I never thought I’d say a Tory victory feels like Christmas, but it really does. It’s just that we, the electorate, are the turkeys.
No doubt we’ll get what we voted for – five more years of the same, with a little bit more thrown on top. So let’s just remind ourselves what that’s going to look like.
First of all there’s that little matter of £12bn worth of cuts to the welfare system which the Conservatives have kept, wisely, under their hats. This will hit hardest the people who can least afford it – the poor, the disabled, the disadvantaged. The death toll due to welfare cuts will continue to mount. But never mind, hey? At least unemployment will continue to fall as more poor people are forced into unfair and inadequate contracts. In turn the number of food banks will continue to rise – already up from 56 to 445 under the Tories – as they desperately try to keep up with spiralling poverty.
Inequality will increase as the Tories, without the steadying hand of the Lib Dems, will pursue their policy of tax breaks for the rich and cuts to the poor, even more rampantly now. But that’s okay, because this is trickle-down economics where we all feel the benefits of the top 1 per cent getting richer, right?
We will see the continuing creeping privatisation of our health and education systems with more state-owned schools sold off as academies. The NHS will continue its slow death by a thousand cuts as one-by-one its parts are auctioned off to private businesses. But hey, it’ll still be free at the point of use.
Cuts will continue to fall heavily on local councils and public services like the police, fire and prison services, which are already stretched dangerously thin. But that’s okay because we can hand over large parts of their responsibility to private companies like the security firm G4S, which will be nice. And at least we won’t have to pay more taxes… probably.
We’ll get a referendum on Europe so we can continue to pull up the drawbridge on the rest of the world and also free ourselves of all that ridiculous EU meddling – like the Human Rights Act, which the Tories want to scrap. Won’t it be good to be free of all that tedious bureaucracy? Although we might keep the good bits, like TTIP, which will hand over swathes of our national sovereignty to multi-national corporations. But that’s okay because foreigners are alright as long as they’re big businesses; it’s only the poor ones we don’t like.
More power to big corporations and business as usual for the banks will be the watchwords. Because, hey, if we’re too unfair on them, they’ll all leave the country and that would be the equivalent to Armageddon, right… right?
Perhaps worst of all, we have seen a premature end to the brief flowering of plurality in our politics and the first steps towards greater democracy. With the coalition government we at least had the Lib Dems holding the Tories back from their more rampantly unfair policies. Now they have free rein and a far right able to exert more pressure with the threat of defection to an increasingly popular – but unfairly represented – Ukip.
It seems our brief flirtation with multi-party politics, which galvanised so many more people to vote, is now over. But that’s okay, now we will have a strong hand on the tiller, right? Things will get done, right? Yes indeed, things will get done – see above.
So anyway, Merry Christmas everyone! There’s a great big carve up coming our way! I might start basting myself now…
- More about:
- UK politics