Gideon’s budget means no hat for dinner…

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This week Gideon held aloft his little red bag, probably containing a piece of paper saying ‘ha ha ha’, and spent just over an hour in the Commons letting the country know how he was going to shaft it. He also seemed to have appropriated the term ‘working people’ from somewhere and when he said it, so steadfastly and so resolutely, he wanted it to be aimed at the working class. His budget was not aimed at his rich friends. Like they care about child benefit or working tax credits or student maintenance grants! He wanted to make out that the Tory party are a people party. He wanted to make out that the deficit the UK owes was a result of overspending by the population and therefore the working population had to pay for it. He doesn’t attack irresponsible lenders, he doesn’t really attack the genuine big-time tax evaders and he certainly doesn’t attack the banks. Because there are less of them. The money he will rake in as a result of penalising the people who have no clue as to the figures of the deficit, the people who are the backbone of this country, is clearly much more than what he would receive if he tried to get Philip Green to cough up what he owes.

I get there is a deficit. And I get that we need to sort it out. But this isn’t the way. Scrapping student maintenance grants for the poorest students? Permitting a further rise in tuition fees, in line with inflation? What did the students do that was so wrong to warrant this? Got pissed one too many times and were disorderly in the street? Said aloud that they knew all about existential theory whilst getting their mate to sit round a bonfire with them and play Ed Sheeran songs on an old guitar? Tried to jump the train one too many times? Seriously, students? Haven’t they taken a big enough kicking? Do you want there to be future brains in this country? Because who knows where the next Nobel prize winner or Prime Minister for that matter, might come from. Maybe not from a country pile in Surrey or an Italianate villa in Holland Park. They might be from a council estate in Hackney or a two up, two down next door to a boarded up shop in County Durham.

People who voted Tory in the last election did so for two reasons.

One, they thought they were buying into something good, something upwardly mobile but had no idea what was actually lurking behind the corner.

The other, they don’t give a shit about poor people and don’t understand the benefits system and simply hate the word benefits because it makes them think of lazy poor people who smoke and do not know what contraception is. The word benefits has been so demonised by the press that unless you are on Benefits Street and you broadcast it to all and sundry, it is almost an embarrassment to admit you need them to survive. Too many people think disability benefit is being handed out to those who aren’t really disabled or unfit to work. If you are on the dole you must be a deadbeat loser. If you need housing benefit, you are one up from a tramp, taking bricks and mortar that could otherwise be bulldozed to make way for really expensive housing, or simply just taking bricks and mortar when a cardboard box will do. If you take working tax credits, you clearly don’t work hard enough. And if you need your child benefit for anything other than siphoning it off and putting it into a bank account, then you are a bad parent and the introduction of no child benefit for the third child will stop you from having any more children because we want to be like China.

Give me strength.

Oh, and David Cameron said in the live television debate in Leeds in the run-up to the election, when questioned by David Dimbleby over child benefit, that it was going to remain unchanged. Gideon confirmed this week, the contrary. There you have it. An outright lie, something the Tories have reneged upon, something they said they wouldn’t do, and now have done. So, they got voted in and formed a government on 8th May, and just a day over two months later, a lie came to light. The only good thing about it is that it proves my entire point about starting this blog, and I do not have to eat my hat.

Let the battle commence now for a new tenant in No 10. It might be around four years and 10 months away, but the time is now.

*walks away smugly from computer, happy in the knowledge that aforementioned hat can stay on head and not be served on dinner plate*

Stop plastering over the cracks of the NHS, Mr Hunt

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“Everything we are proud of in the NHS is funded by taxpayers, and every penny we waste costs patients more through higher taxes or reduced services.”

Oh Mr Hunt. How easy these few words are for you to push out of that little mouth of yours. The meaning of those words however are not so easy to digest for those receiving them through their ears. I would like to emphasise the fact that Mr Hunt said ‘every penny we waste’, clearly meaning the ‘we’ of the country when it should actually be the ‘we’ of the government.

