Dystopian Britain

Fahrenheit 451
Cyril Cusack (left) and Oskar Werner in 1966 film adaptation of ‘Fahrenheit 451’

Reality is often stranger than fiction.  Here’s a short summary of UK in April 2023.  

There was a hundred-plus queue of school holiday coaches at Dover harbour waiting for passengers to be processed for entry into European Union (EU) because Tory government chose a hard Brexit and further chose to not prepare for the consequences of their political decision.  Every Tory questioned about the delays blamed French customs and they were allowed by a complicit media to pretend their are no downsides to Brexit. 

The same obfuscation and blame-switching occurs when empty shelves in shops are mentioned.  The absence of foodstuffs, particularly fresh produce, is due to exporters from EU being deterred from selling to UK because of delays, extra costs and extra paperwork, all of which are direct consequences of Tories’ Brexit choices.  The government lies about the reason for the empty shelves and most of the media sits and nods conspiratorially.  Apparently, the cause was bad weather that, miraculously, didn’t affect existence of similar foods in European shops and markets.

Why not holiday in UK instead?  People could swim in faeces-infested rivers, or fish for dead fish, or stroll barefoot along turd-ridden beaches, but only if they could afford to take out a loan to buy a rail ticket and travel on a dilapidated train, or afford the petrol. 

Trains and petrol are very expensive, significantly more than most of Europe, as are food, gas and electric.  The latter three, all necessities, rose in price by over 50% in under a year and a half.  Tory government blames global fuel prices, Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, each of which is a blatant lie.  Brexit is a factor in rising prices but the main cause is straightforward price-gouging by fuel suppliers and food suppliers.  Massive recent profits for major fuel businesses and the food supply chain are due entirely to the prices of their products. 

People do not have a choice to not eat or not use domestic fuel.  The suppliers will charge as much as they can and, with Tory government as enabler, there is no limit to how high they will raise prices.  The role of Tories is to facilitate transfer of wealth from the public to the already wealthy.  A key task in that facilitation is shifting blame for high prices away from perpetrators and falsely onto factors that can be described as uncontrollable such as war, pandemic, price rises elsewhere in the international supply chain, or weather.   And, newspaper journalists and TV and radio broadcasters nod along.

Don’t swim among the effluence.  Any ensuing illness might not get treated.  There are other queues: Ambulances waiting outside Accident & Emergency departments of hospitals with patients on board in need of immediate medical intervention.  Queueing ambulances are not available to bring others to hospital.  Thousands of people died unnecessarily due to ambulance delays.  The direct and single reason for that is deliberate ruination of NHS by Tories.  Hospital beds were reduced in number and departed staff were not replaced, deliberately. 

Tories want full privatisation of healthcare but they don’t need to switch to a payer system or an insurance system.  All they need to do, and are doing, is destroy the service provided by NHS.  That forces people, who can afford it, to switch to private healthcare.  Decaying quality of service is used by government and their directors at various libertarian think-tanks as a reason to persuade the public that NHS isn’t working. 

Healthcare is a necessity.  It is an absolute necessity, more so than anything else.  Thus, for wealth grabbers, for bastards, it is a huge and endless supply of income.  They hand generous donations to MPs and peers and even larger bundles to think-tanks.  Tories will let the bodies pile high as part of their strategy to inculcate the idea that national health provision fails. 

To balance the privations of extortionate food and fuel costs and a declining health services, can we not enjoy the realities of Brexit?  Alongside empty shelves in shops, enjoy the greatly reduced opportunities to work throughout Europe and enjoy the fact the Europeans cannot travel to work in UK leaving many industries severely short staffed.  Enjoy the bonfire of EU laws and regulations.  Workers’ rights, food standards regulations, health & safety regulations, access to justice, and human rights legislation are binned.  They will be gone soon.  It’s called “sovereignty.”   It is “sovereignty” of power and control of exploiters over the public. 

In cahoots with Brexit is creation of charter territories that are called, erroneously, “investment zones” and “free ports.”  Every major port in UK and every adjacent (up to fifty miles or more) industrial area will be designated as a charter territory.  In charter territories all public land and public infrastructure is handed to corporate interests or landgrabbers, all rights are removed including workers’ rights (job security, minimum wage, right to strike), tenants’ rights, health & safety regulations, right to protest, access to justice and right to vote – governing administration will be by unelected “owners” of territories. 

