First, a warning for snowflakes and adults: This gets a bit sweary, I'm rightly pissed off about what's going on, as well you should be.
While Britain is far from perfect, France isn't perfect either. But some of those quirky imperfections were acceptable and others could be swept under the carpet (Britain or France, there's a lot of messy intertwined history).
I was born British, I still am British, and once upon a time I was proud to be British.
A lot of that changed in 2016, when my identity was torn asunder. A huge part of it, the European side, was ripped away and discarded. With me having absolutely no say in the matter because "it did not concern me". This is apparently what passes for democracy these days.
So I quietly hope for Scottish Independence (a proper thought out one this time!) so that I can have a place to belong to that I can feel proud of. Yes, even if that means wearing a
skirt kilt, trying very hard to not throw up after drinking Irn-Bru and... okay, can we draw the line at haggis? ☺
But even so, I find what is happening in Britain affects me. It shouldn't, I live in France, my life is in France, and I'm probably going to die in France and may do so without ever setting foot in England again (though I have softened, a friend said I should come over for a week and I said "maybe" instead of "no").
So, why does it affect me? Simple. I know people who live in Britain. People I like. And more and more, people I worry for. People I worry about.
I also have an entire childhood of memories of growing up in the south of England. Running around the stones at Avebury, boarding school in West Sussex, playing truant in Arundel, living on my own for the first time in Bridgwater. Memories with vibrant colours and many pleasant carefree days (although, to be fair, that's pretty much my general attitude to life). I think, while I am extremely pissed off about the whole Brexit thing, there's a part of me, buried deep in my heart, that remembers how Britain used to be, and not only misses that but is utterly horrified at trying to reconcile those memories with what's going on now.
To me, it feels like an entire country is being led astray by some very unpleasant people. But not being led astray in the sense of the periodic swings of left to right and vice versa, but more like down a dark alley with a knife pressed to its back.
Today's b.log article is my attempt to put some of those thoughts and feelings into words. Please don't think I'm bashing on Truss because she's a woman, I'm not sexist (I quite liked Angela Merkel and I have absolutely no problem with Sanna Marin letting her hair down). I bash on her because she won which means she's in charge, and she's bloody mental.
But most of all, it's a rather sickening feeling to watch from afar as a country you used to be proud of being a citizen of falls apart, and not even because "times are hard" but mostly because the people were lied to which led them to vote to harm themselves, harm others, harm me, and harm their place in the world. And then times got hard.
It's so fucking stupid.
La Vache Folle a gagné!
Yup. It's official. Liz Truss is the new British Prime Minister. From an electorate of merely 172,437 people (who are predominantly old white male southerners), 60,399 voted for Rishi Sunak and 81,326 voted for Liz Truss.
This isn't a surprise, really. Truss is basically Farage dressed as Thatcher. I can but wonder how many voted for Sunak because Truss has neither the cunning of Farage or the intelligence of Thatcher. In fact, to misquote Johnson himself, the country is now being run by a great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jelly.
So what comes next? Well, Truss has already hinted that tax cuts for the rich were on the way, yacking about the rich pay more tax and that it's not about redistribution. Sadly, I think a reasonable number of the clueless sheep that are working class and would still vote Tory have not thought this through.
Yes, the rich pay more tax.
But the rich earn more. That's why they're rich.
The question is what percentage of their earnings does a rich person pay in tax, versus that percentage a low wage employee pays? I think the answer might shock you. Or maybe even annoy you. There are all sorts of loopholes, clauses, and expenses claims that can be used to turn rich man's pay into highly creative accounting. The same sort of thing where big companies can have a turnover in the billions, but a (taxable) "profit" less than the director gets paid annually.
To add to that, a person on an income of, say, £100K upwards probably isn't really going to notice a difference in their standard of life (they probably gain and lose far more every time the markets wobble).
A low wage worker, on the other hand, absolutely will notice the difference.
A hundred quid is pocket change, versus a hundred quid feeding a family for a week.
Now, the British tend to discuss what is upsetting them over cups of tea rather than huddled over a box of Molotov Cocktails, but then pretty much everybody is used to the government dumping on the unemployed (scroungers!) and northerners (it's grim oop north!) but so long as people had jobs, and their local, and Sky TV, it wasn't a big thing. "Could be worse", people would say.
Now it is worse. Not only is it worse, but it's not just the low income families being affected. This is reaching up into the middle income bracket. Whether they're going to have to make lifestyle changes (like walking the kids to school instead of taking the tank) or whether they're looking at what's going on and starting to wonder if they'll even have jobs come Christmas.
The energy price hike is supposedly affecting energy consuming businesses. Well, in this day and age, what do you consider an energy consuming business? Oh, sure, it's easy to point at places like steel mills and glassworks, but what about data centres and big office buildings? And trust me, if people are feeling this now, what do you suppose is going to happen come the colder months?
Speaking of the colder months, if this is affecting the middle income groups, then think about the low income ones. For them it won't be "walk, don't take the car". It'll be "eat or heat?".
This is what it has become. I can't make snide comments about Brexit, because it's not just Brexit but Covid and Russian aggression. All the hurt is piling in at once, and it's you, the ordinary citizens, that are being expected to take the brunt of it.