I will do everything in my power to protect the NHS. I have always paid my taxes and national insurance contributions and have never stolen from the state. The NHS is the one thing about this country that sets us apart and makes us look like a country for the people. All those Conservative voters who enjoy the benefits that the NHS offers them and their families would be mindful to remember that it was Labour who created it, introduced it, enforced it. Never mind what has happened since, under whichever government – the NHS was a Labour initiative, set up in the wake of the Second World War, amid times of severe austerity, as a way of assisting the PEOPLE.

But most already know this. What people don’t know and what is routinely never reported on, are the facts – facts that the soundbites of the like that Jeremy Hunt and other Health Secretaries of yore proffer the electorate, fail to address.

This week, Mr Hunt used big figures, NHS and and the word ‘waste’ altogether in one sentence to frighten the people into thinking that his way forward was the best way. He used it to tap into that same old mentality of fearmongering, like they do with immigration and benefits cheats. It is an easy and quick fix but to coin a lyric from the lovely Taylor Swift, ‘band-aids don’t fix bullet holes.’

According to Mr Hunt, a £3.3 billion bill for agency staff is completely unacceptable and that £3,500 for one doctor working just one shift is not the way the NHS can continue. Firstly, who wouldn’t agree with this, but more essentially, how did we get to the point where agency staff were used at all? How were these figures ever signed off? Someone had to authorise them! Someone from on high, ultimately abiding by the rules set by government, allowed these sums of money to pass from the bank accounts of the NHS into the bank accounts of an employment agency. But nobody is going to admit to having done this, nobody will be taken to task over it and the government certainly aren’t going to take any responsibility for allowing this to happen. So let’s take it one step back.

At the beginning of the last parliament, the MPs in power opted to cut 6,000 nursing posts across the country. They also opted to significantly reduce the number of nursing training places available. So with those two facts in mind and at a time when the NHS was widely reported to be in a very difficult juncture in its history, less nurses around to cover shifts and students who want to become nurses cannot because there simply aren’t enough places – means what? Yes, a need to fill the gaps with agency staff.

We just go round and round the veritable mulberry bush.

And Mr Hunt didn’t stop there either. Another big figure, that word ‘waste’ and yes, a heavy dose of fear added to the mix of another soundbite sentence. Apparently, £300 million is lost each year on ‘wasted medicines’. The taxpayer must be made to feel guilty about this waste and a new initiative (the cost to the NHS not outlined, obviously) to print on the label that a particular medicine costs over £20 will frighten people into never wasting again. Really? According to Mr Hunt, “Initiatives such as these aim to increase transparency, and fit into a government push of increasing awareness of costs and choices involved in public spending.” Increase transparency?! Don’t make me laugh!

Here’s some transparency for you.

I can give you a completely honest account of disgusting wastage by the NHS that is by no means their fault, but the fault of the deals done with the big pharmaceutical companies in order for maximum profits to be made. This is the story that Mr Hunt does not report.

In October 2013, I went into hospital to have a Caesarean section. After my baby was delivered and I had spent two nights in hospital, I was told I had to have prescribed injections, that I was to administer myself, to prevent thrombosis. I had already had two injections in the hospital (one on each day) and was told that the course was a total of five days. Therefore, because I am quite good at maths… I deduced I needed three more injections at home over a three day period to complete the necessary course. I was given a box at the pharmacy in the hospital that had EIGHT, yes EIGHT separately sealed injections inside. The pharmacist opened the box, checked its contents, handed it to me and printed on the front label was the date I was to use the prescription up until. The pharmacist also asked me how many I had already had since being in hospital. When I replied two, the pharmacist emphasised that I required three more. But still handed over the box with EIGHT inside.

I used the three syringes and then thought I would take the other five back. After all, add one to this and they could be utilised for two more women. The pharmacist told me that that she couldn’t possibly take them back as she didn’t know how they had been stored. I said they were all sealed and were neither stored in overly cold or overly hot temperatures. Still no. I then asked the obvious question of, why was I given eight then, when all I needed was three? They come like that from the manufacturer, was the response.

