The General Election: “The nightmare before Christmas during and for …”

This is a long rambling post, my first here since the disaster of the general election that saw the now hard right Tories voted into power by a huge majority, including “safe seats” in the North East. The North East would you believe; have they forgotten the minors strike?! That I am shocked would be an understatement, so much so that I needed some time away from social media but cannot get back into doing much until I have had my say. For many it is a distant memory blurred by the seasonal festivities but as the new year arrives the reality becomes even more daunting.

Basically I continue to be enraged by the election result.

I like many people are devastated by the outcome of the election, it has had a profound effect on my mental well being as is indeed the case for many people. I have found it difficult to get back online in any active way, and indeed felt rather like hibernating so to speak, staying home away from people who may have voted into power the most vile, immorally bankrupt government in my lifetime! Time has passed but in the great scheme of things a small amount, and of course the dire consequences of the Tories winning the election has a resounding effect on all our lives – those who are not among the wealthy elite – for years to come. Yes even you who voted Tory.

It is difficult to put into words quite what it feels like to now live in a country where a hard right racist government continues in power with an overwhelming majority, which gives them cart blanch to do what the hell they like. Something I never thought would happen here in the UK.

Why? Why did so many people vote for such an utterly unethical government, the furthest to the right that there has ever been?

It in reality had nothing to do with Jeremy Corbyn as leader despite what the biased right wing media would have you believe, though if you read the main stream media you may well get this impression. Then why? Why did people vote for such a hard right party, particularly working class people who traditionally voted Labour? Of course there were idiot people who did not like Corbyn and one has to ask why the hell not; sadly it says more about those who did not like him and what he stood for than then the man himself. What is not to like… he is compassionate, caring , a pacifist, a vegetarian, and a committed anti-racist. Ask yourself if you voted Tory why you voted for a racist party, for inequality and for injustice, for poverty and homelessness, for cuts to our NHS and privatisation, for cuts to schools and so on? Why did you vote for a party of callous sociopaths who care nothing for the average person? Corbyn wanted a fair deal for all citizens, not just the privileged few. Maybe not all his manifesto policies were doable but his heart was in the right place and he would have done his damnedest to fulfill his electoral promises, such as get all the homeless off the streets by Christmas. Now this Christmas, thousands of homeless people woke up on the cold empty streets of many cities again.

This was our one chance to have a better life for everyone, a better society and a significant step towards a better world as common sense and decency has to start somewhere; as the world descends into chaos of right wing fascism with all its evils, which many died to stop during WW2.

Tory voters: you blew it, you took this chance from millions of people struggling to survive and I mean literally survive. If you had to sleep in the streets in the bitter cold, insecure, vulnerable, with no food, nowhere to wash or even to use the toilet, would you have voted Tory? If your child had to go to school hungry and cold without a winter coat would you have voted Tory? If you were disabled or chronically sick and you had your benefits cut, or got no benefits at all? If were told you were fit for work when you could hardly get out of bed or you had your only means of mobility taken away or you had to wait longer for vital treatment because of NHS cut backs all the while struggling in poverty and isolation, would you have voted Tory? If you were so poor that you had to rely on a food bank to feed your family, would you have voted Tory?

Sadly and as pathetic as it may seem Brexit appears to be the main reason why people voted for the Tories (or the Brexit Party of course), but why? What the hell has Brexit to do with the average person? Nothing, absolutely nothing of any advantage that’s for sure. Ask anyone who voted Tory or voted Brexit to name one real benefit for the ordinary person in the street for leaving the EU. That is if you can bring yourself to do so right now – I and many others are simply too shocked, traumatized – yes not an exaggeration – by the stupidity, the callousness of those who voted to keep the Tories in power to do so.

Unfortunately for many the desperation to leave the EU was never about the economy or sovereignty often used to justify Brexit. The article cited below was written last year, it is still relevant as in my opinion regarding the main reason many voted for Brexit and are desperate to get it done is racism, xenophobia and migration and this has not changed.

Brexit for many people pure and simply was about “wanting their country back”, not wanting immigrants; plain blatant racism. It appears to me that for the ever increasing number of xenophobes and racists this was the deciding factor in voting to leave and consequently voting for the Tories, even when there are so many indications that doing so will harm many of our citizens including those who voted for them. It’s more about bigots and racists stopping foreigners from entering the UK than much else for which these deluded people have sacrificed the greatest achievement here in the UK, the NHS, and abandon the millions of people now living in poverty.

