We’re living in a land which has gone insane. We’re living in a land where people defend a government that demands that women give proof of rape in order to receive tax credits for a third child, a land which treats the decision to have children as a private investment and not as an investment in the future that benefits the public good. We’re living in a land which discourages low paid families from having children while at the same time demonising the immigration that low birth rates will demand in order to maintain the economy. We’re living in a land where it’s the poor who are condemned, not poverty. We’re living in a land where it’s considered normal that working people don’t earn enough to feed their families and have to resort to foodbanks while the richest who profit from their labour get ever richer. We’re living in a land where the refusal of the EU to concede to every demand of Theresa May is condemned as threats and bullying. We’re living in a land where all these cruel insanities and more are defended by otherwise rational people because they’re part and parcel of the precious Union. We’re living in a land where people defend the Union but don’t care what sort of Union they’re defending.
I am genuinely afraid for the future. Genuinely depressed about what’s in store. The bleak and dark decade and a half of Thatcher and the desolation and despair her government generated is seared in the memory. The memory of friends who succumbed to desperation and self-medicated on alcohol and drugs will always live in the heart, because they’re no longer living in life. They never survived the ravages of a Tory Britain that didn’t care whether they had a future or not. Friends who died in their 20s, died of despair, died of hopelessness, died because there was nothing to live for so they numbed themselves on heroin, sleeping pills, and tranquillisers in order to get through the long barren nights where there was no dawn to look forward to. I see the teenagers gather in the park, and laugh and shout the way that teenagers do, and wonder how many more of our young people will sacrifice themselves the same way, sacrificed on the altar of a government that’s strong and stable in its greed and inhumanity.
We live in a land where people who campaign peacefully and democratically for a better Scotland are decried in the same breath as terrorists who bomb and kill. We live in a land where those who do the decrying the British nationalists who glorify military might and who has a fringe of violent extremism of their own. We live in a land which demands unity but which offers no compromise or concessions to those who have a different opinion. We live in a land where the past is exhalted and lauded because the future offers nothing to welcome. We live in a land where there are no checks or balances, no written constitution, because strength and stability it said to come from a Prime Minister who can do as she pleases and whose power is unconstrained and unconfined. A Prime Minister whose grasp on reality is increasingly tenuous. A Prime Minister who refuses to be held to account, who speaks in soundbites and never answers questions. We’re living in a land which has gone insane.
The story of Britain is a story of war. It’s a state that defines itself by its conflicts, a state that substitutes military parades and royals in uniforms bearing medals they never earned for a sense of national purpose. Smart uniforms and shiny medals to cover the reality of blood, of death, of maiming. In the 310 years of Union there have been scarcely 70 years of peace. The United Kingdom has only ever been united in warfare. That’s the normality that Westminster offers. Those kids in the park can join the army, serve, be used up, then cast onto the streets. Britain views everything through a prism of violence. We won the war you know, and so Europe must be eternally grateful and give Britain everything it demands. Within days of triggering Article 50 to leave the EU, and the British right wing is once again threatening war, once again Britain is their plucky little island assailed by numerous enemies. Enemies that have been created due to the intransigence and arrogance of British nationalism. The only future we have to look forward to is a future of wars. It’s punching above our weight you know.
We live in a land which heaps wealth upon the rich and hoards power for the powerful. We live in a land where the Prime Minister turns herself into a dictator, elected on a skewed ballot, elected with wholesale fraud and contempt for the checks and balances of the electoral expenses system. We live in a land where the space for democracy is diminishing and decaying. We live in a land where the media doesn’t challenge but cheerleads. We live in Tory Britain. We live in a land whose government is strong in its avarice and stable in its vindictiveness. We live in a land which has gone insane.
I’m fed up with a Scotland that’s impoverished by successive Westminster governments. A Scotland which Westminster and its apologists demand must apologise for the poverty that Westminster has created. I’m fed up with a Scotland which cries in the wilderness and which is never heard. I’m fed up with a Scotland which is treated as a satrapy by a state which promised partnership. I’m fed up with a land which is blessed with an embarrassment of resources, of natural wealth, of human talent, being told that’s poor and incapable by a British state that looks upon it as a reservoir to be drained.
We could live in a land which has potential. We could live in a land which can offer a future to its people. We could live in a land where hope can flourish. We live in a land where increasingly the scales are falling from the eyes of the deceived and the downtrodden. We live in a land where we are learning that the way out of the insanity is to defeat the Tories. We live in a land which can be better than this. Let’s live in a better land. Let’s defeat the Tories.
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