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After long silence

There are days when silence is the only answer. I've had a lot of those lately. There's not a lot to say when everything seems to be falling to pieces on all sides. And what use are the words of the powerless anyway?

But here's the thing. Today we were presented with a summary of Our Great Leader's Five Year Plan manifesto for our all-new, all-shiny, back to the 1850s Britain.
Our borders will be ironclad, to keep out anyone who isn't just like us.
Because this country should work for everyone.
Our schools will be streamed, divided and reshaped to ensure that social barriers not only remain in place but become harder to climb, and that only the children of the privileged can be certain of a rounded education, while the rest -- the majority -- are inculcated from as early as possible with a sense of their own inadequacy, stupidity and inconsequence.
Because this country should work for everyone.
Foreign-born workers will be sent away, hampered, demonised and blamed, in the name of jobs for locals -- even if the places they work for depend on them and cannot function without them, because, well, umm....
Because this country should work for everyone.
Firms will be forced to list the nationalities of their employees, and universities deprived of students; while landlords will be forced to spy on tenants.
Because this country should work for everyone.
All European laws will be signed into British law, so Mrs May's government can repeal all and any they wish, including protections for workers, LGBT people, people of colour, people with disabilities, women, children... anyone who can't afford the best lawyers.
Because this country should work for everyone.

And in return... There are airy promises of more medical training places -- but no mention of funding for these, or of doing anything about the huge debt burden education now places on students.
Firms will be told to employ locals. But they will not be told pay a livable wage (a real one, not the fake one of Osborne), or to offer decent working conditions. Zero hours contracts will not be outlawed.
Mrs May has lots of words about fairness, but she promised no action against major tax evaders, the use of off-shore havens, the corrupt practices employed by the wealthiest to avoid not only tax but all other forms of civic duty also. She made no move to close done the channels of influence that allow the richest privileged access to the halls of power. She made no move to put the brakes on Jeremy Hunt's wrong-headed attack on junior doctors, or the wider assault on the NHS. Her ministers have made promises left, right and centre to continue subsidies for large and influential groups that benefited from the EU -- but not to the smaller and less powerful ones (like the whole of Wales. Huge agribusinesses matter. But Wales does not). I have doubts that some of these groups will see these promises honoured in full -- but insofar as any do, it will, I strongly suspect, only be those at the very top of the wealth pyramid. The ones related to members of her cabinet, the ones who bankroll her party, the ones whose opinions Matter.

Because make no mistake, Mrs May's manifesto is for the few and not the many. This is a manifesto for right wing upper and upper middle class southerners, Daily Mail readers, and pirate capitalists. She offers money for new houses -- but her hoyusing minister Gavin Burwell is suggesting this be achieved by removing minimum size requirements on new builds. And she made no mention of clamping down on exploitative practices employed by some landlords, of ensuring tenants' rights and safety, of introducving fair rents in major cities. Tenants are not people. Only the rich are people.

Just before he ran away to regroup on 24th June, Boris Johnson said of the referendum result that you can't just ignore 16 million people. But -- as with so much else -- he was wrong. Mrs May can. Liam Fox can. David Davies and Jeremy Hunt can. May was theoretically in the Remain camp, but no trace of that can be seen. And it's not just remainers. The poor are not people. Tenants are not people. The ill, those with disabilities, those who are not British-born, those who are not southern, those who are not old enough to vote, those are not Perfect Little Englanders, are not people.

According the the Ashcroft polls, attitudes amongst the leave camp did not simply map against Euroscepticism (and plain Euroscepticism is not an inherently bad thing: the EU is not perfect, and there are serious concerns). Amongst those polled, the majority also wanted women's rights reduced, social liberalism rolled back, and, yes, grammar schools.

There was nothing in the referendum about grammar schools or about non-EU nationals -- yet here are the measures, pandering to the the kind of reactionary sentiments that the hugely wealthy owners of the right wing press espouse. This is the beginning, not the end.

Remember that some of the wealthy backers of the leave campaign want maternity rights rolled back, because protection for women with children costs businesses money. There is a wedge aimed at the heart of our society, controlled by plutocrats and Big International Money.

We can, eventually, vote out a government. But the Murdochs and the Desmonds and the Greens are accountable to no-one. And they are buying control of the world.

