Take a good hard look at the new Britain we all now live in
By TruePublica Editor: It’s all desperately sad to watch, isn’t it? At TruePublica we have consistently warned since David Cameron’s 2015 electoral win that Britain was in grave danger. We warned that Cameron, little more than an over-privileged corporate public relations agent would usher in the decline of Britain leading to a proud nation circling the plughole.
We warned that Brexit would happen, we warned that global Britain would rapidly decline, we warned that Conservatism would die, that a technocrat would bring us a techno-Starsi-state and we warned of economic decline, social breakdown and what the undermining of institutions to uphold civil society would do. We’ve spent five years on the same drum, writing articles and books, investigating, publishing and lobbying politicians.
Take a good look, because this week should give some clue as to what is really happening in Britain today and what our future looks like.
Boris Johnson’s handling and record of leading the country through the Covid-19 crisis speaks volumes. The worst fatality rate in Europe. The world’s worst death rate per million. Public health workers raising funds to sue the government for negligence. Tens of thousands of families have been shattered because of right-wing dogma – who are also gearing up class-action lawsuits to bring justice to loved ones lost.
The economic crisis is soon to follow. April was the worst recessionary month this country has ever witnessed, as it has been all over the world. But in Britain, the OECD predicts it will be the worst recovery of all developed countries across the planet.
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In the space of a week, a culture war erupted that started with the Black Lives Matter movement in a country still coming to terms with its own colonial history and ended with a bunch of beer-soaked white nationalists attacking the police and urinating over statues of heroes defending the nation from terrorism that we rightly should be proud of. In true Trumpism, Johnson, a known racist himself condemned the violence as “racist thuggery” in a post on Twitter. That was it.
But Johnson really should have been revelling in his ‘no-extension’ speech that no-one heard because all the other noise of division is much louder. Meanwhile, British business leaders went on the offensive and roundly hit out at Downing Street because they rightly feel that dealing with the pandemic and a hard-Brexit on December 31st is simply too much. So Johnson had to embarrassingly back down and agree to reduce hard border checks with the EU. This was only two weeks after admitting that a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland was both A) a lie and B) an inconvenient truth.
Like Trump, Johnson could only think to lie again and said that “Confidence will return and you will see a bounce back in the UK” – without a shred of evidence that it will. Indeed all the indicators and predictors of economic performance say the opposite – just as the OECD confirmed.
The furlough scheme, which as of last week had seen nearly 9 million jobs supported by the government at a cost of about £20 billion, has been largely responsible for preventing a historic spike in unemployment. Some experts are now forecasting unemployment will approach or even exceed 10 per cent at the year-end, something not seen in the U.K. since the depression years of the 1930s. But if that was bad enough, wait until those beer-bellied yobs lose their jobs and get in a queue at the Job Centre where the Universal Credit computer says no.
In a TruePublica article last year entitled: Cruel Britannia – the Road to Ruin, we said:
“Whilst, on the subject of right-wing nationalists, another social grenade with the pin pulled by the likes of Farage, Johnson and Co, is the rise of white nationalism – or as some like to mistakenly call it ‘Britain’s exceptionalism’ (which is a different failure). The tiniest spark and Britain’s cities could go up in the bi-coloured flames of white versus black. Black people in Britain have many genuine grievances. Windrush is just one awful example of many and they will no doubt air them – but white supremacism/nationalism is a cancer that needs swift surgical targeting. It’s how Hitler convinced a nation to kill millions and leave the world in ruins.”
It’s no coincidence that the pandemic has highlighted the very deep inequalities that exist in Britain when figures also released last week showed people in England’s poorest areas are more than twice as likely to have died from COVID-19 than in the richest areas. And this also happens to be where racial tensions are high.
Imperial College’s epidemic modelling expert Neil Ferguson, who was thrown under a political bus to save the fires burning around Boris Johnson’s feet, did not mince his words by saying that had the U.K. gone into lockdown just one week earlier — a decision that ultimately rested with Johnson – the Covid death toll, estimated by the FT at well over 60,000, could have been halved.
