OPINION: FFS Britain, Not Again

As a nation, we simply love to lick the boot.
labour supporters election 2019
Photo: Luis Kramer

After every election, the same question emerges: what was the story on the night?

Last night, the overarching story was not one of Brexit alliances beating party loyalties, nor one of Lib Dem votes splitting the Remain contingent. It wasn't one of dislikable leaders, or of the NHS. The story of last night? We well and truly fucked it.

This election was an opportunity to change the course of history. Labour were clear: a vote for Labour is a vote for the environment. A vote for Labour is a vote for the NHS. A vote for Labour is a vote for the homeless, for the vulnerable, for nurses, for everyday people, for firefighters, for the victims Grenfell.


And yet, on the 12th of December, Britain voted for a misogynistic, spineless liar. A careerist politician who couldn't tell you the price of a loaf of bread, but could happily tell you the price of a bottle of Champagne. A man who is willing to lie to the face of the father of an ill child, and who wouldn't even look at a picture of a child lying on the floor of a hospital lest it make for bad PR. Who was fired from two jobs for lying and published a book of vile, racist bile.

Do the British people love the prospect of death? Suffering and death? Not to be facetious, but it does seem like we can't help but vote for catastrophe. We're not just talking about poor people dying preventable deaths here – a reality the Conservatives have been overseeing since implementing austerity, but the death of everyone (even you!).

Labour was the only party that committed to carbon neutrality by 2030, and were willing to change the structure of our economy to pull away from a reliance on coal and oil while still protecting workers. From transport to the NHS, there was an understanding that, if we didn't change things, our days were numbered. For some reason, this wasn't enough to vote for. Imagine: imminent global wipeout not being a scary enough prospect to vote against. What have the Conservatives committed to? Fuck all. A flimsy 2050 pledge, which will be far too late.

Hear that? It's the sound of millions of Brits licking the boot, running their tongues up and down it, taking their time to explore every stitch of it. What this general election has made clear is how much people are willing to vote against their own self-interest.

And the saddest thing? The biggest Labour losses were in the north of England, an area that voted leave after being routinely forgotten about by Westminster. And yet, it's those places – like Darlington and Blyth Valley, in the north and the north east – which will suffer the most under a hard Brexit. The economy will struggle, and it's in those places that the inevitable Tory cuts will land hardest.

Britain, you've been taken for fools, and the most vulnerable are going to pay the price. Nice work.