You see the problem? Pharmaceutical companies are a law unto themselves and some people, somewhere are making a tonne of money at the expense of the taxpayer and our NHS. So therefore Mr Hunt, in my case, I was not wasting medicine, you were. Your NHS was given purchasing jurisdiction to buy boxes of syringes for people like me – but where the wastage could easily have been prevented, it wasn’t. If anything it was deliberately carried out, to push up sales.

Stop lying to everyone. Stop making people feel guilty. Stop cutting nurses in the system. Stop cutting training places. Stop fiddling with nurses pensions. Stop axing midwives. Stop closing wards. Stop charging people to park in hospital car parks. Stop making out that you are transparent when you are not. Stop giving us soundbites and start giving us case studies. Stop promising things before you can accompany those promises with costs. Stop saying that GPs surgeries need to be open 7 days a week with no real infrastructure arrangement behind it. Stop saying you will raise taxes to cover costs of wastage by us in the NHS while yours and the government’s fingers are stuck in some big pharmaceutical pies. Stop messing with something that needs genuine care and concern, honesty and realism.

Your bedside manner sucks Mr Hunt. Now go and fix the bullet holes in the NHS with some real professionals, who will treat and ensure survival. Don’t use a flimsy band aid with a team of people who are unqualified. It just won’t do the job and will be a surefire route to death.

No Blacks. No Dogs. No Irish. Well, as good as…

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A retired French diplomat by the name of Georges Faye stood on a beach in Italy yesterday with a sign around his neck saying ‘Citizens of the world and France, I am ashamed.’ He stood next to a growing group of migrants who had landed there over the course of the previous five days, in the hope of finding a better life for themselves in Europe. His sentiment is one that should be echoed by all. His act of solidarity a personal journey but sadly a futile one. With the resolute statements from the big European countries, our own Theresa May included, acting on our behalf, saying no to anyone who attempts to set foot on our soil, these human beings, for that is what they are, will be left to wander aimlessly through their lives, to merely exist, with no home, little purpose and a complete absence of hope.

And before anyone starts mentioning our borders and that we are too full already and all these immigrants just steal our jobs, abuse our benefits system, cripple the NHS and so on – why not actually put down the Daily Mail and read something of worth, value and truth? Why not look at the countries from which these immigrants are coming from and ask why. Why are they so desperate to risk life and limb to cross dangerous waters? Was there anything we could have done as a nation to help? Or were we in part, the cause of their reasons for escape?

George Osborne announced that HMS Bulwark, the ship that has so far rescued 2,900 migrants over the last six weeks, is to be withdrawn and that despite a pledge to play ‘a full part’ in search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, no substitute has been confirmed. The waves of migrants arriving on Italian and Greek shores have come from Eritrea, Sudan, Syria, Lybia, Somalia and Afghanistan. And it’s a mix of civil war, dictatorship, starvation and the knock on effects of the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 that have caused these innocent people to flee.

Who are we to say that not only will our rescue ship be withdrawn but we will not accept any of these people into our country? To call us animals is unkind to animals. We invaded Iraq for nothing but monetary gain, abuse of power and strategic oil purposes. We invaded Afghanistan to secure poppy fields. No-one wins in Afghanistan, don’t countries realise that yet? It’s like walking into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather, giving him a slap and hoping to go a full 12 rounds. We didn’t enter Darfur to halt mass genocide. We didn’t enter Somalia to give them more to eat. We didn’t go into Libya after the fall of Colonel Gadaffi to assist a bewildered population who knew they had somehow won and yet were still unsure if it could be considered a victory. And we have left Syria well alone even though the birth of IS and its swift rise towards full blown maturity was created by us and the mess we left behind in Iraq.

These people have nothing. They haven’t done anything to anyone. And already they are considered a burden on all economies and states across Europe. The irony of ironies is that they are arriving on the shores of two European nations who have suffered great economic hardship over the past five years and yet both Greece and Italy with their long histories of mythology, art and philosophy, that everyone across the world has taken from, literally, metaphorically and politically, have not turned these people away. They have just asked for help with the growing numbers by requesting the EU to shoulder the numbers together. As a union. Like a group of mates that make sure you get home ok after a blinder of an evening. I would hate to be pissed as a fart and have George Osborne and Theresa May in my gaggle of friends. They would be the first ones to order themselves a taxi and leave sharpish, with little thought for me, knowing that I was incapable and had no money left but it was them who had assisted in getting me into this state in the first place. And if I was raped that night and left for dead, it wouldn’t be their problem.

