They say “Comedy is Tragedy plus time.” I wonder, does how funny things become correspond to the level of tragedy or the amount of time? In 50 years, will we look back on this time and smirk a little? In 100 years, will we be rolling on the floor laughing? Because looking around, the situation right now is fucking tragic.
The (still) rising cost-of-living, supply chain crisis, food insecurity, the ever-widening wealth gap, stagnant wages, strikes, healthcare crisis, climate crisis, energy crisis. We have a government that is responsible for about 90% of the mess we’re in, and what’s worse, they did it by design. As far as the Tories are concerned, it’s all going according to plan.
They started in 2010 with the sword of Austerity, covered in the sweetly poisoned syrup of ‘the Big Society.’ The rhetoric boiled down to ‘communities need to pull together because the government isn’t going to fund anything anymore.’ They drew the line between rich and poor. Then Brexit came along and further fractured the country. Free from the constraints of the EU, the Tories put a vacuum hose at the top of the British economy and set it to overdrive, sucking all the money into the pockets of the 1%. Where did all the money come from? It came from Public Sector pay rises that were below the rise in cost-of-living, it came from cuts to benefits and restructuring the benefits systems, it came from failure to increase minimum wage for the private sector. Then they got down to some serious gouging. They lifted the cap on what energy companies could charge their customers. They introduced Zero Hours contracts, so employers didn’t need to offer workers benefits, or even steady hours.
Then 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic came along and made everything so much worse. Well, worse for most people. After ten years of gouging the public purse, they slipped into Pandemic Profiteering with practiced ease. They gave million pound PPE contracts to cronies and donors who fulfilled their obligations with faulty equipment and broken promises. They restricted and isolated the public, imposing fines on people meeting in the park, all the while have regular parties at No 10.
Irony does not count as ‘Funny.’ Neither does Hypocrisy.
Now, with the Economy in a tailspin, they are encouraging us all to get second jobs, ignoring the fact that many people already have second and even third jobs just to get by. I can see why the Second Job plan makes so much sense to MPs, as most MPs already have second jobs as lobbyists or Board Members for companies that need government favours. In fact, Tory MPs have earned an extra £15.2 million since 2019. And that’s just what they showed receipts for.
Absurdism does not count as Funny either.
All signs point to things getting worse before they get better. The government is seeking to impose Anti-Strike legislation for Essential Workers. You know, the ones whose roles are too important to allow them to strike, but not important enough to pay properly, like nurses, healthcare workers, teachers, rail workers. At the same time, the Government is refusing to negotiate on fairer pay rises. Honestly, the Tory government is so myopically self-important; they don’t understand that ‘Clapping for Carers’ does not pay the bills. In fact, they wonder why people didn’t clap for MPs.
Also on their Totalitarion To-Do list; Voter ID laws. An unnecessary impediment to voting to combat a crime that doesn’t happen. Most of the IDs the government considers valid are readily available to seniors, ie: people prone to voting Conservative. Invalid IDs include Student IDs or 18+ Oyster cards. The things that are already in the pocket of every young person, coincidentally the people most likely to vote for more progressive ideas.
The Government’s Retained EU Law Bill would see thousands of EU laws, retained after Brexit struck down from British Law. These include worker protections like paid Food standards, housing standards, Holiday, paid sick leave, working time regulations, agency worker regulations, part-time worker regulations. Basically, it a regulation inconveniences Business owners and protects workers, it will be up for grabs, unless it is separately enshrined in British law. It means the Government get to choose which laws they follow, and discard or alter the rest. Call me paranoid, but I don’t trust this government to NOT screw me over if it puts even a few extra pennies in their pocket.
Just because I’m Paranoid, doesn’t mean their not out to get me.
The Civil Service is delaying this Bill, saying they will need hundreds more workers to rewrite 4000 laws by the deadline. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Brexiteer and major proponent of the Bill countered saying the current Civil Service was adequate to the task, that the objections were obstructionism and idleness, and that they would just have to work harder.
It’s a little scary that the man trying to remove the worker protections just proved how much we need them?
Things are looking grim and I don’t see it changing for a while. The next general election is still 16 months away. Rishi Sunak seems stable enough that no scandal or parliamentary procedure will force him to call the election early. He’s learned the lesson from Theresa May, about calling an election to seek a Mandate to govern from the people, only to lose seats. He has no Mandate, and he’s fine with that.
Our Government is slipping into a Dictatorship in all but name. Our economy is circling the drain. We are on the verge of either revolution or feudalism.
In 100 years, will our descendants be laughing because we thought things were as bad as it gets? Will they be laughing, ruefully, at out naivete?
the way they put Sunak in power and bypassed democracy might just as well be a Dictatorship … h’ll be syphoning of as much money as he can out of the UK for offshore banks