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.

“Finally, a Conservative government” – they’ve been in power for NEARLY THIRTEEN YEARS

By Daviemoo

I’ve no doubt that I’m biased, I see things through my own lens and what I believe is not always necessarily correct, but the open flippancy the tories continue to display to the British public at large is a point of utter rage inspiration at this point: Kwarteng, fresh off of making a total arse of himself at a funeral, has now decided to create a budget that’s tantamount to whipping out a bruised red areola and shoving it into the mouth of the already milk sozzled rich, once again and always at the expense of the poor in the UK. When will tory loving lunatics learn that when they say things like “you won’t like this budget if you care more about the poor”, they don’t mean some theoretical string vest wearing cousin of Hyacinth Bucket, they mean YOU!

Truss recently… Can I really call it “hit out at” when she is the physical doppelgänger of Pinocchio in a wig… “futilely flailed at” the idea that we’re putting future generations into debt to slightly ease the energy crisis now. Ironically this performance was even more milquetoast than tory fans had predicted: Like eager football fans, “they’re keeping it close to their chest, they’ll pop out with a plan last second and do something spectacular, it’s coming! Any second now!” they cheered- only to be met with the ooooOOOOOOOAAAAAaaaaaah of a ball sailing nowhere near an open goal.
Ursula Von De Leyen, every brexit hard man’s secret wank fetish had recently declared that repeated windfall taxes and harsh scrutiny of energy companies was one of the key ways to help the average person through the crisis facing most countries. Germany is forcing returned ownership of an energy company to the state to ensure that pricing does not spiral. Spain, France, all of these countries working hard to ensure the prosperity of their citizens as economic conditions decline.

The tories have created a budget that gently trouser-strokes the swollen gland of the rich with the callused fingers of the poor, once again leaving us to foot a bill so astronomical that it would even make Jeff Bezos’ brows crease should it land on his door. Wealthy people are set to make a fortune just from not paying the taxes they’re due, and of course poor people are set to pay equal to or more than what the rich will pay; because it’s fair to have someone earning £17.25 an hour pay the same tax percentile as someone who has a flat screen tv screwed into the ceiling over their fucking bath tub isn’t it.

And all the while the seething rage that we all once felt towards the tories is slowly being reflected backwards now, because we always knew these petulant, coke fuelled shysters were, as Angela Rayner said, scum: But honestly British public WAKE THE FUCK UP, give your head a shake and get the placards out! Enough with the vague promises of shouties and frowns via the Enough is Enough campaign, enough is bloody enough but I don’t need endless rallies, I need tory ministers to be PETRIFIED to leave their houses for fear of being dogged every step by people asking them why they should pay for the tories’ bakers dozen and then some years of idiocy.

I’m tired, reader. I’m tired of every day switching on the tv or opening social media to another frosty faced tory minister grim-facedly defending another sex scandal (lest we forget the “anonymous” rapist that’s still working happily in the government or Pinchy Pincher the literal pervert), another misstep in policy and every single time, enabled by media commentators who don’t even look shocked any more when politicians say bollocks like “the cost of living crisis is less significant than the death of a 96 year old” (cheers Lindsey). I’m tired of listening to people saying they love the tory party because they’ll sort out this WOKE NONSENSE- they’ve been running the show for 12.8 years now and their greatest joy is that you’re more arsed about pronouns and who shits where than their reverse-Robin-Hood cuntery.

But most of all, I’m tired of living in a country where the citizens will grumble, and shuffle, foot stamp and huff and keep taking the hits. Our government should be petrified of us. Our government should be treating us like a dog, teeth bared, tail wagging, straining at the lead to get to them. They work for us- but they don’t fear us. The nation is supernanny and the tories are a bratty little toddler, completely unaware of the power dynamic that could, that should sweep over them as we tell them to fuck off to the naughty step for breaking the economy.

What’s wrong with us?

So many times I’ve had the usual union jack masturbatorial idiots tell me their grandfather didn’t die for me to kiss another man. Well, too bad but your grandfathers sure as shit didn’t die so everyones businesses could fold and we can’t afford to put the big fucking light on either.
The UK was supposedly a proud nation of people who would never take anything lying down once, and yet here we are, supine underneath a government giving us a caustic golden shower. The UK badly needs a wakeup call- the tories aren’t going to change, aren’t going to get better- they’re the perpetually pissed-up spouse ready to come home and slur out some blame for why they’re so depressed and much like anyone in that situation it’s time to pack their shit and kick them the fuck out.

