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.