Friday, 17 June 2016

Britain, you have hurt me

Yesterday I found myself posting twice to Tumblr about how my country had disappointed and hurt me. Twice, in one day, about two separate incidents.

The first:
Two rival political factions battling on the Thames with water hoses should have filled me with glee yesterday. Instead I found myself avoiding all mention of it and actually becoming increasingly angry.
They have already undermined an incredibly nuanced complex and far reaching political issue by turning it in to a populist issue so then to have official representatives of the campaigns literally turn it in to a water fight was beyond distasteful.
This is an issue that could have a huge impact on the lives of thousands of people. It could have huge lasting ramifications on how the country is run and the legal safe guarding of some of societies more vulnerable people. and they turned it in to a water fight.
They are making a mockery of the democratic process in this country. They are making a joke out of a serious issue. By making it in to a farce and a game they are taking power away from the voting public.
To quote a friend
“ Fucking millionaires playing games while the people of the U.K. suffer the ill effects - perfect illustration of politics in the UK too often these days. “
And the second:
I am hurting today.
I was already hurting following the Pulse shooting. I was hurting following the mockery of democracy and our population by prominent politicians.
Now I am hurting because here, in the county I live in, a politician by the name of Jo Cox, was murdered. She wasn’t just murdered. She was assassinated in an act of domestic terrorism.
They were shot by somebody shouting Britain First. Whether it had the backing of that hate group or not doesn’t matter. She was shot because that man believed that he should and should do so because of his Britain First aligned views.
That makes it domestic terrorism.
A woman was killed because of hatred and xenophobia and bigotry.
Even if if this was one idiot acting alone his actions have come from a place that is deliberately trying to divide the nation stir up “patriotism” and has encouraged xenophobia and right wing nationalism. It is shameful. I am ashamed that my passport says British just like that murder’s and just like the people, the politicians, who have encouraged an environment where that sort of murderous hatred can thrive.
Now, let's set things straight, these aren't the first time I have felt let down and hurt by my country. When government proposed and voted on cutting ESA payments yet again, that hurt me. When the government proposed a wage cap on non-EU immigrants, that hurt me. Every time a newspaper printed false information about the number of "cheating" benefit claimants, that hurt me. When doctors pleaded not to have a dangerous and inhumane contract forced through and were ignored and belittled, that hurt me. When in May last year, on my birthday no less, the country voted in a government who had continuously torn apart the country, taken money from people who needed it, grown fat for the suffering of others and who had repeatedly told me and thousands like me that I just wasn't trying hard enough, I was hurt.

So what was different yesterday? They say that people with addiction have to hit rock bottom before they can better, and that when you think they have hit that low point they will always find one more thing that is even lower. Well yesterday was my rock bottom. I thought we had hit it so many times before, but yesterday was just that little bit more.


On June 15th as two flotillas of boats representing official government campaigns, hosting well known politicians, met on the Thames to blare music and engage in a water fight we were shown the utter contempt that our government shows for the population and our democratic process. Until now they had at least hidden behind official language, gone through the proper motions of dressing their idiocy up as official business. They had at least maintained the pretence of acting democratically and allowing the population to take part in a democratic government, had at least pretended that the informed view of the people was relevant and that they didn't just do as they pleased.
But, as they turned a serious referendum into a pantomime, they showed that their only concern is to keep the population entertained and sated, like docile infants, whilst they focus on their own concerns. They sneered at us. They showed us contempt.

Then on June 16th, MP Jo Cox was murdered by a man claimed to be shouting "Britain First" the name of a violent, racist bigoted far right group. Jo Cox was infamous in parliament for being fiercely in favour of supporting refugees and migrants. She was a staunch supporter of ethnic diversity in the UK as well as being pro EU. Whilst Britain First have of course denounced the murder in official statements, a cursory look at their online groups and forums, as well as subsidiary groups and other far right groups on FB will show that there are many who are vocally celebrating her death, who are congratulating the murder on his work and saying that this is what "needed to be done".

This wasn't a murder carried out in isolation. This wasn't a "mad man". This was a murder, an assassination, that had an increasingly right wing, xenophobic, hate-filled culture to thrive in.
That's why these two incidents aren't entirely separate. A water fight on the Thames and a brutal murder are both born of the same political climate.
We have a government that actively encourages dividing the nation on moral and ideological ground. We have a government that actively encourages and perpetuates racism and xenophobia through falsehoods and misinformation as a part of their political campaigns. We have a government that supports and benefits from a right wing press and that stands by and allows without repercussion , lies and blatant racist slurs to be published. We have a government that actively fear mongers, and reduces complex issues to single inflammatory stories so that they can distract attention away from country crippling policy. We have a government that does not want to public honestly engaged in politics for fear that their power would be undone. We have a government that ignores expert reports, consultation and inquiry when they feel it doesn't fit some mythical "bigger picture". They make villains out of ordinary people and those in dire need so that they can line their pockets with ill gotten profit and then blame the straw-man they have created.

I have been let down by a government that reduces serious debate to a floating pantomime and creates a culture that encourages the murder of an innocent woman, all in the name of their so called democracy.

So shameless in their pursuit of profit and power they do not care for the figurative death of democracy and the literal death of an MP.
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