Britain is at a crossroads once again.
When people hit churches and primary schools and village halls to cast their votes in the morning, are they going to re-elect the Tories – and continue swimming in a sea of austerity, social division, government lies and economic uncertainty – or will they go for something different this time?
In case you or your loved ones were thinking about voting Tory, here are 50 reasons not to.
HERE WE GO:
– The Conservatives are running a disinformation campaign. According to the BBC, 88 percent of the Tory party's most widely promoted ads on Facebook “either featured claims which had been flagged by independent fact-checking organisations including BBC Reality Check as not correct or not entirely correct”.
– Even by the admission of his political party, Boris Johnson is a man who you simply cannot trust.
– For example, he was sacked from the Tory Shadow Cabinet for apparently misleading Conservative leader Michael Howard about an alleged affair in 2004.
– He lied to UK voters during the EU referendum by telling them Turkey was joining the EU (not true).
– He also claimed that “Brussels bureaucrats” demand fish be sent with a plastic ice pillow and increasing costs for fishermen (again, just not true).
– Basically, he’ll say anything to anyone at any time with no regard whatsoever for the truth. This is a man who potentially lied to the Queen to use her as a pawn in his attempts to circumvent the political process. It takes some balls to feed the Queen a bunch of bullshit. It takes massive balls to unlawfully suspend parliament in a democratic country.
– In 2016, he claimed during the Leave campaign that it was “absolutely crazy” the EU were enforcing rules about the shapes of bananas. This is a myth that was debunked in 1994.
– Now let's look at the blood that the Tories have on their hands – because if the Tories are in power, people die.
– Their austerity measures – which began in 2010, have continued ever since, and will continue if they are re-elected tomorrow – have directly resulted in an estimated 130,000 deaths.
– One study, published in the medical journal BMJ Open in 2017, argued that an extra 45,000 deaths in the first four years of the Tory austerity measures "may have [been] produced]" by their cuts to public services.
– The latest official figures, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, demonstrate a 165 percent increase in rough sleepers since the Tories took power in 2010.
– According to a report by the London Assembly housing committee on hidden homelessness, a fifth of young people were homeless in London in 2016.
– In the same year, a poll conducted by homelessness charity Centrepoint found that 225,000 young people in London have had to sleep in places they thought were unsafe as they had nowhere to call home. And this is in one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the world!
– In 2017, the United Nations poverty envoy declared that the Tory austerity measures has inflicted “great misery” on the people of the UK with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” policies that are borne out of a desire to create social re-engineering rather than through any genuine desire to improve our economy.
– Given that, it’s perhaps unsurprising that a 2018 report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission concluded that the Tory austerity measures targeted society’s poorest and will plunge an estimated additional 1.5 million children in poverty.
– In 2016/17, an estimated 14.3 million people in the UK lived in poverty.
– A recent onslaught of Freedom of Information requests made by the public sector union Unison to 330 councils turned the spotlight on the devastating impact of Tory austerity measures since 2010. Here’s what they discovered: 859 children’s centres, shut; 940 youth centres, shut; 835 public toilets, no longer in use; council-subsidised bus routes, reduced by 1,224 services; council-run libraries, diminished by 738.
– The Conservatives have pledged to build 40 new hospitals if they win this election, but that’s another one of Boris’ tall tales; it later emerged that there was only funding to refurbish six.
– Last year, the Royal College of Psychiatrists announced that mental health trusts were given less funding in 2016-17 than they had in 2011-12 – £105 million less, to be precise.
– Since 2010, there have been a cut in mental health hospital beds of 30 percent.
– According to the Office of National Statistics, suicide rates in the UK have increased to their highest level since 2002, with men forming a majority of those who took their own lives.
- Parts of the UK that have suffered more cuts to public services during the Tory
austerity measures have seen higher rates of suicide.
– A Home Office review on front line policing, published last year, found that budget cuts and the rising demands that they have brought have caused an increase in mental health issues amongst those working in the police force.
– The Tories have slashed the number of police officers protecting the public by 20,600 since 2010.
– Should they lose the upcoming election, the Conservative’s legacy will include creating a benefits system that is unfit for purpose for the most vulnerable in society.
