Thrilled. That’s the word she used. I’m not a fan of workplace violence but if we in this building were trusted to open the windows she’d currently be worrying the front wheels of a number 17 to Cannon Street.
The woman who sits next to me in my mercifully temporary ‘job’ wastes most of the breaths she has left on words and phrases such as ‘personas’ and ‘overarching user needs’. It’s some kind of research the government allows her to do in preparation for online projects which can not and will not be influenced in any way by that research, due to civil servants whose lives depend on sticking fast to impenetrable policy guidelines. Anyway, the government is all about job creation as they’ve been saying for months, and she has one. And she’s thrilled about it.
More specifically she’s thrilled at the re-election of the government which has for the last few months allowed her to get paid for work so meaningless she may as well be ordering Advent calendars for the citizens of Kathmandu. As she told me of her elation on one of the worst Mondays in living memory, she seemed truly delighted that we’d avoided what she clearly regarded as a catastrophic Labour-led coalition that would have caused immediate and irreparable damage to her bank balance and almost certainly allowed a battalion of filthy drug addicts on massive benefits to move into her spare room.
She’s not the only one I’ve heard puffing their chests out in pride at the wonderful decision many voters made in an election that’ll go down as the start of the end for many things some Britons hold dear. Equality, the BBC, the NHS, foxes; all these and more now face a variety of restrictions, cutbacks, bans and culls. Poor people will freeze and starve in great numbers as the ghost of Darwin taunts anyone not in a ‘hard-working family’ with visions of fights to the death over the last Granny Smith, which has rolled into the gutter beside the upturned stall of a recently bundled-away immigrant market trader. Their very first action will seemingly be to repeal the Human Rights Act, and I can provide no finer summation of them than that.
‘We’, though, ‘we’ will be fine. This ‘we’ includes the people who have worked hard enough to own outright at least a fraction of the property they live in. This hard work could have come about via traditional hard work, i.e. sitting bored out of your nut in an office. People in jobs that require them to go to the same place every day to do the same thing that they hate slightly more than last week, hatred they internalise as raised blood pressure rather than releasing at anyone in authority – these are the people who can now expect to be rewarded with a waterfall of golden gifts known collectively as ‘a stronger economy’, however that manifests itself.
It doesn’t have to have been your own hard work, of course. This government will probably reduce inheritance tax to allow people to pass more of the money that has been in their family for generations down to heirs who must wait patiently for interest rates to go up. If anything the wait for the Bank of England’s announcement is harder work than any performed by bleating blue collar plebs, like farmers paid below cost price for milk or cleaners not knowing how many hours they’ll get that week. Imagine having to wait a whole month to find out if grandpa’s millions will be worth millions or billions for the subsequent four weeks. Terrifying.
It could also have come about via a good stroke of fortune. Did you happen to bend over gracelessly in a nightclub packed with leering rich wankers, one of whom brought you gaily into a life of blissful married indolence? Well done, you will be rewarded by the government at the expense of someone who was born ugly through no fault of their own and who, because one low blow is never enough, can’t even find someone to fuck to keep them warm when the gas company doubles their prices because of something that happened to a pipe in the West Siberian Plain.
What are you fucking moaning about? You’ve got a pound haven’t you? Play the fucking lottery. Though, it’s two quid now. Sorry.
A few days ago all of this would have made me furious. But I’m done. If you people are going to voluntarily elect a government for the richest people in the land in the hope that they’ll somehow turn into a million Warren Buffets and shit a few bob on you once in a while, well frankly you can fuck off, oh mighty British voters.
In five years’ time, when the UK is out of the EU, Scotland has legged it and even Northern Ireland are casting glances over their shoulder at the possibility that maybe reunification isn’t such a bad idea after all, I’ll have flogged the farm and fled to Finland. You’ll be left wondering why you did this to yourselves, why all the fat people seem to have all the money, and why no matter what you do you still can’t seem to get rid of Wales.
When you look away for a few seconds and turn back to find the hunting ban repealed, don’t be throwing your arms up in anguish that they’ve inserted a clause in it to allow the hunting of homeless people with packs of beagles. Not that it matters to you, unless you find yourself unexpectedly turfed out because the land you live on has been sold to a Saudi beneath your feet and you can’t afford to live anywhere in your local area, and can’t find work outside that area that will pay your ever-increasing bills. That’s capitalism I’m afraid, that you’ve just voted for in your millions assuming bad things only happen to people who deserve it.
Well guess what: you all fucking deserve it. Your lack of faith in liberalism means you now have half a decade at least of the exact opposite. Included among a list of synonyms for ‘liberal’ in the dictionary are ‘broad’, ‘large-minded’ and ‘tolerant’. Its antonyms are ‘buttoned-up’, ‘fusty’, ‘unprogressive’ and ‘hidebound’. Thrilling. Welcome to the life you’ve chosen, and goodbye.