When the world went through the Big Bang and the land mass we know of as the world split into lots of different bits, of varying sizes and proportions and the seas formed around them – was it a sick and cruel joke or strange premonition of the future that the continent of Africa would have an amazing but dangerous sea separating it from Europe, a sea that has no tides, is crystal clear, turquoise and paradisical in places? Was it a deliberate act that the United Kingdom had a little channel of water running between it and France – a channel that would be a metaphorical divide from Europe forever?

Have we become veritable barbarians who do not understand empathy? If we had no food, no home, a dictator who lived a lavish lifestyle while we languished in poverty, the risk of rape up to six times a day, the risk of extreme and brutal militias burning our houses, killing members of our community, would we not, too, run barefoot to the nearest port, pay what little money we had to someone, anyone, to let us on their boat to escape? Would we not risk death because in some morbid way, death would mean peace? How can we sit here and look to our country’s leader for an answer, to be told that we, as a nation will walk on by and do nothing. That we will debate whether or not we want to be part of this so-called union, pass around hot air and insults in the hope of a resolution that will ensure that we keep the pound sterling, still trade with the big boys, but will bend and shape anything remotely concerned with human rights and deny any person entry on to our hallowed turf if they so much as smell like a beggar or don’t look quite Anglo-Saxon enough.

Georges Faye – I salute you and stand beside you. I too am ashamed.

Follow me on Twitter @Iwilleatmyhat for more of the same, just less words.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on a wing

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That day in February was freezing. Despite the close proximity of millions of people, despite the shuffle through the streets of London towards Hyde Park, the cold had set in and would stay for many years to come. Whilst that day was a sign of hope, hope for humanity, hope for those people who had come together in unity against a common enemy, it was also a signal of very sad futility. That it didn’t matter how much we chanted, how far we walked, how many of us turned out. It still went ahead and gave birth to the horrors we witness today, a new wave of terrorism that at present, appears unstoppable.

But that day, whilst many faces took to the stage, their voices commanding, their presence taken for granted, Jesse Jackson, Bianca Jagger, Tony Benn, George Galloway – one voice rang out that was unexpected. Charles Kennedy, the Honourable MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, leader of the Liberal Democrats. The Scottish accent of Galloway was fierce, filled with fire and brimstone, an eloquence that is almost unrivalled in British politics. The Scottish accent of Kennedy was gentler, firm and forthright, but gentle nonetheless. Soft on the ear and more accessible as a result. His words rang true, his vehemence over demanding a second UN resolution, his foresight over what this invasion would amount to.

Charles Kennedy was a man I would like to have met. His face was friendly. His demeanour understated. His politics of humanity above all else was something that I aligned myself with completely. Whether it was the fact he lived next door to his parents, he could send himself up on Have I Got News For You, or provide a voiceover in an episode of EastEnders – whilst all the while representing his constituents, leading a political party, fighting every day for what was good and true – Charles Kennedy did it all.

A commentator said that there are very few politicians who, in memoriam, are considered ‘much loved’. Politicians, despite representing us, despite us voting them in, are more often than not loathed. Loathed for the lies or loathed because of a policy change or loathed because of sleaze. Take your pick – it is there, throughout the annals of time. Doesn’t matter which party, doesn’t matter which part of the country, doesn’t matter if it’s a cabinet minister, a rebel backbencher, the one asleep in the third row – they all seem to be at it one way or another. This commentator said there was only one MP today who could receive a similar accolade, but it is doubtful if he would receive the same level of outpouring across the political spectrum. Boris Johnson. I did a one-on-one interview with him just before his first victory in the London mayoral elections. He was nothing if not an enormous character, funny, charming, quick-witted, anecdotal, polite and vastly intelligent. His mop of hair was disarming, his smile cheeky, his speaking voice ever so slightly magnetic. But somewhere within him, he always gave off the feeling that he had an agenda. He asked me at the end of the interview if I was going to vote for him. And there it was. He wanted to know if he had my vote. When I responded ‘no’ with a proviso of ‘not unless you put air conditioning on the entire London Underground system’, he said he would try. And that, folks, was a lie. Credit for saying you would try in order to secure my vote Boris – but it didn’t ring true and it showed me a sign of things to come. Say what they want to hear to get you where you need to be. Once you are there, there’s nothing they can do about it for at least five years. And a lot of damage can be done in five years.