The following article discusses this issue

The Truth About Brexit and Xenophobia
The push to leave the European Union was never about anything but immigration

“Theresa May has fallen back on claiming that her deal will give the U.K. control over its borders, which is “what the British people voted for,” she says. The rest of what she says is waffle, empty verbiage, or just untrue. We have now finally reached the truth about Brexit: It is about our borders, nothing else. “Control over borders” is just a euphemism for controlling immigration. And “controlling immigration” is just a euphemism for xenophobia and racism.
Brexit is about stopping foreigners from coming here.”

“And before you write in to complain, you who voted Brexit but are genuinely not racist or xenophobic, I know. You had good reasons, other reasons, about the economy, laws, sovereignty. So, yes, you are not a racist. But you were misled. It was never about those things. In the end, the U.K. would always have been better off in the EU. It contributed to those laws and always had sovereignty. It was only about the borders, and it was about stopping Conservatives from switching to UKIP.”

Read More:
https://medium.com/s/story/https-medium-com-tswriting-the-truth-about-brexit-e3e5bcdadfbe

If you think Brexit will benefit the average person in the street you are sadly mistaken.

Of the many Brexit cons, few are greater than the idea that this is a fight for the people.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-elite-boris-johnson-eu-referendum-nigel-farage-hate-crime-a8531241.html

Did you vote for five more years of hell?

It is sad and sickening to know that so many people by voting Tory condemned us to five more years of hell, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens

The sick and disabled

The sick and disabled who have had their benefits scrapped, trapping 4 million vulnerable people into poverty while 170,070 disabled people died waiting for decisions on their PIP.  In just one year alone 50,000 sick and disabled people where hit by £30 Tory cuts. In addition many sick and disabled people have had their mobility cars taken away from them.

In the following article disabled activists speak out about the misery of so many years of suffering and cutbacks to disabled people

Tory conference: Disabled activists shame the Tories on the cost of heartless austerity 

They are a disaster. There is something wrong with people who think this is OK.

Read more:
http://www.disabilitynorth.org.uk/tory-conference-disabled-activists-shame-tories-on-cost-of-heartless-austerity/

Nothing is going to change, from day one the Tories have targeted sick and disabled people

Tories use first day back to attack the disabled

“DWP removes option for claimants to choose whether work assessment outcomes are reported to GPs

December 17, 2019

The new Tory government has wasted no time in targeting Britain’s most vulnerable, using its first day in Parliament to backtrack on disability rights.

Yesterday morning the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) removed the option for disability claimants to choose whether the outcome of work assessments is shared with their GP.

It means that the DWP can send letters to doctors telling them not to sign patients’ sick notes if they have been found “fit for work” by the notorious work capability assessments (WCA).”

Read more:
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/tories-use-first-day-back-to-attack-the-disabled/

Below is the Twitter feed of WOW voices with personal stories regarding the impact of Tory austerity for sick and disabled people.

“Read accounts written by disabled people, carers and health professionals on how austerity and cuts have affected them.”

These stories are heart breaking, if you voted Tory, read them and know that you condoned this grave injustice to sick and disabled people by voting Tory on December 12th. Shame on you!

The Homeless

In England alone an estimated 8,000 people live rough on the streets.

There are around 350,000 homeless people – I rather suspect there are many more –  many of whom are sleeping in cold damp streets wrapped only in a filthy sleeping bag, wearing the same unclean clothes, sitting huddled and depressed, cold and hungry. In England alone an estimated 8,000 people live rough on the streets. This shocking figure is likely to rise to 15,000 by 2026 if nothing changes  – which it won’t under the Tories. Their chance for a decent and fulfilling life taken away from them as a result of Tory austerity and the general right wing mentality of a society that condones the accumulation of great wealth by the few at great cost to the many.

If you voted Tory, you voted for this grave violation of people’s human rights, their dignity, their well being and often their very lives.

An estimated 726 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2018.

“A record number of homeless people died last year, in the biggest increase in deaths since reporting began, amid warnings fatalities are likely to be even higher in 2019.”

Read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/01/homeless-deaths-in-2018-rise-at-highest-level-ons

Those living in poverty

In the 5th richest country in the world 14 million people live in poverty including 4 million children, one in three of the population, this number is set to rise: The Big Issue has learned that this number will rise over the next five years as Universal Credit takes hold, increasingly pushing more and more families into poverty.

