It’s almost as if there wasn’t an election last week at all.
Theresa May called that election and fought it on the claim that she could provide “strong and stable” leadership. What did she give us? Weak minority government, uncertainty, and plummeting business confidence.
Now I could blether on here about how the pathetically weak Tories are being propped up by terrorist sympathisers, with potentially serious consequences for the peace in Northern Ireland. I could talk about how a collapse in the peace would likely mean a collapse of May’s government as well. That has all been covered pretty well already though. What I want to talk about is the utter delusion at the heart of the Tory party.
Since the election, we’ve had Theresa May give what can only be described as a “victory speech” outside number 10, a cabinet reshuffle where hardly anyone got reshuffled, and today they’re talking about “pruning” their manifesto. Because obviously, the public are just a bit miffed about a couple of minor manifesto points. It’s as if they haven’t even noticed there was an election, or that a very large percentage of the British public rejected their entire message.
The Tories seem content to keep calm and carry on, under the delusion that they lost their majority because the people were a bit unhappy about some of the things they put in their manifesto, but they are just that; delusional. They lost their majority because their entire core ideology is dead. Maybe they haven’t realised it yet, and neither have some of the public, but a very large and growing number of us have, particularly the younger demographics. The Tory’s core ideology is of course neoliberalism, and its bastard child; austerity.
During the election campaign, over a hundred of the country’s leading economists signed an open letter to the public condemning Tory economic policy, and austerity in particular. They said it is damaging the economy, preventing growth, and urged the public to vote for Labour’s vision of investment based growth instead. Of course it wasn’t even mentioned in 90% of the (blatantly right-wing, Tory supporting) news outlets in this country. To quote the Nobel Prize winning economist, and former head of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, writing in the Guardian;
Austerity has not only damaged the European economies, including the UK, but actually threatens future growth.
It is remarkable that there are still governments, including here in the UK, that still believe in austerity.
Or, to put that in pictorial form for you:
Austerity is like a pet zombie that the Tories are keeping animated by letting it feed on poor people. They have a warped belief that the zombie is somehow going to make everything better, instead of just keeping the poor too scared to leave their houses.
Now a cynic might say that the Tories aren’t delusional at all. They might say that the Tories know fine well that austerity doesn’t work, and that it is damaging the economy to the detriment of the vast majority of people in Britain. They might say that the Tories don’t care as long as it works to enrich themselves and their billionaire chums. And you know what? They’d probably be right.
And so here we are again. Another Tory government for another five years, propped up by some even more right wing nutters. Why? Because half the people of England (and some deluded “union at any cost” Scots) voted for it again, that’s why. Those people voted to let the Tory austerity zombie continue to munch on them and their kid’s futures, while shitting gold for the elite to scoop up, because they either believe the discredited, factually vacant nonsense printed in the press about Corbyn “taking Britain back to the 70’s”, or they don’t care as long as the zombie is wrapped in a union flag.
Some people in Scotland know that austerity is dead, but they cling to the union believing it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the UK realises it too. They think Corbyn will win the next election and save us with a big wall of socialism, and everything will be OK. We can all live happily together in a big, progressive, union compound. They’d be right for a while, but here’s the thing: As long as we remain in the union, sooner or later the Tories would be back, reanimating the corpse and getting their poop scoops out. It would be only a matter of time before the large, right-wing contingent in England started to get nostalgic for conservatism again. Wanting to stay in the union means you are happy to put up with the return of conservatism every ten years or so, and all the zombies it brings with it.
Only independence for Scotland can put two in the head of this thing and put it down for good.