Charles Kennedy didn’t speak as though he had an agenda. Unless it was for a just and good cause and he wanted to see it right. He was someone who wasn’t out for himself. He was someone who worked for the people first, his party second. I was grateful that yesterday, the news did not dwell on his drink problem, which in effect made him even more human, more normal, infallible like the rest of us, but focused on his refined ability to go against the tide, even within his own party. Whether it was Iraq or forming the coalition in 2010, he was not afraid to voice his opposition. And what was also so refreshing was his desire to not squabble or indulge in petty politics, backbiting and immature arguments. Speaking in 2005, he said, ‘I can hardly think of an occasion when I’ve got into a stand-up fight with any political opponent. I’ve got my views, people know what they are, they can agree or they can choose to disagree. I’m not going to waste time just rubbishing everybody else.’

In light of the recent election, it comes as a bitter blow to not just the Liberal Democrats whose party was decimated at the ballot box but for politics in general. That the negative campaigning on all fronts too often came to the fore, something that Kennedy was simply not capable of doing. He was all about doing, doing for others. The bad mouthing of other parties was an irrelevance, especially when you had limited air time to talk about the things you want to get done.

Yesterday, politics lost a good person, a good human. A politician who was in stark contrast to most and in a minority of one. Two if you want to count Boris in the same company, but that might be pushing it. I wonder how other leaders of parties will be remembered, and if it will be as fond. Sadly, and going against the grain of the fight of Charles Kennedy himself, most politicians will have their negative traits laid bare. When Thatcher died, rolling new footage showed poll tax riots, the invasion of the Falklands and miners at picket lines. When Blair goes, rolling news footage will show the invasion of Iraq and a friendship with the most unpopular US president in history. When Cameron goes, not sure what his legacy will be, we have five years to wait for it but his personality is too lacking in just about anything to conjure up any kind of emotion, let alone a tear. It is a sad indictment of today’s politics that it most certainly will be a long time before we see another like Charles Kennedy.

Don’t believe the hype

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Hype is something my dad used to call the build up before a football match on Sky. Kickoff was at 4pm but the guide would say it starts at 3pm. For an hour beforehand, the pundits and the anchor and various other folk who seemed to think their opinion was worthy enough to be aired to all would build up and hype up and exaggerate everything until the match kicked off and whence on occasion you were delivered a nil-nil draw, you would think back, Jeez what a lot of bollocks they were talking between 3 and 4pm…

And the first days of the Conservative government have been just that also. Or rather many people, writers, commentators, essayists, whoever, have all decided on what is going to happen over the course of the next five years and have sought to disseminate information and articles that are filled with, well, hype. The human rights act? Abolished. Food banks? Doubled in size in the last week. Fox hunting ban? Repealed. Equalities minister? Anti-gay. A steady stream of alleged news and hype has entered my Twitter stream and Facebook feed, so much so that it has been hard to separate the fact from the fiction. And in turn, this has made it hard for me to start the true essence of what this blog is supposed to be about. I made a promise that I was only going to report on the actual facts, the things that were spoken about publicly on The Today show by MPs hoping to enforce some rule or another, things that were set in stone and there was no turning back for at least five years.

So after waiting a while, it was Theresa May who obliged me with my first bit of ammunition and a bit of a lightbulb moment in politics. I couldn’t believe it had taken me this long to figure it out. She was on the aforementioned Today programme on Radio 4 and was being questioned as to the new Tory immigration crackdown rule of seizing the wages of illegal immigrants. Her inability to answer a simple question directly was quite astounding.

‘On an issue of simple practicality, how are you actually going to enforce this?’