Read more:
https://www.bigissue.com/latest/child-poverty-in-the-uk-will-hit-a-record-high-in-2019/

Poverty destroys lives and is avoidable, yet here we are with millions of people living in poverty. If you voted for the Tories on December 12th you are responsible, you are complicit, for you have prevented real change from happening in the lives of so many people who like you, like me, like all people deserve better.

Tory voters be sure to read this article, inform yourself of the tragedy of Tory austerity which you have just voted for

Growing Up Poor: Britain’s Breadline Kids review – the lives stolen by poverty

You could call these tragic stories Dickensian – if the word didn’t imply that things would come right in the end

“Eight-year-old Courtney found her first visit to the food bank quite exciting over all, despite the disappointment of discovering that it didn’t dispense victuals in the same manner as a cashpoint does money. She, her mum and her brother walked the two and a half miles from the flat they have been living in since they fled domestic violence seven months ago, and two and a half miles back sharing the weight of the bags between them (“There is a bus, but if you had bus fare you wouldn’t be going to a food bank”). Her mother carried most of the load, but they all bore their share.

They live in Cambridge, the UK’s most unequal city, where a fifth of the population takes home just 2% of its total income. The family is trying to live on child benefit of £5 a day while they wait for their delayed first universal credit payment. They have maxed out their allowance of top-up fuel vouchers from the Trussell Trust, so as the temperature drops below freezing, Courtney empties 45p-worth of coppers out of the china swan on the window sill to see if it’s enough to put the heating on while they wait for Cash Converters to open the next day so a phone can be pawned. “Baby,” says her mother wearily. “There aren’t enough there.”

Read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/dec/02/growing-up-poor-britains-breadline-kids-review-the-lives-stolen-by-poverty

There are 1.9 million pensioners living in poverty

Here in the UK one of the most wealthy nations on Earth, 1.9 million pensioners (16 percent) are living in poverty. That’s about one in six of our senior citizens. It also has to be said that most of those who do not fall into the poverty category are nonetheless struggling to live on the rather mean pension provided by the state.

Poverty in later life

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/money-matters/rb_apr18_poverty_in_later_life

Note that in addition to older people living in poverty after working age the Tories intend to increase retirement age to 75!!!!

Tory’s plan to raise the state pension age to 75 over the next 16 years:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-raise-state-pension-age-18953679?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar 

Here the latest benefit cut for pensioners which will leave many pensioners with a dependent with £70 less

Government to cut £70 a week from thousands of state pensions
For decades the state pension helped people out if they had someone depending on them – that’s about to end seeing thousands of retired Britons lose £70 a week. Who’s affected:

Read more:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/government-cut-70-week-thousands-21132951

A massive increase in food banks

Ten years ago there were barely any foodbanks in the UK. Today, there are more than 2,000.

In the last ten years, cuts to benefits and broken systems like Universal Credit have left people struggling to afford food and rent.

State of Hunger

“Over the last five years, the number of emergency food parcels provided to people in crisis by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network has increased by 73%. No charity can replace the dignity of buying your own food. To help end the need for food banks, the Trussell Trust commissioned State of Hunger – the most authoritative piece of independent research into hunger in the UK to date. Here’s what the research reveals…

State of Hunger research found that people who have been referred to a food bank:

Have an average weekly income after housing costs of just £50

Cannot afford to buy the absolute essentials that we all need to eat, stay warm and dry, and keep clean – with 94% facing real destitution

Read more:
https://www.stateofhunger.org/

The climate crisis

It goes without saying that the Tories will take as little positive action as possible to combat the climate crisis and for big polluters it will be business as usual

Brexit Party and Tories worst for climate change policies, Greenpeace analysis shows

Conservative support for polluting industries, such as aviation, oil and gas ‘at odds with their net zero target’, analysis says

Labour is in hot pursuit of the Green Party when it comes to the quality of the environmental policies laid out in its manifesto, but the Conservatives and Brexit Party are lagging far behind, a new ranking of party policies by Greenpeace shows.

