Friday, 8 May 2015

Freedom Is Slavery

In a very personal article, steven harris expresses his concerns for the results of the General Election...

May 7th 2015 looks set to go down in history as the day the British electorate voted in favour of the continuation, even expansion of policies of unfair austerity imposed upon the most vulnerable in the nation. It will also go down as the day British politics took another lurch to the right with the bigoted policies of UKIP proving appealing enough for a considerable percentage of the electorate to vote for them even if those votes didn’t translate into seats in Westminster.

Today, the 8th May, the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, for fuck’s sake, it appears that policies of scapegoating the ill and the poor and of blaming outsiders for the country’s ills have appealed to the self-interest of voters rather than the truth of the past five years of government failure to punish those actually responsible for the financial crash of 2008, of increasingly punitive laws which demonise the blameless and lionise the guilty. The ghost of Hitler is smiling manically somewhere in a corner of Westminster, happy to see that his own divide and rule ideologies have come back to haunt Britain after all.

As a person with two chronic physical health conditions which exacerbate a third issue with depression and anxiety I am now in genuine fear for my own survival. The Conservatives proved in coalition that they do not care for the ill, for the vulnerable, for the troubled within their society; they care only for those who buy into their own bastardised materialism by providing labour and paying taxes and obeisance in equal measure. Despite excellent support over the past year from the NHS in my area I have suffered the worst six months I have thus far experienced with my main, respiratory problem. My mental health will most certainly follow downwards if this does not improve soon, the gravitational pull of depression increased by my awareness that I have somehow to live through another five years of a government which would presumably rather I stopped being an inconvenience to them by giving up and dying.

This is a black day. The last time I remember feeling as disillusioned and out of step with the apparent consensus of political will in my own country was in 1987 when Thatcher was voted in for a third term as Prime Minister. I was younger and healthier then and felt a righteous indignation that allowed me to drive myself forward into the sort of life I wanted to live. I have neither the vigour nor the health to do such a thing now. I am marooned in Cameron’s austerity project, destined to wait for the SS that are the DSS to kick in my door and demand I stop malingering and get a job. Which my unreliable health will mean I won’t be able to keep. Which will in turn give them ‘reason’ to prevent me claiming state aid. Which will effectively sign my death warrant. It’s been nice knowing some of you. Not if you voted for the Tories or UKIP, of course: it’s been vile and fascistic to have been condemned to desperation and poverty by you lot.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

steven harris is adverse to putting his name in capitals because names aren't that important. Also, lower case is sexy. steven writes all sorts of stuff including fiction, poetry, songs, opinion pieces and shopping lists. He does not write on lavatory doors any more. his blog has writing in it and can be located at He lives in Devon with an imaginary cat called Kafka.

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