Despair, despair, oh despair!
Just a few days ago, I was hanging on to the desperate hope that we might actually get rid of the Tories and have a Labour government. Failing that, I would have settled for a hung parliament where, although frustrating, checks and balances are still part of everyday life. I now know how the sensible people in America must have felt when Trump won the presidency. We have a sexist, racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, lying, elitist Etonian retard in charge of us. People voted for him! Ordinary people!
I know Corbyn isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but he was the victim of relentless vilification in the appalling mess that we have as printed media. The less said about Social Media the better. Huge swathes of the population actually believe that he is a terrorist sympathiser because they are unable to read beyond misleading and twisted headlines. Doctored photos and misinformation put him in the same place as some seriously dodgy people. However, there are just as many photos of Prince Charles with those same people. While Corbyn was openly meeting with Sinn Fein to try and mediate in some way over the troubles in Northern Ireland, Maggie Thatcher was secretly meeting with the IRA. That seems to be conveniently forgotten. His record as a peace-maker simply cannot be challenged, but it can be lied about, and it was. You can’t forge peace without talking to those who are engaging in conflict in the first place. It’s not possible. And it seems bizarre that someone should be criticised for trying.
I don’t know why ordinary people really thought that the most extreme right wing cabinet that we’ve ever had in this country would be good for them. The evidence to the contrary is there to see. Try claiming benefits or getting a doctor’s appointment or negotiating hospital. Maybe some of the guys sitting on the path in the pissing rain with a black beanie in front of them are not genuinely homeless, but I know a few of them and their stories are heartbreaking. They simply can’t get a start. And who on earth would choose to do that? Councils across the entire country are facing bankruptcy through lack of funding. We’ve no police, no nurses, people are dying in ambulance queues at A&E, there are no resources for kids in school; some are closing on Fridays to save money. I know the Tories have promised to put all this right but why would they? They did it in the first place and now they have your vote. They don’t have to do anything for five years. They can even tell the truth for a while (though they might find it hard to break the habit).
I thought maybe the most damning things about the Tories were the Russian cover-up, the little boy lying on the floor in hospital and Johnson’s absolute refusal to be held to account over anything. And yet, I’ve heard people accuse Corbyn of being funded by the Russians (why would they ever do that?) The poor little boy was written off as a stunt despite the hospital confirming that it was true and apologising. And Johnson’s supporters just thought it was funny when he hid in a fridge and his aide told the journalist to fuck off on live TV. Or words to that effect. He definitely said fuck, as did Johnson regarding British businesses. The enormous number of cock-ups, blunders, offensive comments and crass stupidity has been utterly ignored by the mainstream media. It has been down to individuals to show the truth and that truth has been utterly swamped by misleading social media stories. Johnson turned up at the cenotaph looking like he’d just finished his last line of coke and a drunk monkey had dressed him. He then placed his wreath upside down. What did the press say? Nothing. I’m old enough to remember when Michael Foot was vilified for wearing a donkey jack to the cenotaph by that same press. It was in fact a very expensive short coat that his wife had bought from Harrods. Even the Queen Mother complimented it. That didn’t bother our right wing press though. The jacket is on display at The People’s History Museum in Manchester and it is very smart indeed.
But just think if Corbyn had done all those things that Johnson has done during the election campaign and before. He would have been murdered. It’s hard to imagine that the loss could have been greater but it would have been. Johnson insults women, muslims, gay people and black people. He had the police called to his property over what sounded like a somewhat violent exchange with his squeeze. He doesn’t know how many kids he has, has been sacked for lying on numerous occasions and organised a beating up of a reporter. Corbyn, however, runs an allotment, has campaigned for peace all his life, cannot tolerate poverty and is a jam-making vegetarian. And yet it’s Johnson who is the ‘man of the people’. You couldn’t make it up.
So what do us neoliberal, left-wing snowflakes do now? I guess the fight goes on. We now have five years of a Tory majority and that quite honestly fills me with dread. I’ll probably be okay because I’m knocking on a bit now, have no career to nurture and am already drawing on some of my pensions. The young people of this country though: my children and my grandchildren, I fear for them. It’s already hard. My first house cost me just over double my annual salary. Today, a first house costs somewhere in the region of ten times an average annual salary. I don’t see that improving under the Tories.
It seems that politics has now become something different to what it used to be. In the past, bending the truth a little, spinning as it came to be known, was tolerated if frowned upon. Now we have entered the world of dark arts and lies. Fact is no longer held in any sort of esteem. The Tories renamed one of their websites ‘Factcheck.uk’ and also ran another site that they called ‘Labour Manifesto’. Both sites carried outrageous falsehoods but, somehow, that isn’t the worst of it. The fact that they consider themselves serious politicians but feel completely comfortable about spreading complete untruths is more than worrying. We have always followed behind the USA in many ways but this is one that I hoped we would escape. It seems not to be. I am fed up with having to navigate across several different platforms in order to find out what the most likely story is. Most people, as I said earlier, can’t even be bothered to move beyond a headline or meme.
It is because of this mass manipulation that the election is now being called illegitimate. It is because of this mass manipulation that people are claiming that the election was rigged. It is because of this mass manipulation that there has been rioting on the streets since the result was announced. Corbyn has given young people a voice and they are not happy with the way that they’ve been treated. I hope it doesn’t happen, but I fear that we may be moving in a direction such as France where the elected government is not accepted by the people. They have only themselves to blame. For every person who can’t be bothered to move beyond the hype and the misinformation and lies, there is another who can, and will. This is why the right wing don’t like the prols to be educated. Their biggest nightmare is an electorate that understands critical theory. There have been many comparisons between how the right have run their campaigns and the how the right behaved in the thirties in Germany. There is a difference though. Maybe half our population can be fooled into believing what they are told by shameless politicians, but the other half can’t. And it will be those who push for a real change in society.
So maybe Corbyn did make a bit of a hash of it. Maybe the granddad image didn’t help, or the bicycle, or the jam-making or the allotment. But one thing that he has succeeded in is giving voice to the young and the politically motivated. We didn’t get what we wanted this time but the days of the right wing charlatans are seriously numbered. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel after all.