Read More:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-green-climate-parties-brexit-conservatives-greenpeace-a9220271.html

Read the analysis directly from Greenpeace

“… the Party’s continued support for a number of polluting industries, such as aviation, oil and gas, and massive spending commitments for new road-building are at odds with their net-zero target. In many policy areas where the Conservatives originally progressed a green narrative, such as plastics, agriculture, and nature restoration, their policies in these areas have been significantly outflanked by most of the other main parties.”
https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/labours-plans-for-climate-and-nature-score-twice-as-high-as-the-conservatives-according-to-election-manifesto-ranking/

The NHS

Chronic under-funding of the NHS has left thousands living in pain and poverty, waiting for healthcare and hit by benefit sanctions

The cuts and under-funding of the NHS which has caused many deaths and delayed vital operations and increased waiting time in A&E difficulties in getting appointments with GPs and other health care professional. Cuts to mental health services.

Read about the disastrous cuts and changes to our NHS during the last decade under a Tory government

These brutal cuts to the NHS will haunt the Conservatives
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/25/boris-johnson-conservatives-nhs-funding

You can read more about what the Tories have done and will likely continue to do to the NHS on this pre election post:

https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/dont-vote-tory-the-nhs/

Cuts to school funding

Check out this link to see what cuts are likely now the misguided majority have voted the Tories back into power:
https://schoolcuts.org.uk/take-action/

Don’t overlook this link with Information about how years of Tory cut backs have effected your child’s school: https://schoolcuts.org.uk/schools/?coords=54,-3&zoom=6

School Cuts search tool shows starkly how Tories ‘will hit’ your child’s class
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/school-cuts-search-tool-shows-21033256

Islamophobia

The Tories in particular Boris Johnson have openly expressed their racist and anti Islamic views. Racism has sadly entered mainstream politics here in the UK, igniting the racist tendencies of many people who feel that this gives them license to express openly their blatant racism.

The article below takes you through ten years of Tory racism

“From the hostile environment to Windrush and relentless Muslim-bashing, the Conservative record in government shows how comfortable the party is with racism.”

Read more:
The Tories’ Ten Years of Racism

https://tribunemag.co.uk/2019/11/the-tories-ten-years-of-racism

Racism has no place in any civilized society, it should have no place in the UK. Many people deny being racist but if you voted Tory you voted for a party whose polices permeate with racism and persistent Islamophobia

 

The benefit cuts

Frankly I don’t know where to begin

For the past ten years the Tories have decimated the welfare state with cuts to benefits, including a benefit freeze which now prior to the election they say they will remove by 2020 – I will believe that when or if it happens.

The sole purpose of benefit reforms is to remove as many people as possible off benefits including severely ill and disabled people

The government are so determined to strip as many people as possible of their benefits that they have spent 40 million pounds of tax payers money fighting appeals, most of which they lost.

Austerity over the last decade has resulted in misery, poverty, destitution and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

Austerity has been so shocking that it has resulted in three UN reports.

You can read more about the Tories vicious cuts to benefits in this pre election post:

https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2019/12/07/dont-vote-tory-benefit-cuts/

The badger cull

The cull/killing of these helpless animals is described by the Badger Trust as the “largest destruction of a protected species in living memory”

While the Tory manifesto does not mention the cull, they nonetheless have given the go-ahead for culling to be continued and widened. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bovine-tb-authorisation-for-badger-control-in-2019

Labour on the other hand pledged in its manifesto to end the badger cull: “We would work instead on non-lethal interventions to reduce the incidence of disease in cattle.” Also Labour has a separate 50-point animal welfare manifesto separate from its main policy one.

Concerning other issues relating to animals welfare:

While the Tories promise to end “excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening”, such suggests a ban on live export implicitly but not explicitly. Labour was more explicit and promised to ban live exports for slaughter and fattening.

So it looks like much cruelty to animals is likely, including the once protected badgers, to continue and who knows maybe even the return of fox hunting, after all what is to stop them now from doing whatever the hell they like with such a vast majority? While the the Conservatives  have not included a free vote on the issue of fox hunting in their manifesto, I for one simply do not trust them.

You can read more detail concerning animals rights from the manifestos of the main political parties during the election

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/general-election-animal-rights-parties-badger-cull-hunting-fox-pets-policies-a9241361.html

This article explains the Tories intentions to criminalize gypsies and protect illegal fox hunting by the introduction of plans to make trespass illegal:

“…animal protection supporters have also slated the trespass crackdown, accusing the Conservatives of appeasing hunt supporters.

Penny Little, a monitor of the Grafton Hunt in Northamptonshire and founder of a wildlife rescue centre in Oxfordshire, said: “They [the Conservatives] are sneaking in a move that could leave illegal hunting completely unscrutinised, and allow it to continue without even the present, very slight, risk of prosecution.

