Tag Archive | Conservatives

Turkey Day – or how a load of trussed-up turkeys voted for Christmas

I’ve tried to avoid politics on this blog, despite being intensely occupied with the state of my country, but today I can’t keep silent. Today I am ashamed to be British, and like many I’m casting about wondering where I might find an exit. The people of Britain have been thoroughly stitched-up, whether they are Scottish, English, Welsh, or from Northern Ireland. Mostly though, it is the English – and I am English – who are the turkeys here.

There are those on the left who are trying to introduce cheer by reminding us of 1992, and how we got through the next five years to end up with Tony Blair’s Pyrrhic victory in 1997. I well remember feeling much the same in 1992 as I do today. I recall telling someone off who had voted Tory and him being astonished that I was so passionate about it. To him it was not of much importance. To me it felt, as today, like the end of the world. Only I can’t be cheered by remembering that because this time it is worse. This time too many policies that can’t be easily reversed are bringing about a dramatic decline in the NHS, in the welfare state, and in the treatment of disabled and jobless people. Not to mention what TTIP, fracking, or scrapping the Human Rights Act will do. Back in 1992 the country still had plenty of heart. Today’s result suggests a lot of English voters have developed such cold hearts that I fear we will never warm them up again.

Although only twenty-four percent of the British population actually voted Conservative, another twelve percent voted for even more hardline and cruel right-wing UKIP. What happened to compassion? Has Mrs Thatcher’s famous phrase ‘there is no such thing as society’ finally taken root in the English consciousness?

We will all pay a price, and those who voted Tory, the turkeys, will not be exempt from the ensuing pain. No one will be able to escape the upcoming cuts. Britain will be a travesty of a country with poor services, police who don’t attend burglaries, a shortage of everything from doctors and nurses to paramedics and teachers, a threadbare so-called ‘safety net’ for people who fall on hard times, with all the time a gang of hecklers on the sidelines, jabbing their fingers at the unfortunate and telling them it’s their own fault.

But any of the turkeys who voted yesterday for the mother of all Christmases could get ill, could become disabled, could lose their jobs. Any of them. So when the turds hit your fan, turkeys, don’t bother gobbling, because it will be too late.

Happy Turkey Day. Gobble gobble.

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Labour’s legacy

Virtually every day I read some Tory MP blaming the Labour Party for every single ill that is now afflicting Britain and in particular, of course, the debt burden. They use dramatic terms that imply that Labour left the country ‘bankrupt’ on a mere whim, without any thought for the consequences. It all makes for good sound bites and seems to be playing well to the gallery, but anyone with any sense knows that had the Conservatives been in power for the past thirteen years the banking crisis would still have happened and they too would have bailed out the banks. The difference between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party on those matters is minor; their policies would have been virtually identical and the Tories would have been as wrong-footed as Gordon Brown when the disaster occurred.

The Conservatives are trying to get across a tough package of spending cuts that no one is going to like. It is in their interests to attempt to shift all the blame to Labour, but I can’t help grinding my teeth every time I hear it, and I can’t help feeling that at some point this strategy is going to lose its momentum. Labour did its best to keep the country going and avoid a depression and that policy probably has cost the country more money than the Tories would have spent, but the Conservative Party needs to beware of going too far in its present cuts, which are not only being implemented to ‘get us out of the mess Labour has left us with’ but also because they are ideologically a part of the Tory ethos.

Labour’s legacy was a country pulling out of recession. Let’s hope the Tories do not catapult us back into one.