The above is not how charter territories are described by their supporters and enablers.  They are hailed as wonderful opportunities for investment leading to many new jobs and reinvigoration of communities.  All of that is bull but it is not challenged.  News outlets never discuss political and societal consequences.  They never ask or investigate how handing over land and infrastructure to some of the most exploitative and immoral organisations on earth is going to help communities.  “Owners” of charter territories around the world are notorious exploiters. 

Not only does Labour not challenge the mendacious rhetoric about the territories it is also actively involved in their creation.  Labour councils and mayors are as keen as Tories to welcome the new controllers. 

Opposition to the destruction of society, the destruction of democracy and the destruction of livelihoods is not present in the Palace Of Westminster.  When there is the greatest need for a functional opposition and also when there is a huge opportunity for an effective opposition to take risks, what we have is the most cowardly, most useless, most indistinct political opposition ever in British democratic history.  Labour is as much indebted to corporate donors as Tory party is.  It does not want to change anything.  Extortionate cost of living, privatisation of healthcare, absurd consequences of hard Brexit and reduction in rights are as appealing to Labour as they are to Tories.  Labour is as dedicated to feeding the arms industry as Tory government.  Both parties are happy to see the body count in Ukraine rise daily if it maintains a continuous source of income for arms manufacturers. 

Labour is very conservative.  Since leadership change in early 2020 Labour’s focus was, and is, eradication of socialism from itself.  It is also as keen to lie as Tories are.

Dishonesty, mendacity, diversions, dead cats and evasion are exhaustive and exhausting tactics of Tory government communication.  Everything they say – every explanation of policy and intent, every response to a question, every statement to media or parliament – drowns everyone in lies.  It is a deluge.  It is suffocating.  Everything is a scam, a con, a confidence trick.  They have to be so relentless in their lying because any truthful statement would expose their intrinsic criminality. 

Criminals is what they are.  They are thieves, for themselves and for their donors.  The Covid-19 pandemic contracts scandal exposed how committed Tories are to handing public money to each other, to their associates and to people and businesses who paid a donation.  Billions of pounds were thrown away into offshore accounts.  That practice is the norm,  Every time Tory government says it is funding something it means it is handing money to privateer racketeers. 

We are robbed daily.  Typical process of theft is announcement of new “investment” in a public service or in infrastructure but it is just another channel for money to be passed to private sector for no worth to the public.  Tories’ descriptions of what they do are opposite to what they really do. 

They get away with it because there is no opposition, only encouragement and support.  Bystanding Labour, tax-dodger owned media outlets (newspapers, TV and radio) and Tory controlled BBC chaired by former Prime Minister’s loan broker are purposefully too impotent to criticise and always willing to join in with the con tricks. 

Tories have their distractions and targets to shift focus and to apportion blame.  Often, it is people who are least able to defend themselves.  Tory fingers point accusingly at disabled people claiming benefits, at underpaid overworked nurses striking, at people risking their lives crossing the English Channel in small boats.  They whip up anger toward people and then treat them as brutally as they can.

Murderous sanctions regime is a key component of Universal Credit.  It is Social Murder.  It is state-sanctioned murder.  It is gleeful enactment of extreme cruelty and leads directly to destitution, starvation, debt, homelessness and death.  Tories keep piling it on, getting worse each year, while blaming people for being poor.  Disabled people are worst hit.  What kind of government thinks it is a good idea to destroy the lives of disabled people?

Refugees and asylum seekers are another favoured target for Tories to attach blame.  Some people take huge physical risks to reach UK.  The government sees them as an opportunity to guide the public’s attention away from Tory destruction of society and away from systemic transfer of wealth to the wealthiest. 

Processing of asylum applications has ceased, deliberately.  It suits Tory propaganda that tens of thousands of refugees are housed in hotels, army barracks or barges.  Constant expectorations from government ministers and from MPs, backed by like-minded manipulators in media outlets, blame asylum seekers and refugees for all the country’s ills.  It is a constructed daily distraction but is also intended to infuse a perspective in the minds of the public that others, not the government, are responsible for any difficulties people face.

There is an acute and purposeful lack of humanity.  Two hundred people under eighteen disappeared from residences where asylum seekers lived and Tory government responded with a shrug.  Its treatment of children, some unaccompanied, is beyond every law related to safeguarding.  A scheme to traffic people to Rwanda makes no sense because that isn’t its intent.  It is part of the propaganda.  Visible cruelty and wilful law-breaking are part of the propaganda.