“There are many monitor and sabs [saboteurs] Facebook pages that show the reality of what is happening every day in our countryside. The violence, obstruction and intimidation meted out by hunts and their supporters can clearly be seen, as well as multiple examples of foxes, deer and hares being illegally hunted.”

Read more:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/general-election-boris-johnson-trespass-law-gypsies-travellers-fox-hunting-manifesto-a9227511.html

Note in the above article: don’t over look the way these trespass laws will effect Gypsies, yet another example of Tory racism

Related links

First they came for the gypsies, disabled, migrants and unions

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2019/12/19/first-they-came-for-the-gypsies-disabled-migrants-and-unions/

Here is what a decade of Tory rule did to just one city

Pictures that have defined nearly a decade of Tory rule in Merseyside
https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/pictures-defined-nearly-decade-tory-17441238

I have to ask why? Why didn’t people vote for Corbyn and the Labour party, after all their election promises would have made life much better for most people. Unfortunately in most cases this is not what politics are about, at least not Tory politics which favour the wealthy elite.

Why did people give up the opportunity for a better life for all of us. Was it ignorance, gullibility,  selfishness, racism, greed …

It is sad that Brexit may have been the defining issue and Labour’s stance on the matter with a further referendum was not popular.

Brexit is a project by the elites, for the elites – the rest of us were never meant to benefit from it

Of the many Brexit cons, few are greater than the idea that this is a fight for the people

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-elite-boris-johnson-eu-referendum-nigel-farage-hate-crime-a8531241.html

Why do people want Brexit?  Yes it may be for the reason cited in the above article but frankly I think racism and xenophobia had a lot to do with it. Plus the crazy notion that somehow Brexit would benefit us all rather than the reality of the situation that Brexit was meant to benefit the wealthy elite.

The Conservatives never have been and never will be the party for the working class. Boris Johnson himself described the working class as “drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless”

Johnson has already betrayed the working people who voted for him:

It took Boris Johnson less than a week to betray all the working class voters who backed him
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2019/12/17/it-took-boris-johnson-less-than-a-week-to-betray-all-the-working-class-voters-who-backed-him/

Don’t be depressed about the Tories, fight back!

The anti-Tory resistance has begun. No prize for guessing the city that’s leading the way.

Please Sign Brexit Petition

Firstly please note the following concerning this blog

I have not been posting to this blog now for many months with the exception of one entry in November which was accidentally published as a result of being scheduled to do so automatically. There are a number of reasons, many of them personal and not really suitable to explain within the context of a blog of this nature .Hopefully I am back on-line for a while but posts are unlikely to be regular after the publishing of the ones which I have written previously. Some of these posts which I hope to publish in the next few days or weeks may seem a little out of date, but who knows I often get comments from posts published as much as four years ago.

Apologies for not visiting follower’s blogs which I hope to do in the very near future or not responding to or publishing comments, all of which I hope to rectify as soon as possible. My first post after this long absence concerns Brexit, if you agree please read, sign and share the petition and take other suggested actions, this may be the last opportunity to have your say

Petition to stop Brexit

Right now here in the UK there is much mayhem concerning Brexit. UK residents only may sign.

Please sign the following petition if you consider that the UK should remain in the EU.

Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.
The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/241584

This may be your only opportunity to have your say as the government flatly refuse to have another referendum. Another people’s vote should take place as so much has changed and many people now think differently about leaving the EU

There are over 2 million signatures so far, if you agree please add yours and share widely. The more signatures the better of course.

The government are meant to consider debating all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures.

Also consider writing to your MP and urge him or her to support this petition or call for a referendum:

https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Please join The Peoples March today March 23rd

For more details about the Put It To The People march – and to sign up – please visit

https://www.peoples-vote.uk/

Related Link

We stand on the brink of a historic, national collapse – it’s time to take to the streets to stop Brexit
The Put It To The People march on 23 March will make the case for more democracy impossible to ignore

Brexit is a crisis on a scale that far surpasses our last major international embarrassment, in Suez in 1956. Economically, politically, culturally, diplomatically and in terms of security, leaving the European Union is an unprecedented disaster that will send the United Kingdom on an inescapable downwards trajectory.

Read More

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-final-say-peoples-vote-brexit-march-protest-second-referendum-david-lammy-a8781716.html