2 days ago, the country voted, by a small majority, to allow welfare cuts to continue, wages to remain frozen, and corporations to win, win, win while shafting their workers with zero hours contracts and abusing the tax system. It was a miserable day. And it pissed down with rain too. Not the ‘fine rain that gets you really wet’ but huge, dark rolling clouds that sent down raindrops strung together like blades. You couldn’t find a more apt metaphor for the future of our country.
I once read an article in The Economist describing graduates of business schools as the ‘agents of the apocalypse’ but I think that now also applies to this country’s new administration. This is a party so lacking in compassion that they would rather put their arms dealer friends before human rights, rather protect the favourable tax status of their elite networks than raise money for safety nets like social housing, legal aid and the NHS.
The letters pages of The Independent and The Telegraph newspapers spoke volumes. The Independent decided to print letters reflecting dismay at the death of the state, but it was the Telegraph that really brought home the bile that the media has thrown at Labour and the Liberal Democrats. They even chose to print a letter describing the 56 new, democratically elected MPs for Scottish constituencies as ‘irrelevant’. Charming, don’t you think? To say that the media has been hostile to anyone other than the Conservatives would underplay just how relentlessly the discourse of fear has been used. Private Eye has at least tried to remain critical of all political parties and I would urge anyone to buy it to read the truth about what is routinely covered up and unreported by mainstream press.
And then there is The Times. Where do we even begin with them? They reported today that the new government will seek to abolish the Human Rights Act. There’s no need for backroom deals anymore, they can be as open as they like and act with complete impunity now. Mark Steel is crestfallen, dumbfounded and disbelieving. I just feel sick.