Stand up for yourselves, Britons!

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.

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

By Daviemoo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.

Knives at Dawn: The Attack on the ECHR

By Daviemoo

Following the public emasculation of the much reviled “Rwanda plan”, a very neutral name for a plan to ship refugees thousands of miles away, the right wing and its dogs of war have immediately mounted an attack on the ECHR, the European Convention on Human Rights. The very fact that its name contains EUROPE seems to intrinsically link this organisation with the EU and has therefore drawn the well worn ire of brexiteers who cannot hear the word Europe without brimming with detestation. But what IS the ECHR, why was it formed and what is its purpose… and why is this attack from the right deeply troubling?

Origin

At the end of World War Two the world was reeling from endless atrocities, both well publicised and kept away from the mainstream for various reasons and Winston Churchill, along with several other states, realised that there must be an overarching accountability for human rights protections that extends beyond states. Though Churchill is rightly a controversial figure now, this need to create a council to protect human rights at a Europe-wide level was a master stroke in accountability for the protection of individual rights and, indeed, group rights. Thus was born the ‘Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’.

Since 1949, a scant few years after the end of the war, the ECHR has overseen judicial decisions to ensure that human beings in countries under its membership- not citizens, simply persons within these countries- are treated with dignity, humanity and that their individual rights are respected.

The ECHR has overseen many different fundamental rights, listed on its’ own site, but shortlisted here:

  • the right to life (Article 2)
  • freedom from torture (Article 3)
  • freedom from slavery (Article 4)
  • the right to liberty (Article 5)
  • the right to a fair trial (Article 6)
  • the right not to be punished for something that wasn’t against the law at the time (Article 7)
  • the right to respect for family and private life (Article 8)
  • freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 9)
  • freedom of expression (Article 10)
  • freedom of assembly (Article 11)
  • the right to marry and start a family (Article 12)
  • the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights (Article 14)
  • the right to protection of property (Protocol 1, Article 1)
  • the right to education (Protocol 1, Article 2)
  • the right to participate in free elections (Protocol 1, Article 3)
  • the abolition of the death penalty (Protocol 13)

As you can see from the list, the ECHR is not simply extant to meddle in country affairs; it exists to add a veil of accountability overarching that of government: something which, in normal times, the law does too- but we are not in normal times.

The prime minister himself has broken the law and, but for a £50 fine, escaped punishment. The government as an entity seeks to undermine the NI Protocol which could destabilise the uneasy peace in Ireland and has already led to huge issues across the length and breadth of the UK.
The reason this is so concerning? The law of the land won’t hold the conservatives back from their degradation- but the ECHR just has…

The “Rwanda Plan

The plan to ship refugees off to Rwanda is sick, jingoistic and appeals only to those people who think that genuflecting the Union Jack is the essence of patriotic behaviour, rather than trying to improve the land on which it’s flying. Claims from the likes of Priti Patel that it will deal with traffickers are laughable: those desperate to flee to the UK are not going to be put off by threats of further deportation at tax payers expense- they are regularly fleeing war zones, atrocities, mass murder, truly authoritarian governments, rape, war…

Patel has shown herself to be reductive and appeal to the likes of the above before (we’ve all seen that interview where she defends the death penalty even for innocent people)- but I refuse to believe she does not understand how ridiculous a policy like this is. If you want to stop people crossing the channel unsafely: make safe passage.
Were it possible for refugees to apply for asylum from outside the UK, were it possible for them to travel here safely and be met safely to be processed, were the processing times quicker, the process more humane- this would completely depower traffickers at source. They rely on fear and lack of option. Offer options. Unfortunately, “make it easier” doesn’t read well with those who would read the Daily Mail or the Express with beady eye. They fear a tsunami of people suddenly deciding they don’t like where they are who would flood to the UK’s “easy” immigration system. It wouldn’t happen. Those desperate to flee would continue to flee, they just wouldn’t die on dinghies at sea any more.
But this is the essence of why Patel and her slowly marching army of gormless nationalists are so heinous- and why the “Rwanda plan” is so ineffectual. She knows this. And she does it anyway.

