General Election 2017: Use your vote, but use it wisely

In the run-up to the council elections earlier this year Ruth Davidson posed on a mobility scooter, presumably as part of her campaign to raise awareness about how underdeveloped the Tory party’s sense of irony is. Really, Ruth? That’s like Thatcher trying to win over the working class by posing for the 1985 Socialist Worker’s calendar, lounging across a pit entrance, and naked except for a miner’s helmet and a puff of coal-dust on each cheek.

The Tory party – in both Westminster and Holyrood – is working hard to channel the spirit of an apparently remorseful abusive partner, swearing with all of its might that ‘this time things will be different’.  In the grip of delusional desperation in Scotland – and owing to a sense of sinister, Voldermortian assurance in England – the Tories are busy positioning themselves as the party of the disabled, the disenfranchised, the poor, the NHS, the working man. ‘I’ve changed, honestly I have, you’ll see, I love you, I don’t want to lose you. I promise that this time I won’t beat the absolute fuck out of you, and then cheat on you with the posh bit of stuff up the street.’

I can understand why the guy with the monocle from Monopoly would vote Conservative, but why has the party enjoyed such an upsurge in popularity among the working class? Why are people who rely upon the NHS, a healthy welfare state and a large swathe of well-funded, publicly-run services (particularly in the care sector) essentially voting for their own destruction by embracing a party that is, at root, ideologically opposed to all of these things?

Our predominantly right-wing media is partly responsible for this state of affairs, of course, that steady drip-feed of lies, hysteria and manipulation masquerading as news and comment. Look on in envy, Kaiser Soze, because yours is no longer the greatest trick ever pulled, son: tabloid newspapers are owned by billionaires and staffed by middle-class urban professionals, but somehow the working class is convinced that they speak for them. This same mentality runs rampant in America, as evidenced by its people hailing a heartless, ruthless billionaire, who built his billions on the broken backs of millions, as a man of the people (It’s not even clear that Donald Trump is a person, much less a man).

It also seems to me that the thunderous orchestra of social and political issues that makes up the soundtrack to our dizzyingly complex and hectic lives has been reduced to one single, deafening scream: BLOODY FOREIGNERS! “I don’t want these bloody Poles and P***s using our bloody NHS!” Well, take heart, my frightened, reactionary friend. You keep voting like this and the NHS won’t exist anyway. Who knows, maybe that’s been the agenda/evil plan all along.

As a little aside, it also amazes me that most of the British nationalists and unionists I’ve encountered – the ones with streaks of racism in them so prominent they’re actually visible from space – have also been, almost unfailingly, great admirers of the Queen.

“LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!” “FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY!” “I BLOODY LOVE THAT WOMAN!” Ah, a violent, semi-literate alcoholic skinhead with a hair-trigger temper. I’m sure the Queen will be inviting you round to the palace for tea and cucumber sandwiches any day now. Again, she’s a billionaire who sits on a throne and wears a crown. I don’t know what part of that makes Davey from Possil imagine that their love and respect is somehow mutual. The Queen probably wouldn’t piss on most of us if we were on fire.

Our charred corpses, on the other hand…

“Well,” people in Scotland might say, “I need to vote Tory to keep that wee dwarf Sturgeon out. She only cares about making Scotland independent!”

It seems a bit churlish to lambast the leader of what is ultimately the ‘We’re Committed to this Very Specific Thing’ Party for being committed to a very specific thing. Spoiler alert: yes, the SNP is pretty keen on Scottish independence, primarily because it’s our last, best hope to conduct and manage our affairs in line with our political, economic and social needs and aspirations. But the SNP isn’t a one-trick pony. Its manifesto also embraces civicism with a heavy smattering of socialism, something most people would know if they ever had occasion to hear Nicola Sturgeon talk without some arsehole shouting ‘BUT WHAT ABOUT INDEPENDENCE, DWARF?!’ at her every three seconds (I don’t think poor Nicola finish her breakfast without somebody asking her if she intends to grant self-determination to her cornflakes).

Do you really want to vote for Theresa May: a wobble-voiced Thatcher-lite who looks like she’s trying to regurgitate an albatross each time she laughs? Or Ruth Davidson, a passionless politician with the soul of a middle-manager?

The old saying goes that the longer we live the more right-wing our views become: we start off as idealists, and crusaders for justice, but evolve into bitter, jaded cynics as we come to the painful realisation that the world is a great, immutable sink-hole of unfairness, indifference and cruelty (In fact, wait, isn’t that actually a line from the Tory manifesto?).

So if a leftist is capable of transitioning from left to right, then what the hell kind of moral journey does a Tory undertake as he or she advances into their twilight years? How much more ‘right’ can ‘right’ get?

Do you really want to find out?

England: vote for Corbyn, come what May.

Scotland: Be Ruthless.

**Hey, wait a minute. It’s finished? But what about Scottish Labour? Well, exactly.

Cunt of the Week (17th April 2013) by Jonny Seaton

t1I’m going to set my stall out straight away: I hate the Tories. I can’t stand them, in fact, but my first memory of them was a positive one. In 1975 I remember Margaret Thatcher being elected as the first female leader of a political party, and thinking, as a 6 year old, ‘That’s good.’ My main female role model at that time was my mum, and she was brilliant, a really positive influence on me.

Perhaps it was my doctor father’s left-wing leanings, or perhaps it was the 80’s and the height of political comedy with Ben Elton and Spitting Image vying for our attention at putting down those in power; either way, I realised that the Conservative Party were not the party of the people….unless of course the people you were referring to were ‘society’s elite,’ a phrase that was something of an oxymoron in the 80’s, as Thatcher had denounced society, and claimed that it didn’t exist. As she put it: ‘There’s no such thing as society.’ (‘Elite’ is also open to interpretation: by elite I mean the rich, or the wannabe rich.)