I think that is quite an easy question to answer in all honesty – especially if I have had my minions in the Home Office doing endless levels of research for me.

‘Well, we are going to give money we are going to take from welfare to the police and give them the authority to beat the shit out of anyone called Woijeck or Svetlana on the 25th of the month, take their payslip out of their pockets, check the amount, march them to their bank, get them to withdraw the amount listed on said payslip and hand it over.’

Theresa May wasn’t nearly as honest as that. In actual fact, she simply kept on emphasising the word ‘illegal’ and ‘immigrant’ like a walking, talking Daily Mail article, and didn’t really say anything of value about her new policy at all. She said that investing money in policies such as this was ‘not the answer to making it a success’ – er, so the police are just going to be heaped with more paperwork and investigations, despite cuts, despite being overworked, for no extra money? Do me a favour. She said the whole venture was to act as a deterrent, to effectively frighten any would be illegal immigrants to stay away. But when pressed on how this policy was actually going to work, how wages would actually be seized, she gave no answer. At all.

I have no idea how much this whole policy has cost to decide, implement and promote. But I do know one thing. Aside from the economy, immigration was one of the election’s biggest buzzwords. The fact that UKIP became the country’s third largest party, a force to be reckoned with, and their whole ethos based around illegal immigration, was no mean feat. It meant that Theresa May as Home Secretary had to get on board even more so with these words and make sure that whatever she and her team concoct behind the scenes, they have to be seen to be addressing the problem somehow. And that is where my lightbulb moment came from. Words. The more you repeat the words, the bad ones, the buzzwords, the more they infiltrate the brains of those already on board and the more they think that something is actually being done. But in reality, it is literally, just words. Literally, no wages are going to be seized. Literally, it will be impossible to implement this, in order to bring immigration figures down. If it was so easy, why the hell has it not been carried out already?

People will probably blame the Lib Dems. A subject of which you can believe the hype – 13,694 new members since the polls closed. Those are figures, not words. Fact.

Silence, like a cancer grows

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Inside the booth of a polling station, where a Tory voter stood must have been a goddamned riot. Inside their heads must have been music, loud, profound music that encouraged singing at the top of ones voice. And then the pencil, shimmying across the box, x-marks the spot like the centre of a dance floor. Who knows, one or two might have even tapped their feet or given their bum a wiggle. I like to think of it this way. Because outside of the booth, outside of the polling station, the celebration has been non-existent, the silence beyond deafening.

The media has latched on to the ‘shy Tory’ and social media has been awash with words from the left, but precious little from the victors. How has this come to pass? Of more than 100 different people on my Facebook feed, just one said this: ‘Well I must be the only person happy about the election result on Facebook :-D’ . Despite our differences of political opinion, I had to give her kudos for being the only one to write something to this end. The Independent featured an article written by student Lewis Barber, the day after the election, entitled, ‘I’m a proud Tory. But with the left this belligerent and self-righteous, is it any wonder that so many of us are ‘shy’? and he talked of announcing right-leaning political persuasions on Facebook as being the last taboo. Who says? Because you might be outnumbered? Get your numbers in order then, just like you did last Thursday. Don’t just shy away because of a troll.

My point is this. When you cheer on your football team from behind the goalmouth, do you do it silently? When you were willing Mo Farah or Kelly Holmes or Linford Christie or Steve Regrave or Chris Hoy to win gold, did you do so with mouths closed? When you are not guilty of something but accused to be so, do you protest your innocence? When you love someone do you whisper it? When you get married, do you tell no-one? Hell, when someone pushes in, in front of you in a queue, do you let them, or do you in your typically British way say quite clearly, ‘there is a queue’?

Katie Hopkins thought her Twitter silence of three days was the best way of retaliation to those who decried her neo-Nazi stance on immigrants drowning en route to Italy. Her silence was pushed upon her like a ten tonne weight. Her silence showed nothing but her guilt and a media machine making her do as she was told. Her silence was enforced to let stratospheric levels of dust settle in the hope that the memory of the horrors of her language would go away. It didn’t go away. It won’t go away.