To achieve their aims against refugees Tories need to break the law.  Therefore, they want to remove UK from obligation to human rights law set by European Court Of Human Rights (ECHR).  UK was a founder of ECHR.  Leaving it is gross abdication of responsibility for government and is entirely at odds with democracy.  The decision to leave, if it happens, is not primarily to assist with trafficking people to Rwanda.  Without ECHR British people will be defenceless against authoritarian anti-liberty policies Tories think would help them to control.

The threat to leave ECHR is presented by Government, right-wing media and libertarian grifters at think-tanks as a positive display of nationalism.  Nationalism, patriotism, flag-shagging and statue-loving are all they have.  Performance patriotism has three aims: 1) It is a distraction; 2) it encourages people to follow uncritically the policies of Tory government no matter how harmful they are; 3) it positions people who object to Tory policy as unpatriotic with the intent of dismissing their criticisms.  It’s an old trick used for millennia.

Tories need constant distraction, they need people to support government policy no matter how harmful it is and they need to dismiss criticism rapidly and persistently because everything they do is harmful.  Their constant pleas to patriotism are absurd and are also censorious.  Direction of history teaching in schools and of historical information at heritage sites is increasing with the aim of suppressing knowledge and snuffing out the desire to investigate.

But, we can vote them out, can we?  In May a huge number of people will be denied a vote in council elections due to voter suppression policy that targets younger people and people with least income, two groups of people who are more likely to not vote Tory.  The first general election in UK with universal suffrage was 1929; the Tories hope 2019 will be the last.  To exacerbate the denial of a democratic right, two days after the council elections a new head of state will be crowned. 

Hundreds of millions of pounds will be spent on a single event that stinks of rotting privilege.  The king “owns” billions of pounds of wealth including properties, land and offshore investments.  His wealth is a direct consequence of historical theft by his ancestors alongside unearned income obtained via financial exploitation including rent-seeking and tax avoidance.  He exists outside of law.

Stolen wealth by the monarchy is one reason to destroy it.  A second is its role as an imposed comfort blanket to suppress thought.  As people cannot buy food and fuel they need, as people die waiting for medical care and as human rights are flushed away, the government, the king and the servant media thrust a grotesque spectacle in everyone’s faces as a display of ugly nationalism.  They demand uncritical acceptance of the existence of one of the most exploitative institutions in UK and they demand an addiction to it. 

April 1st is not Fool’s Day, it is Scammer’s Day.  It is the day when gas, electricity, water and council tax bills rise.  International cost of gas supply has gone down hugely recently but bills for UK users have risen, as have suppliers’ profits.  Water suppliers have stopped doing part of the job customers paid them to do – treatment of sewage – and are pumping it directly into streams, rivers and coastal waters leaving fish dead, beaches unwalkable and rivers and shores unswimmable.  Tory MPs voted in parliament for abandonment of sewage treatment. 

Tory party is a gang of criminals.  They fleece the public for themselves and for whoever pays them.  New New Labour is no better, nor are SNP and Liberal Democrats.  There is no tangible political opposition. 

So many of UK’s media outlets are owned by offshore exploiters and they work alongside government and think-tanks to promulgate perspectives that are intrinsically harmful because they suit wealth grabbers; lies, evasions, distractions and creation of targets for blame are their tactics.  BBC, with Tory appointees in senior roles, eschewed all its stated principles.

Do we live in a country with rights such as right to protest, right to free speech and right to justice?  All these rights are vanishing via a series of extreme authoritarian government bills passing through parliament and becoming law.  Police can stop any protest, including a single person just standing and not obstructing.  A member of the public was arrested for holding up a small blank sheet of paper close to where the king was present.  Wealth-aligned libel law constricts free speech.  Legal aid has gone and the use of juries is the next target for removal.  Judges are instructed to imprison political protesters on remand, possibly for several months, and to jail them for “contempt” if they exercise a human right to offer the defence they choose in court.

UK is where Tory government steered it.  Nothing that is happening is accidental.  Brexit was devised, developed and is being enacted as a heist.  Some tactics of destruction are facets or consequences of Brexit and some are straightforward theft as thieves snatch as much wealth as they are able because they know there is nothing to stop them.  Corruption is not a strong enough word to describe the government.

Dystopian fiction is primarily entertainment but, usually, contains writers’ fears and warnings.  Almost always, the fears are exaggerated.  Almost always.

Soylent Green
Charlton Heston in ‘Soylent Green’

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Dystopian Britain

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