Fourteen Years: A Reckoning

With a general election finally called for the UK, we now have a real chance to put the Tory Party out of our misery, and hopefully for a generation. Like most of us though, I look back on the last fourteen years and struggle to come up with a less than book length summary of the damage they’ve done. But I had to try…

The Tories

have destroyed Britain’s influence in both Europe and the wider world, have crippled our economy, wrecked our culture and quality of life, and have deliberately undermined the fundamentals of democracy, in the UK as a whole and in the devolved nations.

In transparently pathetic attempts at self-justification, they have ramped up divisive, ‘dog-whistle’ xenophobia, repeatedly breaching both national and international law in the process.

They have forced millions into poverty, with the concomitant rise in child poverty, the need for food banks and the decay of our national infrastructure and core services, the NHS not least among them.

There’s the theft of billions upon billions of public money by them and their cronies, through asset-stripping by private monopolies and letting of massive contracts to those supremely unqualified, other than as donors to their party and personal coffers.

It might then just be worth mentioning – in passing – their killing of tens of thousands of their own citizens and their filling of our rivers and seas with raw sewage and industrial effluent. After that, a natural progression was their retreat from our commitment to internationally agreed climate goals, which will kill a lot more people, at home and across the world.

All of that – and more – is wrapped in a fabric woven from blatant lies, self-serving dogma and outright corruption, delivered through a constant and unparalleled stream of gaslighting.

There’s only one other major country that’s caused itself more damage in this millennium: Russia, sanctioned by most of the world after its invasion of Ukraine.

Under the Tories though, Brexit Britain has sanctioned itself, to the amazement of our friends, neighbours and competitors. Reputations are gained over decades and destroyed overnight, so it’s a long road back, if indeed there is a road back: the world moves on, and the UK is now largely seen as irrelevant on the global stage. But at least we can make a start: whether as a unity of four nations or as separate entities remains to be seen.

On July 4, 1776, our US friends declared their independence from a remote, incompetent, authoritarian and corrupt government. July 4th 2024 gives us the opportunity to do the same. 

2 thoughts on “Fourteen Years: A Reckoning”

  1. That’s a comprehensive and accurate list. The only two additions I can think of:

    1. They’ve made a mockery of the House of Lords by filling it with Tory cronies & donors. Any future government is going to have to restore balance in the House of Lords and reduce it to a more reasonable size.

    2. They’ve shown disdain for the citizens they claim to serve. While NHS workers were working flat-out to contain the pandemic, and the Metropolitan Police were breaking up a peaceful protest on Wimbledon Common, those inside Number 10 were partying & flouting their own lockdown rules because “they were worth it”. The PM’s father, Stanley Johnson, sneered that the British public couldn’t even spell Pinocchio, but refused to spell it himself when challenged. I know how to spell Pinocchio. Do you, Stanley? Jacobs Rees-Mogg described his cronies as the creme of British academic life and sneered that state school pupils are potted plants. This is a bit rich coming from the person whose book on the Victorians was described in a review by A N Wilson in the Times as “a dozen clumsily written pompous schoolboy compositions”.

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