The people have spoken. The b*st*rds.
–Failed California senatorial candidate Dick Tuck*, 1966
I’m not so bothered that the Conservatives won an overall majority in Thursday’s election; that was always a risk, and they now have the opportunity to do something almost impossible: impress me by making this a better country, for everyone and not just the elite. This will not be achieved by punishing poor people for being poor (e.g. having a spare bedroom but not the opportunity to move to a smaller property), and rewarding rich people for being rich with tax breaks.
No, I’m sure the newly-elected Conservatives won’t screw over the real people of this country in favour of their business cronies, and that I wasn’t simply incredibly lucky not to be sanctioned when I was on unemployment and housing benefit, but that the cases of people getting sanctioned for being 5 minutes late to a meeting, or not being able to get out of their wheelchair to walk up some stairs, are a tiny minority of exceptions, and the vast majority of people on benefits are only there temporarily and are treated fairly and with dignity.
I’m sure I was quite mistaken in thinking they really do want to convert this country into the world of 1984, with the vast majority too poor to do anything other than scrabble in the dirt to survive (food banks don’t exist, do they?), no petty Human Rights Act to protect everyone’s freedom of thought, and everyone under observation even if they’ve done nothing wrong (you know, guilt and innocence being a matter of timing, and all that). The Lib Dems were the bad ones in the coalition, of course, and weren’t holding the Tories back from doing fascist things in this country — perish the thought!
No, what really pees me off is the fact that Mike Freer held onto his seat here in Finchley & Golders Green: we had a chance to get rid of the architect of the botched One Barnet privatisation, and we let it slip. And while it’s uncertain whether his friend Brian Coleman is back with the local Tory association or not, he seems to have a highly offensive successor, according to the Barnet Eye… do these people even regard anyone else as human? Apparently they gave away the Sweets Way estate in Hendon to private developers (to replace social housing with expensive flats), so they didn’t even make any money for the borough!
(One imagines, however, that they were not personally unrewarded for their generosity…)
It occurs to me that I’ll be in my forties when the next election takes place (whether I’m 41-going-on-42 or 42-going-on-43 depends on how brave the Tories are in 2019), which suddenly doesn’t seem like such an impossibly long time in the future any more, even if I’ve been through a lot of personal changes since the last election in 2010. I really want to fix my life by the next election, by getting a proper permanent job, by being able to afford a mortgage on a place out in Surrey, and by finding a wife (or at least amassing a harem), all to ensure I don’t end up living with my mother in Worthing all over again.
Actually, I feel like I’ve got less than four (or possibly five) years to do this in: I want to sort everything out by the time I have a 4 at the start of my age. I don’t want to let my mother down, but more than that, I don’t want to let myself down, and as it’s clear that our society writes people off above a certain age, I’ve got to hurry up about it. However, I won’t plot suicide on my 40th birthday if I haven’t fixed everything, similar to what I did on that day I tediously refer to as “Twelve-Twelve“: I’ll write more about this later, but suffice it to say that I won’t change for the sake of changing, settle for a job, home or girlfriend that makes me miserable, or give up the things I enjoy out of some sense of obligation to suffer.
I’m sure nothing the Conservatives do over the next few years will hinder me in my aim to make something of my life, get a decent job and buy a nice home, and indeed will help me every step of the way… otherwise they’d be a bunch of liars only out to line their own pockets at the expense of the peasantry, and we’d never elect people like that to govern our country, would we?
We’re doomed, Mr. Mainwaring…
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(* All right, uh huh huh huh, but his name’s nowhere near as funny as Dick Pound: with apparently no sense of irony, he wrote this book — and presumably approved the cover as well. Uh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh etc…)