Additionally, as we spiral further into runaway cost of living the indescribable cost of the Rwanda plan boggles the mind. The UK taxpayer is footing the bill for an ineffective, inhumane and racist policy – and a worrying portion of the UK taxpayer wants it.
To those who believe this policy is in any way useful may I remind you that immigration is a complex topic that takes years to understand and glancing through the pages of 3 newspapers that are written simply enough for fourteen year olds to be adept in their verbiage may not actually give you the nuance and expertise you think.

Colin Yeo speaks eloquently on immigration regularly and has pointed out the ugliness of the UK’s immigration system including the fact that it is, in essence, designed to off-put people from staying in the UK, even with legitimate interests like work or family- so if the system works against the so called “legal” migrants, the people we want to attract to the UK like doctors and nurses, like those who will do the menial jobs so many here believe they’re above, imagine how poorly it treats those who we supposedly don’t want to come here.

The reason the Rwanda plan is so heinous is that at its core it carries the strong reminiscence of cattle trucks; packing up the meat to send it to the factory, knowing the whole time what its’ fate is and doing it anyway. Rwanda has faced criticism for its poor human rights record: Patel didn’t even bother to rebuke this but other tory ministers described Rwanda as a country that respects human rights.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people living in Rwanda face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents…No special legislative protections are afforded to LGBT citizens, and same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state, as the Constitution of Rwanda provides that “only civil monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is recognized”. LGBT Rwandans have reported being harassed, blackmailed, and even arrested by the police under various laws dealing with public order and morality.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Rwanda

Brave Rwandans are working to overturn the attitude towards LGBT+ people in Rwanda but this, as we know, takes time and can turn on a dime- since author JK Rowling began her descent into anti trans rhetoric we have seen a huge and disturbing increase in anti LGBT+ hate crime in the UK, not wholly the fault of Rowling but, many consider, as a byproduct of her huge platform normalising hatred against those from the group.

The real plan?

One suspects that the government always knew that the ECHR would intervene in the deportation of these poor souls to Rwanda, and that they hoped for these events so they could mount an effective case for pulling the UK out of the ECHR. They haven’t been deterred from their assault on our human liberties so far, or that of those who come from abroad- but this government are determined to lessen the scrutiny they face and leaving the ECHR would do just this. In conjunction with Dominic Raab’s quest to water down the Human Rights Act to his own liking, it takes a few steps back to see an overarching picture of a government, fervent in its desire to leave the EU to avoid the scrutiny of Brussels, who has placed a blanket of silence on its own citizens ignoring poll after woeful poll about the prime minister’s standing, who have effectively strangled the right to protest and now who wish to leap straight for the throat of our own home grown human rights (protest, voting and voter ID), and those protected by the ECHR. That in conjunction with privatising channel 4 for the crime of speaking critically of them shows a worrying pattern of desperation to avoid oversight in any form.

I frequently find myself rolling my eyes at the endless comparisons to Nazi rhetoric bandied about by others who are deeply entrenched in political discourse, but once you do move back from the rapid heartbeat pulse of daily drudgery pushed by the conservatives through the media- but one cannot underestimate the simple fact that regular citizens under regimes past must have been raising increasing alarms as the swirling and nebulous tendrils of authoritarianism descended through the streets, taking their voices and binding their hands. It is far too easy to wonder as we look around right now, what the endgame for the conservatives is- whether they simply wish to rule on high, pockets fat with tax money from a pliant farmyard of poor folk beneath who cannot speak for fear of reprisals.

Remember this: you are not the government fat cats shirking laws with no recompense. You are not the prime minister dodging from crisis to crisis and refusing to step down out of vapidity or stupidity or some confection of both. Those refugees, strapped to boards and placed, terrified, on an airplane to be sent thousands of miles are you, and there, but for the grace of God and the ever evanescing morality of the tory party, goes you.

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 Is Our Duty To Stand Against Fascism

By Jack Meredith- @politicalwelshy

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am inclined to agree:

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

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

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

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

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

It is our duty to stand against fascism.

Let’s do it.

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.