I read about the Government and its partying and at first I told myself: don’t react. There is no point getting het up or upset. As the days went on and the denials, the lies, the disrespect continued, I kept telling myself: they aren’t worth it.
But still it niggles.
Looking at MPs from Gloucestershire, they aren’t wearing masks in Parliament but of course we are asked to. We are what to them? Plebs? They certainly let the bodies pile up high at over 150,000. Yet not once have I heard them say the names of the too many that have died.
Clearly they see us as beneath them. We are the dirt under their shoes as they climb for power and wealth claiming they will represent us. Instead they kick us in the teeth time and time again. They occasionally appear for photos with a pretence of caring. They pop these and on their social media or in email updates. If we ask deeper questions or seek accountability they avoid, blame or dismiss us. We need to wise up to their games. We deserve better.
Blame and hazardous legislation
The Government has blamed us all at one point or other all the way through this pandemic. They tell us to use common sense and to be responsible as they pop champagne and have cheese with their wine and joke about us and laugh at us. There is no decency to be found as they rush to take away our rights. Through the Health and Social Care Bill, the Elections Bill, with the Police and Crime Sentencing Bill, with the Nationality and Borders Bill and more. I struggle to keep track as they rush out more bills and legislation that take from us. They tell us these are needed and will protect us. Often this isn’t true or they hurt us more than they help. The laws we already have should protect us, but they are not being applied as they should be. Just look at gender-based violence and how girls, women and LGBTQIA+ are treated. Charges are made but very few prosecutions result.
Many of us are just trying our best: to survive, to work hard, to be there for and with the people we love. We contribute to our communities. Yet so many in Government and Parliament are far removed from any care for our realities. We want to build futures for ourselves and our families. This is a luxury now for too many. Too many are struggling just to survive. We pay our taxes and we (including those with different needs, those of us with poor health and those struggling in poverty) should have a little help to manage. Is this the reality? For too many it seems not. We don’t have the time or energy to deal with their nonsense as well as everything else. Still they keep bringing their nonsense to our door.
Apparently we can afford a £37 billion Test and Trace System, with the money going who knows where since Covid regulations mean no transparency and no accountability. They named it ‘NHS Test and Trace’ but it is not the NHS. They threw on that label for a pandemic profiteering joke whilst setting the actual NHS up to struggle. This has apparently now failed, but no big deal. Our purses will refill those coffers. Other countries did better without spending more than a tiny fraction of this.
When we are in need, we won’t benefit from our or others’ tax contributions. Instead, it is whatever company the Government is favouring that will. Perhaps a donor or crony, perhaps someone in government who works for or owns part of a company. Who knows? Boris Johnson certainly isn’t telling. He is extraordinarily busy choosing more gold wallpaper? Dressing up as a police officer? Blaming others for his failures.
Lie after lie
We should not be lied to constantly. There should be real consequences, not excuses and passing the buck. I’m tired of the spin and the lies and the way this Government divides us. They have us pointing fingers of blame at each other. This works for them. It avoids them having to take responsibility. It is exhausting. We all fall for it sometimes but we must open our eyes and remember it is they who have the power and make these decisions that hurt us and our communities. We are being manipulated. We deserve better.
What power do we have?
There are many of us and whilst our worries and challenges are not the same and we don’t always understand each other’s experiences, we have shared values and concerns too. Some of us might protest. You might think protest is not for me but what is protest? Protest is the voice of the unheard. Protest is a way to create pressure for change, for better, when other means fail. Usually around injustice. Yes, people are failed by our systems. Recent examples are the murders of Sarah Everard or Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman. Remember Hillsborough? Remember Grenfell? Remember women winning the right to vote? Remember LGBTQIA+ winning rights? Remember the Bristol Bus Boycott? Remember the poll tax protests? Remember people wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit. Protest is part of these stories. It doesn’t guarantee justice but it can help where other means fail.
Think of Free School Meals and the Government U-turn which followed the creative protest of people contacting MPs, posting plates and laying out empty plates in front of MP’s offices. Powerful images. Meanwhile Government MP’s like Ben Bradley, tweeted that free school meals created state-subsidised children and vouchers were being used in brothels and for gambling. Another said companies helping feed children wouldn’t be eligible for government help around Covid-19 losses. They weren’t alone in this disrespect. They are making such things illegal. This is who we have in Government: people who begrudge hungry children a proper meal. Of course they did a U-turn but now back to form they refuse to help children, cut Universal Credit and party right on.
What can be done? You tell me
We must not forget who we are and who we can be. We must not lose sight of the value of our decency. We must remember and ask for better through: protest, through writing to or meeting MPs, through giving what we can to others in need, by voting for better. The Government are trying to stop so many of us from voting with plans for Voter ID. Voting is a power of sorts. Under the current First Past the Post (FPTP) system not all votes matter, let alone equally. Some of us have never voted. This is understandable when you think on it. If you feel like you aren’t represented, it is tempting not to. Equally, we need people to vote to rid of us of these charlatans. Voting is part of any solution especially if we seek a fairer proportional voting system through it. Voting is an imperfect but powerful tool to send a message. To let them know we remember and that we matter. If we want the future to be better we must remember and seek changes that deliver including where this means tactical voting.
This Government and their partying have again shown us who they are. As most of us struggled, grieved, missed the people we love & their funerals, they mocked us. As we made sacrifices, lost jobs, businesses and struggled financially or healthwise, they were having fun. No doubt we paid for the parties too.
They don’t care and they disrespect us every time. We deserve better.