I accuse

I accuse

One definition of Evil is, “to undertake or support an action that will knowingly cause suffering and harm to others”.

After more than ten years in power, a growing number of people in Britain know only too well the effects of the Conservative Party’s ideology and most would describe their behaviour and policies by that definition of Evil. It’s no surprise that our current Government, led by Boris Johnson, is widely condemned as being the most inept and corrupt in modern British history. And the outlook is bleak; researchers at Sussex University’s Centre for the Study of Corruption have warned that the “absolute failure of integrity at No 10” will have serious consequences for the UK if allowed to fester.

For every action there are consequences and when consequences arise, there must be accountability. Therefore, I accuse those who voted for The Conservatives of being equally responsible as the politicians they elected for the disgraceful state of this once proud nation.

Every few years members of Parliament present themselves for election as a nod to Democracy so, in theory, we get a Government the majority of citizens democratically elect, a Government we deserve. But do we? By “we”, I mean the entire country, not just those who put an X in the Conservative box. Understandably, people support and vote for politicians whose moral integrity and social outlook most closely match their own. This being the case, it is shocking that those who voted for the current administration knew, or should have known, the Conservative’s appalling historical track record of mismanaging the economy (particularly under Prime Minister Thatcher), cronyism, hollowing out local services, escalating poverty and inequality, and aggressive asylum policies, amongst other matters of critical significance to the British public.

In a very direct sense, people who voted Conservative have demonstrated their own “absolute failure of integrity”.

In the run-up to both the 2010 and 2017 general elections, facts around the performance and integrity of previous Conservative governments should have been enough to set alarm bells ringing for anyone with an ounce of social conscience. Everyone knew the nature of Conservatives, that they are generally untrustworthy even beyond the usual standard for politicians. It was common knowledge their leader is a buffoon and a liar. Everyone knew of their greed, their self-serving corruption, their entrenched cruelty and the fact that they target the weakest and most vulnerable in society. We knew about Theresa May’s Operation Vaken and the “hostile environment.” We knew of their mission to privatise public services, most notably the NHS, and their ambition to open up British pharmaceutical markets to the impenetrable cartel of US suppliers.

All the information required to check up on them, and every other politician, was, and remains, publicly available. Ignorance was absolutely no excuse.

In mitigation, it must be said that the Conservative Party’s propaganda machine has always been a powerful weapon against honesty by gilding dreadful policies and entrenching falsehoods (Brexit etc.). A case in point is the myth, circulated ad nauseam by their supporters, that Conservatives are the most dependable custodians of the British economy. The fact is, by almost every measure, their track record since WWII demonstrates significantly less competence than Labour. For example, since 1955 there have been 14 recessions or contractions, 10 of which have been under Conservative stewardship. Let that sink in for a minute. It is also worth reminding ourselves that the global financial crash of 2008 was to some extent precipitated by Prime Minister Thatcher’s ( and US President Reagan’s) deregulation of the financial sector during the 1980s.

If people were prepared to research and listen, they would have had all the information needed to make an informed decision about where NOT to make their mark on the ballot paper.

71% of the British electorate did NOT vote Conservative.

Putting to one side the aberrations of our electoral system, who could blame the “Honourable Members” for crowing their victory from the rooftops, after all, they were “democratically” elected! There were parties galore in Westminster even as Bris Johnson decided it was perfectly alright to break national and international laws (Brexit and Northern Ireland).

For an encore, the great British Government was sanctioned by the United Nations for significant breaches of Human Rights relating to its treatment of disadvantaged citizens. There was no apology or even a promise to do better. Nothing. Instead, they fed their obsessive ideology by stepping up bombing raids in Syria and endorsing oil and gas exploration in some of the most ecologically fragile landscapes on Earth. They promoted arms sales to Saudi in order to kill men, women and children in Yemen and elsewhere. They hiked university tuition fees (again), whitewashed the Windrush scandal, sidestepped Grenfell, defunded key National Health services, expedited privatisation of national assets (Prison services, Probation services, Forensics, parts of the BBC etc.), entrenched the Bedroom Tax, cut Legal Aid, reduced or redacted Jobseeker funding, cut education funding, defunded family and junior doctors, defunded early years childcare, jeopardised the Human Rights Act, scrapped bursaries for nurses, sought to revoke citizens’ right to privacy (Investigatory Powers Bill), sought to further restrict workers’ rights (Trades Union Act), slashed green subsidies, scrapped child poverty targets, froze public sector pay (this list is by no means exhaustive), many of their policies have been considered illegal by the High Court but were nevertheless railroaded through Parliament against the popular will. And finally, according to Lord Sumption and others, they “exercise[ed] coercive powers over citizens on a scale never before attempted” by denying MPs (and the House of Lords) the right to scrutinise their emergency COVID plans by illegally closing Parliament.

It’s hardly surprising that there is a broad consensus among longstanding experts in economics and sociology that (even before Covid-19) the national economy and social fabric of Britain had been so severely damaged by Coalition and Conservative Government Austerity policies [Tory ideology] it is difficult to envisage when, or if, Britain might recover. In the year 2018/2019 alone more than £100 billion was suppressed from the economy.

Governments act in our name both at home and abroad. Ministers represent each and every one of the nation’s citizens whether we voted for them or not, that’s their role, and it’s a responsibility they chose to take on. Is it OK for them to behave in such an evil manner?

The individuals who voted for them, whether misguided or purely malicious, are equally responsible.

You must do better next time.

Comment below or write to me: brainspark@rivenrod.com

© Rod McRiven 2017

Photo by: Fernando Cortes
Sources: World Economic Forum, Office of National Statistics, London School of Economics, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Internationalist, UK Parliament, Erich Fromm, Lord Sumption

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