Surviving? Can Battleaxe do anything apart from surviving in a time of political melt-down? Well, not much apart from a few small things, and this post lists them. But maybe I should forget politics and just write poems about sunny summer days.
Forget politics? Not quite, not yet, even though gnashing my teeth about the mess we are in has blighted my life – uselessly – for over three years. I have posted about this sporadically – and, again, uselessly.
What am I on about?
Right now, Parliament is on a long summer holiday while the clock ticks down towards the latest Brexit deadline in October, with the threat of a disastrous No Deal Brexit. The Conservatives are using the down time to ‘ready us’ for a No Deal scenario, but, in reality, to prepare for a General Election. Their crushingly effective propaganda machine, fuelled by false promises, is already up and running.
Our cabinet is dominated by corrupt/incompetent right-wing Brexit-lovers and free marketeers who will dismantle what remains of our public services, NHS and welfare once they have destroyed the economy with Brexit. Our Prime Minister is a charlatan – a self-seeking rogue who hides cold, calculating ambition behind a veneer of buffoonery. (I am avoiding using his name as much as possible – see later). Our own Hastings MP, Amber Rudd, has swallowed whatever principles she might have had and gone over to the Dark Side.
The official opposition, Labour, is in total disarray, riven with internal dissent and giving out contradictory, confusing messages. Despite the adoration of his followers, Jeremy Corbyn was never going to convert any Tory voters from the start, and his poor leadership and sly, evasive prevarication and flip-floppery has made matters much, much worse. The first priority for Labour is to get a new leader. The other opposition parties are in a better place, but all they will do at the moment is split the anti-Tory vote. The Tories only now have a working majority of one, but you can be sure that when the chips are down, all Tories will stick together.
The best hope of change, if Labour can’t get itself together, is for all anti-Tory parties to join forces to defeat the current government. They need to recognise the severity of the situation and put aside their differences to focus on the key task. Like it or not, the Tories have positioned Brexit as that key task.
There. Anyone who doesn’t like the above, just stop reading now.
What Battleaxe, and maybe others who think like me, can do….
Feeling powerless, disenfranchised and voiceless is not good for our mental health. At the same time, I also know many people feel anxious and guilty about doing nothing if they cut themselves off from news and discussion of the issues. Somehow, we have to take what positive action we can. Battleaxe is going to try and do the things below…
- Not post, like or share ‘funny’ social media posts, cartoons or memes about Johnson and his vile gang, and if possible hide such posts. Us Brits have a habit of defusing bad things with humour, but every time we like or share something like this – Johnson hanging from a zip-wire or in a baby dress, Rees-Mogg on a penny farthing etc etc – we are normalising and humanising them, and further increasing their ‘celebrity’ status.
- Not refer to Johnson as ‘Boris’ or ‘BoJo’.
- Not post, like or share any material about Johnson and his ilk. Even if it is negative, this material just enhances the celebrity status of those we would prefer to bury. See this. Also, Johnson has got that corner covered by denigrating the ‘gloomsters and doomsters’. There is no evidence that negative material changes minds, and the other lot just immediately dismiss it as ‘fake news’ and ‘remoaning’.
- Promote positive material that celebrates/explains what the EU does for us, and the benefits of being European. Promote material about the value of the NHS and other public services.
- Challenge social media posts promoting Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader, or talking about the party’s ‘readiness’ for an election. This applies to both local and national posts. Challenge Labour posts attacking other parties apart from their rightful target, the Government.
- Promote material urging parties to work together.
- Lobby politicians accordingly.
- If Johnson or any other senior Tories come to this constituency, or if encountered elsewhere, personally confront, challenge and heckle them. Our local MP would also do well to keep out of Battleaxe’s way…
Number 5 is a bit problematic. I am used to being Remoaning-you-lost-suck-it-up, but Corbynistas on social media are very unpleasant. I wrote a comment about Corbyn the other day and got these responses:
‘Tory Media propaganda Machine Clone Belter Alert’
‘You enjoy the fact 130,000 have died due to austerity then?’
Life is too short.
Philosopher drew my attention to an excellent Guardian article. Zoe Williams, ‘Stop reacting to every Boris Johnson caper’. I’ll quote the last paragraph:
‘Anger expended on Boris Johnson’s facile capers is, as resentment, like taking poison yourself and waiting for him to die. Time spent critiquing him is time wasted. Those of us who oppose Johnson ruminate about what will happen when the prime minister’s wild assertions meet the red lines of reality; but we have a reality of our own to confront. The time for argument has passed: there is no killer point, no reasoned line, no fact that will change the course of this government. The only way it changes is when it gets voted out.’