Harris, but we always knew they would be. But Trump’s presidency was marred with corruption scandals, tacit declarations of violence and an increasingly emboldened far right- much like this endless elitist rule by the tories has brought here.

At the end of the day I will hold my nose and vote for labour because any change, any move left however slight, is better than continuing down the dangerous path towards authoritarianism we are already too many steps down here. Until we find a political figure who reaches and unites more of the left in a way similar to Corbyn but without the long shadow he cast (don’t come for me, I liked him a lot), we have to make do with what we have or as always, votes will be split between a handful of indy parties, greens, lib dems and a big share for labour as the tories again coast to victory with less than half of voters wanting them to take power.

The temptation to push for huge change is there, and if it were possible to make a movement so vast happen it would be revolutionary- but until this movement takes place we’ll be doomed to repeat this fractured pattern of splitting and being overseen by those we do not want in power.

So it’s up to the electorate- a gentle step to the left or another goose step further right.

Voter ID- Disenfranchising The Disenfranchised

By Daviemoo

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.

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.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

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.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/driving-licence-fees

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.

To conclude…

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.