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General Election

This is not the Brexit election. This is an election about reducing a death toll.

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Social cohesion in Britain is at its thinnest in living memory.

The disparate demography that constitutes our shivering isle is held together with chewing gum, resentment and economic necessity. The only shared understanding we have is that the upcoming General Election is going to be one of the shittiest in a generation.

The tabloids are going to be fizzing. The bar for what constitutes treason will drop to a dizzying low, until it includes blinking while looking at a stamp and failing to say "God bless you" to a sneezing lollipop lady. Home counties melts who've never used the word 'austerity' in their lives are going to be framing the battlelines of this election, screaming about civility from their verified Twitter accounts and whispering it menacingly at the public through the topiary borders of their inherited mansions.

The electorate are given an extremely difficult choice this year: between starving thousands of children or denying millionaires the money necessary to purchase and house their third domesticated golden eagle. I too am stumped by the dilemma. I have scratched my scalp until the skin has gone raw, given way and allowed me to claw a cavity into my skull to reveal the teeming brain worms that writhe within.

The landscape will be distorted several times before our feet are able to touch the floor. We're going to hear a lot about the Liberal Democrats. They're the party that agreed to reduce welfare benefits in return for the 5p plastic bag charge. They're going to do their best to frame themselves as a credible alternative to the Conservative Party to gain enough votes to go into coalition with them again. Jo Swinson seems so pro-austerity she has already criticised what few reversals Boris Johnson has proposed as a "magic money tree".

Do you know when the recession ended? I didn't. I had to look it up. It's hard to find out and even harder pin down. Turns out the best question isn't when it ended, but where. If you live in the south of England, it's highly likely your local economy grew past its pre-recession dip around 2015. But if you live in the North then you're still in it, still stagnating at pre-2008 level growth. The profits for the richest in the UK have soared since the recession, while in my hometown the homelessness crisis is exploding and it can cost a day's wages just to catch a train to visit my family.

We were told to accept social murder, the preventable deaths of as many as 120,000 people under austerity, to 'balance the books' and resolve the £900 billion deficit left by Labour. The deficit currently sits at around £2 trillion under the Conservative Party.

This is not the Brexit election. This is an election about reducing a death toll. The EU will not protect you from the same Conservative Party who have left £3.5 million in EU funding for alleviating child poverty unspent for six years. The only thing that will protect any of us is keeping them out of power.

We're being asked to give our opinion on what kind of society we want to live in. Take a moment to imagine that a better world is possible.

pls dont mess it up ok???

Next article in issue 141

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