Skirt of the day: blue tiered.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 5th, 2016 07:08 pm (UTC)
So how do you think I'm feeling having fought for over thirty years for the few rights we have managed to gain? :o(
Oct. 5th, 2016 07:39 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking of you, too. It's scary.
Oct. 6th, 2016 11:24 am (UTC)
Truly scary- and if they destroy our marriage of ten years (after a relationship of thirteen- we celebrate twenty five years next year) what happens to my 'normal' husband's human rights in all this even if I'm weird and expendable?

Oh wait! He married someone weird and expendable so he doesn't count either! :o(
Oct. 6th, 2016 11:53 am (UTC)
That's usually how it works, sadly.
The same hard right that is now running the Tories also have some worrying ideas on mental health. I'm waiting for my compulsory badge as a non-person with a psychiatric condition -- for my own good, of course, just like the now-introduced scheme for registering the nationality of school pupils.
Oct. 6th, 2016 02:34 pm (UTC)
Were I still teaching, I'd be in trouble for refusing to have anything to do with it!!
Oct. 5th, 2016 07:22 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. This is what the looming Trump promises, too. I feel like we've all actually fallen into one of those horrible dystopian novels, only I'm not the young hero, I'm the old, disabled person who's an example of the horror.

I hope something can be done for Britain before too much damage occurs.
Oct. 5th, 2016 07:39 pm (UTC)
You may not get Trump: fingers crossed!
Oct. 5th, 2016 08:49 pm (UTC)

But you're not powerless at all - you can stop THAT dystopia with your vote, and in just a few weeks. 

Oct. 5th, 2016 09:19 pm (UTC)
I sure hope Hillary wins. I'm in California, so she's likely to take the state. (I'm certainly voting for her.) It's the other states that worry me.
Oct. 5th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)

Oh, me too.  I've had some very depressing conversations with American expats planning to give their postal votes to boutique candidates (and in Florida ffs!), and trotting out the 'Crooked Hillary' narrative straight out of Fox news.  Hopefully the last 10 days have provided the hard cold light into the furure they need to grow a sense of responsibility.  A month is a long time in politics, but k.b.o. etc.  I've been reading a lot of Nate Silver, it helps me stay sane.

Oct. 6th, 2016 03:16 am (UTC)
In Iowa, so I am planning to do my bit here to keep Trump from happening!
Oct. 6th, 2016 05:18 pm (UTC)
They as Brits can't but Karen and I, even from Estonia can. My ballot was sent back to New York more than a week ago. The real challenge is to get everyone who can - out to vote. There are enough of us to defeat that brain-dead thug, but WE MUST ALL VOTE!!!
Oct. 5th, 2016 09:32 pm (UTC)
I am deeply sorry.
Oct. 6th, 2016 11:53 am (UTC)
Oct. 5th, 2016 10:43 pm (UTC)
It's very dispiriting, the direction so many countries are going. I fear for my own; it feels like a bad dream, that such a clown could make it this far. Common sense and compassion seem to have taken a holiday. :(
Oct. 6th, 2016 11:54 am (UTC)
They do. It's very worrying.
Oct. 6th, 2016 01:40 am (UTC)
Can I borrow your skirt? 'Cause we're going to need it rsn. No matter who wins the US Presidential election, we'll be stuck with this upsurge in bigotry.
Oct. 6th, 2016 11:56 am (UTC)
The skirt is a gem, from the wonderful Holy Clothing, but currently unavailable, sadly.
Oct. 6th, 2016 08:16 am (UTC)
To a lot of Tories, people who aren't like them don't seem to count as people at all. We are just encumbrances, possibly exploitable ones, to the mission of making the world right.
Oct. 7th, 2016 02:55 pm (UTC)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is what it must have felt like living in 1930s Germany.
Oct. 7th, 2016 05:19 pm (UTC)
It feels very frightening.
Oct. 9th, 2016 08:20 am (UTC)
This. As they say.

We also saw the start of Our Beloved Leader's plan to opt us out of the Human Rights Act, albeit from the mouth of A Soldier, rather than herself. Because, in a country that works for everyone we won't need rights, will we?

At the risk of becoming an ostrich, I'm trying to focus on the good stuff, no matter how small. So this week I was cheered by:
1) the fact that more PV than coal-derived energy is now generated in the UK
2) the realisation that if we lock all of UKIP in a room together they'll just wipe themselves out.
Oct. 9th, 2016 05:41 pm (UTC)
UKIP appear to be adopting the BNP playbook: I await with bated breath the news that Farage has in fact been an undercover cop all along.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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