– There are now reportedly more foodbanks in the UK than McDonald’s: around 1,300 Maccies to at least 2,000 food banks.
– This week, rather than look at a picture of a four-year-old boy forced to lie on the floor in Leeds General Infirmary because Tory cuts meant that there weren’t enough beds, Boris thought that it would be a better PR strategy to steal a reporter’s phone during an interview.
– Then, in an apparent attempt to distract the public from the bizarre behaviour of the Prime Minister, his press team briefed journalists on a fake news story about a Labour activist punching a Tory staffer at the hospital.
- It's not just Leeds General Infimary suffering under the Tories. NHS England data from November shows that A&E and hospital care waiting times are at their highest ever, with 4.42 million patients on the waiting list in September.
– The Tories also came out with very specific figures (described by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott as “dodgy”) of how many more crimes would take place under a Labour government (882 more guns and 52 more murders, for instance) but later couldn’t explain how they came to these numbers.
– In this post-truth era, these are the games that win elections. During this campaign, the Tories also deliberately used disinformation in order to try and get an advantage by convincingly disguising their Twitter account as an independent fact-checker service called “factcheckUK”. This was an egregious subversion of our democratic process.
– But the attempts from the Conservatives to undermine democracy in this country aren’t just taking place in digital spaces. Boris unlawfully suspended UK Parliament in an attempt to thwart democracy and to stifle debate for his own political gain. The Supreme Court ruled this was unlawful.
– The Conservatives have made the whole campaign about "getting Brexit done", but they simply don’t have the capacity to do that anyway.
– Despite acknowledging a climate emergency, the Conservatives have failed to do anything meaningful to address it.
– Climate emergency, what climate emergency? Johnson recently took a private jet to fly 25 minutes, from Doncaster to Darlington, despite the train only taking 53 minutes.
– The Tories are so bad at business, they signed a £13.8 million deal for post-Brexit ferries with a company that owned no ferries whatsoever. The deal has since been scrapped.
– Their last leader, Theresa May, said she’d get Brexit done too. Remember how that went?
– They say that the NHS is not for sale, when they have been categorically trying to sell it for years (we’ve got the proof here).
– In 2002, as a backbench MP, Boris called for the break-up of the NHS.
– Back in 2015, the Conservative Party manifesto promised to build “200,000 starter homes, which will be sold at a 20 percent discount and will be built exclusively for first-time buyers under the age of 40”. How many got built? Not one.
– Boris Johnson is not only inherently and unequivocally untrustworthy. As mentioned earlier, he flat out lies – in 1988, he was hired as a journalist working for The Times. He was then sacked a few months later for allegedly making up a quote.
– During the Leave campaign, he was stood in front of a bus with a more egregious lie emblazoned across the side of it. It claimed that leaving the EU would result in an extra £350 million being made available to the NHS. In a statement released in May 2016, the UK Statistics Authority described the claim as “misleading”.
– There are so many other things that make Boris too problematic to run a country. Writing in his Telegraph column in 2002, he referred to black people as “picanninies” and made a comment about their “watermelon smiles”.
– Writing in the Spectator (where he held the editor position from 1999 to 2005) in 2000, he kicked off about what he described as "Labour's appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools".
– He authored a book in 2001 – titled Friends, Voters, Countrymen – where he drew comparisons between gay marriage and bestiality. "If gay marriage was OK,” he wrote. “Then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog."
– In a 1996 Spectator article, he described gay men as “tank-topped bumboys”.
– Then there’s the sexism. When he was working for the Telegraph in 1996, he went to a Labour Party conference to write a review about "the hot totty" in attendance. He wrote: “The 'Tottymeter' reading is higher than at any Labour Party conference in living memory.”
– He’s not too keen on the working class either. In another Spectator article, he wrote that working-class men are “likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless”.
– In his final article for the Spectator, he suggested that if a woman staffer comes up with suggestions to improve the performance of the magazine his successor should simply "just pat her on the bottom and send her on her way".
– Johnson has a problem with Muslims too; he has described Muslim women wearing burkas as “letterboxes” and Islamophobia as “a natural reaction”.
– Not only does our prime minister have a long history of saying deeply offensive things, but he has fucked up nearly everything he has ever done in his journalistic and political career. Do you really want to elect him to lead the country?