Major: like an old Clark Kent, minus the Superman.

Major: like an old Clark Kent, minus the Superman.

But after introducing the poll tax, the vicious attacks on the unions and strikers, the denationalisation of once great industries, the initial steps in privatisation of the Health Service and so on, Thatcher was eventually deposed by her own party. There followed a slight move from extreme right-wing, blue politics to closer-to-centre, grey politics with seven years of John Major – a man so dull that not even the later revelation that he had had an affair with Edwina Currie could liven up his image. And it was image that the next PM, Tony Blair, was all about. Tony will be remembered for a few things, most notably an illegal war; a war that I totally agree with, if I am honest. Saddam Hussein was a bad man who committed genocide against the Iraqi Kurds, and if that was the reason for the invasion there would have been a lot less of an issue. The official reason was Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), but none were ever found – they were never going to be found. What Iraq did, and does, have in abundance is oil; and with the USA calling the shots, we were always going to war.

Gordon Brown squeezing an imaginary Tony Blair heart.

Gordon Brown squeezing an imaginary Tony Blair heart.

The collapse of the financial services led to Labour’s downfall, despite a couple of years of a good man, Gordon Brown, whose biggest problem was timing. Blair’s legacy was that the next Prime Minister was going to be a Tory. A big reason for this was the collapse of the financial services and the plunging of the UK into recession; interestingly enough a collapse that can be accurately traced back to the US policies of Reagan, which had been copied by Margaret Thatcher in the 80’s: greed, self and money; a man mind thyself attitude.

David Cameron: even his own shadow thinks he's a cunt.

David Cameron: even his own shadow thinks he’s a cunt.

So on 11 May 2010 the public went to the polls, and nearly 30 million turned out to vote, which is a great turnout (about 65% of those eligible). The Tories won 308 seats, which wasn’t enough for a majority unless combined with the seats of the Liberals – and don’t get me started on that! Many saw this as a protest vote, but whatever the reasons the Conservatives were back in power.

So 13 years since we last had a Conservative Government we had another, and the ‘everything now’ society in which we live caused people to forget how bad it was the last time. There is a feeling amongst the electorate that all the parties are much of a muchness. The bland politics of Major and Blair did nothing to dispel that. They are wrong: Cameron is very much one of Thatcher’s children. He has been in power for less than 3 years, and what have we seen?

  • Cuts to the armed forces and an end to the Scottish Regiments, replacing them with one cheaper Scottish Regiment. In the best traditions of Thatcher, this is a Scottish-only thing.
  • An end to the separate Scottish Police Forces, being replaced by one force…. another Scottish thing
  • Cameron is continuing the gradual erosion of the NHS
  • Cameron is undoing all of the good that came from the Beveridge Report, which fought the ‘five giant evils’ of Ignorance (Education), Idleness (Work & Pensions) and Disease (NHS)
  • Iain Duncan-Smith claiming he could surive on £57 per week
  • The introduction of a Bedroom Tax, potentially forcing the most vulnerable in society to take in unknown lodgers
  • The phone hacking scandal, and Cameron’s disclosed closeness to Rebekah Brooks, the editor at the height of the scandal. She is set to go on trial in September this year but I doubt anything will come of that. Am I cynical, perhaps?
Thatcher's coffin being led to the ground by the BNP, who won the competitive bid to run her funeral.

Thatcher’s coffin being led to the ground by the BNP, who won the competitive bid to run her funeral.

So on this, the day that Margaret Thatcher is buried, you would think that my cunt of the week is the Conservative Party. Well, I am afraid you are wrong. Yes, I despise them; I hate everything they stand for and wish they did not exist. However, what they stand for is well documented: they are the party on the right; they are the party of money; and the party that likes to keep that money circulating amongst themselves….

My cunt of the week is… well it could be you? Did you vote? No. Do you complain about the Government? You do? Well, it is you then. Voting is the right of every free person over the age of 18 in the UK. It is a democratic right, and one that if you forego then you forego the right to complain that this party – which has always been composed of cunts – continue to do what they have always done.

Jonny Seaton

Jonny Seaton

THIS WEEK’S GUEST WRITER Jonny Seaton is fast becoming a regular and favourite on the Scottish stand-up circuit. Last month he reached the grand finale of Radio Forth’s Big Comedy Audition, and received great praise from the judges. Outside of comedy, Jonny works as a fluffer for the animals on David Attenborough documentaries. ‘When David Attenborough wants to see two elks fucking, then David Attenborough GETS to see two elks fucking,’ explains Jonny. ‘But sometimes they’re not in the mood. David won’t accept this. He’ll say things to me like, “I didn’t fly all the way to Africa and trek through bloody jungles and across deserts getting my arse bitten off by mosquitos just so that these two lazy cunts could ruin my money shot.” Oh, he can be quite brutal sometimes. That’s where I come in. Sometimes you need to be tough, with a vice-like grip, sometimes gentle, like you’re shaking hands with a brittle-boned Oompa Loompa. Yes, I love my job, but it can be challenging. You try wanking off a tiger.’

The cost of failure can be high. On one occasion Jonny failed to excite two apathetic rhinos into having sex, and so Attenborough ordered Jonny to put on a rhino costume, and fucked him himself.

Jonny once went to France. He liked it.

Not all of this biography is true… Jonny fucking hated France.

FOLLOW JONNY ON TWITTER: @BalernoDad