I’m going to use the word “You” a lot today. I don’t mean you. I mean You. Yes: You.
I’m one of those (North London) Lefties you hear about in the mostly right-wing press and media, the ones who sneer at the likes of Hugh Grant or Steve Coogan for daring to voice an opinion.
I’ve not always been a (North London) Leftie; for a while I was a Cambridgeshire Leftie, living in John Major’s constituency and arguing on the bus home from 6th Form; and then a South Wales Leftie, where frankly I didn’t stand out from the crowd all that much.
But always a Leftie. I’ve never voted Tory. Never have, never will.
I’m the sort of person who, the red tops would have you believe, lives in a bubble, divorced from the realities of modern life.
That may be true. (Narrator: It’s not true.)
But one thing I can say is that I lived in London for the two terms that Anthony Boris Pfeiffer Oxbowlake Jerusalem Wiffwaff Johnson somehow managed to gain consent to act as our Mayor. And I know what he is. I’ve told you before.
But let’s pretend You knew nothing of his past, of his being fired from two (three?) jobs for lying, of his agreeing to have a fellow journalist beaten up, of his – to use his vernacular – “spaffing up the wall” public funds on an unbuilt bridge, or an unusable water cannon.
Yesterday You all looked at Johnson and somehow, despite everything You saw and heard, You went and voted for him anyway.
You ignored his refusal to go head to head with Andrew Neil in an interview, and thought, “Yeh, that’s okay – why should he be scrutinsed in the same way that every other party leader has done? He’s just our Prime Minister, he doesn’t need to be held accountable. Leave him alone, he has funny hair!”
You ignored that he shrugged off the televised Leader’s Climate Conference, which he failed to attend, but sent his Dad instead, thinking that was an entirely reasonable thing to do. Oh, and rubber faced gimp mask Frodo Michael Gove, like that’s any better.
You ignored the allegations of improper conduct in public office with a
lapdancer business woman.
You ignored the allegations of spousal abuse.
You ignored the lies about the number of hospitals he says he’ll build.
You ignored the lies about the number of additonal nurses that would fill them.
You ignored him not even knowing – or at least being prepared to admit, or even discuss – how many children he has.
You ignored him giving the “cut” signal to a semi-hostile radio interviewer asking a difficult question, forgetting it was also being filmed.
You ignored him wrestling a mobile phone from a journalist, pocketing it because it was showing a photograph of a child laying on coats in a hospital in Leeds.
You ignored his part in the Vote Leave law-breaking.
You ignored that bus.
You ignored the tossed-off-the-cuff racism and homophobia.
You ignored him blundering into the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe affair and getting her sentence increased.
You ignored him hiding in a fridge, for fuck sake.
Did I miss anything? Probably. It’s a really long list.
And You thought: this man, he, who has been at the heart of Conservative politics for many years, their champion, who has with relentless relish sought out every dogturd, stepped in it and then waved it in our faces, this proven liar, full of bullshit and bluster, he is the man to lead us.
Well done You.
Do You remember when we laughed about how stupid Americans must be to vote in Trump? Something like that couldn’t happen here, could it. You said.
Except it just has.
So many people I know – my family, my friends, me – have had to rely on our wonderful NHS recently. I literally would not be here were it not for them. And they gave me almost 15 years with my now passed best friend, 15 years I will always cherish and be thankful for.
You saw the NHS on its knees, crying out for help, and You said: I like the bloke with the funny hair that knows some Latin.
And we all know what is likely to happen to the NHS now. Don’t pretend You don’t.
You had documents proving the NHS is up for sale in post-Brexit negotiations waved in Your face. You had Trump admitting it (and then denying it, but let’s not get into his consistency issues). And You ignored it.
I hope you and your families never get ill and need to rely on our beautiful NHS.
I hope none of them ever have to visit a food bank.
But of course, I can’t look away from Labour’s leadership either.
For had there been a credible alternative, I don’t think Johnson would be where he is this morning.
I’ve written about them here before; initially in glowing terms (though with a caveat: I made reference way back when he got elected as Party Leader that Corbyn could be as disasterous as Michael Foot – and so it has proved, only more so) and more recently relinquished my support for him.
Me? I’m doing (kinda) okay, but I work in the public sector, and I’ve seen jobs and budgets chipped away, jobs amalgamated, people let go. I saw a friend be told he had to take a (significant) pay cut to continue his work – do the same, but for less, or be off – and so he had to leave.
It might be me next. Nothing I can do it about it if it is. I’ll join the three-year waiting list for a council house, no bother.
It’s austerity, see? Cuts need to be made.
Meanwhile, here’s a £billion for the DUP to buy their compliance. Here’s £140m on an advertising campaign for a No Deal Brexit which hasn’t happened (yet).
But can we spend some money putting proper cladding on a tower block so that our brothers and sisters from ethnic minorities and/or poor people don’t burn to death? Or compensate the families of those who did? Of course not. Too busy deporting them in the Windrush scandal.
I’m angry I fell for Corbyn, back then.
I’m angry I saw the light (too) late.
I’m angry that the people who so desperately needed a lift will have another five years under the heel.
Because that’s what voting Tory is: a flagrant disregard for others. “I’m Alright Jack”, and sod the rest of you.
But one day, trust me, You will be angry too. You probably already have been, but didn’t realise it.
I voted Labour yesterday, but I didn’t vote for Corbyn. I voted Not Tory.
We’ve all known for a long time that this election was going to be a maelstrom of messed-up; the unreliable versus the unelectable.
Because that’s what Corbyn is. Unelectable. No more questions. No more doubt. No more debate. Get rid.
Had there been a better Leader of the Labour Party – Phillips, Starmer, Thornberry – last night would not have happened.
This day has been coming for a long time. It’s just such a shame it happened at exactly the point where the country most needed the opposite.