Like with those energy companies going bust, and how you're all going to have to pay something like £120 a year because of this. I'm sorry, but what in the name of goddamned hell does that have to do with you? Why is your price going up even more because somebody couldn't run their company?
Are the directors/board in jail? No? Then go after their assets and toss them behind bars and then, and only then consider putting a levy on bills to make up the shortfall.
But, you see - and I'll keep saying this until it sinks in - there's a different set of rules for those at the top. They bugger up, it's a golden handshake. They bugger up, you are the open wallet.
Like I said a few days ago about Sunak presiding over writing off thirteen billion quid in Covid/PPE fraud. Some people had their mouths firmly affixed to the teat of public money to suck out an amount more than the UK's annual net contribution to the EU.
And it got written off.
And guess who's going to ultimately cough up the magic coins to balance the books. Oh, you thought the hike in NI was going to fund the NHS? What happened to all that cash no longer being dumped in Brussels?
Liz Truss appears to be making a lot of promises, but can she deliver anything? It's not a matter of pulling unicorns out of a magic hat. The Tories have been trying that ruse for the past six years, and where are they now? Sitting in dereliction of duty of charge of a broken country with astronomical energy bills that will close down businesses, shit in the rivers and shit on the beaches and shit in Westminster.
And the best bit? Not so long ago you had the ability to say "sod this for a laugh", sell your way-overpriced home, pocket the cash, and bugger off to the south of Spain.
Now, unless you're one of the rich (or, at least rich enough to convince them that you won't be a burden on the country), you're stuck. Even the proverbial rats were able to desert the sinking ship.
The Tories? Well, they've fucked your future and now they're fucking your present.
Before you rag on me for "bashing Britain" (how unpatriotic!) and being a doomsayer, please allow me to point out two truths:
The first is that blind patriotism is the sort of dog whistle nonsense that allows the unscrupulous to get away with far more than should ever have been allowed.
Johnson spent much of this premiership with his dick shoved firmly into the flagpole, and he leaves the country and it's citizens far worse off than they were before. Just like Trump and his MAGA nonsense. Blind patriotism is what helps demagogues thrive.
It is not unpatriotic to recognise that the excrement has not only impacted the ventilation device, it's splattered all over the place and is slowly dribbling down the walls. It is not unpatriotic to point out that this dishonest, corrupt, mendacious shitshow of a government has taken the British people for a ride in order to favour themselves and their friends. Those people are doing quite all right. It's you that's going to suffer for it. You've lost money, you've lost rights, you've lost privileges, and those cockwombles are going to take, take, take until there's nothing left.
The next time prices at the pump jump because
$BULLSHIT_EXCUSE, just wait and see how long it is until a news report states that Big Oil has made record profits; rinse and repeat for Big Whatever (Pharma, Energy, you name it). It's all about the rich getting richer by screwing the ordinary guy. They aren't even subtle, they just don't care any more. Look at what you've all let this government get away with, it has empowered them to piss all over the parliamentary constitution and piss all over you.
Is calling that out unpatriotic?
Secondly, yes. I'm a doomsayer. I think unless things change in a hell of a hurry, people will take to the streets and it will turn violent. Why shouldn't it? After all if people refuse to pay their energy bills because they cannot pay them and are threatened with proceedings, big fines, jail time... what's left for them to lose? I mean, if the person lobbing bricks at the walls of Westminster has already been told they're going to go to jail, then going to jail for lobbing bricks isn't exactly going to be a deterrent.
Remember, the British don't usually protest. And they don't usually riot. What'll get them out on the streets is when hope is gone and there's nothing left but to try a defiant last stand.
It's easy to be dismissive and say "doomsayer!", just as it was easy to be dismissive and say "project fear!".
But, you know what? We weren't wrong about the effects of Brexit, nor the lack of benefits (unless you consider Rees-Mogg throwing you under the bus to be a benefit).
Of course, time will tell, but I have a really bad feeling about this.
Britain needs a change of government. One that's there for all citizens, not just the rich ones. One that's not afraid to stand up and say what needs said, rather than pandering to a foreign media baron (hello Murdoch, y'old git!).
But, whom? That's the question. Who has an actual plan for trying to fix this awful mess?
I'll tell you who doesn't.
The person walking into Number Ten tomorrow.
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|John, 5th September 2022, 20:58|
At least the Patel woman is resuming her place on the back benches. Some small comfort (possibly).
|J.G.Harston, 6th September 2022, 11:46|
A couple of people I know who are Conservative members were thinking: who do we vote for to ensure a rapid fall of the government? I have three friends who left after Boris took over, they certainly aren't going back with Truss and are expecting more to leave.
|Rick, 6th September 2022, 14:10|
Well, that's an interesting twist. Vote for the worst person to ensure failure...
|Andy S, 7th September 2022, 16:06|
I wouldn't fancy the south of Spain in summer since we broke the climate.
We have Braverman as Home Secretary now. There are suggestions that's more of the same only more extreme.
I'm not looking forward to the "tweaks" to the bill of rights and online bill either.
|Anon, 13th September 2022, 00:15|
(Felicity? Marte? Find out!)
- I've been busy, The elephant in the room. (2023/05/30)
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Last read at 20:54 on 2023/05/31.
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