Then, to add more pain, the government plan to get children back to school to release the workforce emphatically failed because teachers no longer trust the government. The ‘trace and track’ app then failed because one-third of the public also doesn’t trust … the government.
Corruption and malfeasance have been uncovered in the heart of this government throughout the last month. In just one incident of several, GCHQ demanded the cyber-security keys to the entire NHS database and within days, Palantir – the American company at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica scandal has taken the personal health records of every man, woman and child in the country to sell to American ‘healthcare’ and insurance giants.
“It’s what they wanted all along and this is what national division looks like – white nationalists pissing over our heroes outside the home of democracy while riot police protect a boarded up statue of Winston Churchill”
Boris Johnson, a man with little interest in either hard work or detail has insisted his government has been “led by the science” and taken the “right decisions at the right time.” Unfortunately, even many of his own team concede it’s all gone a bit ‘Pete Tong.’ Asked last Wednesday to pinpoint his biggest regrets, England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty said: “there’s a long list of things we need to look at very seriously,” but also conceded that slowness to increase its testing capacity at the start of the outbreak was key.
Then it emerged from the National Audit Office – also last week, that 25,000 elderly patients had been discharged from hospitals into care homes between March 17 and April 15. This was done with no policy in place to test for COVID-19. The outcome of that is still being investigated. Even Jeremy Hunt – a man who despises the ideology of a taxpayer-funded NHS, now chair of the governments’ health committee said it was “extraordinary we did not appear to consider risks of asymptomatic infection.”
Then the former advisor to Boris Johnson, Tim Montgomerie – a Times columnist, came out with an article entitled – “Boris Johnson Isn’t Fit To Lead.” “There is little escaping an obvious reality: this is a prime minister without clothes. The country can see this, even if cabinet ministers and Tory MPs pretend not to. He is what he is and he is not up to the job.
The Spectator, the mouthpiece of centre-right politics concluded that the “prime minister is painfully out of his depth.”
The letters that spell “Cummings” now sends shivers up the national spine. This unelected sociopath is the maniac running the country from Downing Street, which Charlie Cooper at politico describes as – “as a closed shop, running things from the centre under a “reign of terror.”
The Telegraph also withdraws support from the government when it headlines with a piece entitled: Britain is a ship of fools heading for the rocks. “What has become of your country?” one foreign diplomat asked me the other day. “We see only a ship of fools and a plague ship at that.”
The result to all of this is that the newly elected Boris Johnson, who would normally be on his political honeymoon has crashed in all of the poll-ratings bar none. Keir Starmer, the newly elected leader of the Labour party – a man who has the arduous task of repairing a party riven in discord – is now 20 points ahead. An Ipsos MORI published last Friday, saw Starmer at +31 – the best approval rating of any opposition leader since Tony Blair in the 1990s.
In other words, the ideology of the hard left under Corbyn and hard-right under Johnson has almost universally collapsed. For Corbyn, it was about perceived militant economic extremism and for Johnson, its everything he’s screwed up – which is everything he turns his hand to.
The division sowed by the likes of David Cameron who desperately swung the party to the right to appease its flagging popularity and those over 65 who wanted Brexit have led Britain to where we are right now – divided. We now have a fully-fledged binary nation where baby boomers despise millennials, the left hates the right, and we’re all either in or out, black or white and so on. There’s no stopping it. We can’t agree on anything. It’s what Britain is today.
Michael Gove said last week – “On 1 January 2021 we will take back control and regain our political & economic independence.” This was his idea of how brilliant Britain will be by denying her a few months breathing space by allowing for a Brexit extension. Gove lied about the process in the beginning, lied about what would happen throughout, and even lied specifically about the extension option. This is why Britain is literally falling to pieces at the seams – because it’s now built of a raft of lies and division.
Britain is now completely immersed in it and it is no better exemplified than baying white nationalists spoiling for a fight, pissing over heroes outside the home of democracy, while riot police protect a boarded up statue of Winston Churchill.