Whilst I respect Lewis Barber for writing his article and citing his reasons for not speaking out, I still do not understand it. Their voices are too loud, their activity on Facebook ignorant, their number too many? Never mind what they say! Never mind their alleged belligerence! Where is your voice on campus Mr Barber? For every Peruvian revolutionary they decide to laud, you should be counteracting it with the Iron Lady. For every ‘Fuck Tories’ banner you see, play them at their own game and put up your own banner saying ‘Fuck Lefties’. Deeming it virtually beneath you to respond is ridiculous. It isn’t beneath you to respond because you are not above them. Are you the type to just walk on by when you see a crime being committed or do you feel compelled to do something about it? Being silent, especially in the context of an election, where democratic voices need to be heard, shows a complicity with something shady. Come out of the shade and fight the good fight. Even if you fight dirty, better to fight and show your passion than not to fight at all. Emphasising victory afterwards, with ever such a slightly sanctimonious tone in a national newspaper, having not fought the good fight, is simply cowardly.

Are Tories essentially happy? If my party had won a majority, against all odds, I would be dancing in the street. I would have let all and sundry know my feelings and then some, on social media or otherwise. Why is it that the Tories kept it in the closet? Is it essentially because the party is about the self? Is it because the party protects the wealthy elite? Is it because social welfare is not on their list of priorities and they know how that looks to the wider community?

Maybe it’s just because they can’t dance. Who knows.

They say silence is golden. No it isn’t. Silence is an ashamed shade of blue.

Follow @iwilleatmyhat on Twitter

The morning after

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Today I have felt detached on a scale I never have before. Having voted in the 2015 General Election for the party I have always voted for, the Liberal Democrats, I had to suffer a sadness that I never thought possible in politics. That a leader like Nick Clegg, a good and decent man, a politician who brought with him a level of trust and integrity that is rarely seen in Westminster, could wake up today, look in the mirror and think those famed words by Lee Harvey Oswald, ‘I’m just a patsy.’

I wrote a rant of sorts on Facebook last night about voter apathy. But I maintained that I would still vote despite so many reasons, good reasons, for not voting. My belief in a greater good willed out last night and as I walked into the polling booth, I thought that maybe, just maybe, a little miracle might happen. It did, but in completely the wrong direction.

My Facebook feed of friends’ comments were filled with discontent and disillusionment this morning and throughout the day. Anyone who voted Conservative on my feed was notably silent. I found this odd, primarily because I believe that if you achieve a victory, you celebrate it. Especially when it is on a national scale and you have waited five long years for it. The radio stations called them ‘shy Tory voters’. This is a polite way of putting it. Are they ashamed? Are they afraid of voicing their political leanings in a public sphere? Are they afraid of the response they might get? Do they ultimately know that they are all about themselves? That the selfie culture in which we live spills over into politics and that the vanity, the ego, the all about me is basically a Tory epithet?

Having sat through Nick Clegg’s resignation speech, in my car, alone, with tears coming down my face, and then later, watching Gogglebox with the horribly sad benefit of hindsight, I thought I would start this blog. Named after dear Paddy Ashdown’s comments about the exit polls being so wrong that he would eat his hat (which as a stand alone comment, he wasn’t wrong) Iwilleatmyhat will be a way for me to document the next five years of Conservative rule in a manner that will attempt to show how the media will spin, how the promises will be broken and how the times in which we live will become bleaker. I want to write it honestly and fairly and come the next election, have a tome of work for the next batch of voters in 2020 to look back on and think that maybe the Liberal Democrats might be worth a punt again and that the Conservatives must be ejected from No 10. And if by 2020, the Conservatives haven’t broken one promise and have governed in a manner that most are not expecting, I too, will eat my hat.

It will be exhausting and upsetting, I have no doubt about that. I foresee so little done for the community, for public services, for the working man and breaks given to the rich and the powerful. I had, for a few hours today, thought about running myself. But sense prevailed and I realised that my family comes first. I hope to share the thoughts of others on this blog alongside my own so get in touch when you like.

So here’s to the next five years. Let’s hope it isn’t as apocalyptic as I am anticipating.

You can also follow me on Twitter for more of the same, just less words… @iwilleatmyhat