Thursday’s Election Is Crucial – Only the Heartless or Brainless Can Vote Tory

This Thursday’s General Election should be a foregone conclusion. The Tories and their dishonourable, disreputable and despicable leader, Boris Johnson, should be electorally annihilated.

The Conservatives deserve to be electorally humiliated. Their record in government over the last nine years, a government Boris Johnson served in and supported with gusto and without hesitation, is lamentable and shameful. They took a conscious political decision to punish ordinary workers, disabled citizens, welfare recipients, and public sector workers in particular to pay for the financial mistakes, greed and crimes of the bankers, stockbrokers and city spivs who crashed and burned the economy in 2008. Austerity was not an economic policy but a cruel, cold and callous political scheme.

Boris Johnson Has Been At the Core of Government for Four Years

Without a shred of evidence he recently attempted to evade responsibility for the last nine years of Tory cuts and austerity which have devastated the NHS, the education system, the justice system, local government and housing provision by suggesting he had opposed the cuts in office behind closed doors. Every political colleague at the time refutes that claim and an examination of his speeches and articles from 2010 to 2015 before he actually joined the government as a Minister shows he was a cheerleader for the cuts not an opponent and backed every single austerity measure once elected to Parliament in 2015.

No wonder Johnson tries to deny the social and political crimes, for they are indeed grave and heinous but the blood of the 130,000 premature deaths resulting from gestapo-like ‘fit for work’ tests, benefit sanctions and the introduction of the universally discredited Universal Credit system is on his hands. He backed the cuts all the way.

Johnson and His Tory Chums Have Slashed Spending on Public Services

Once inflation is taken into account, the Resolution Foundation think tank calculates that day-to-day departmental spending fell by £32bn between 2010-11 and 2017-18, from £334bn to £302bn.

Figures released last year by the House of Commons Library revealed that £37bn was on course to be sliced off the welfare budget by 2021, a 25% reduction in real terms since 2010.

You simply can’t slash welfare spending by a massive 25% and not create massive despair, anguish and pain amongst the millions reliant on support due to poverty, disability and/or mental health problems. Johnson voted to cut welfare support to the disabled and cancer sufferers but reduce corporation taxes on companies like Amazon, Google and Walmart.

Tory Bedroom Tax is illegal and Discriminatory

The millions who were subjected to humiliating means tests to qualify for housing benefit support to prevent them becoming homeless were targeted by the disgusting bedroom tax which sought to impose penalties on poor families who dared to allow their children to have their own bedrooms. Regardless of the derogatory effects on social development and the ability to cope with homework children in poor families were either forced to share bedrooms or see the meagre incomes of their parents further reduced.

Poor disabled citizens requiring an extra room for essential equipment like dialysis machines or for carers to stay over to deliver care were financially punished in the name of austerity. Apparently ‘we were all in it together’ but that was a barefaced and deliberate lie. Johnson’s millionaire chums and their Yellow Tory poodles in the Lib Dems introduced the bedroom tax for the poor and vulnerable but tax cuts for millionaires. So disgraceful was the bedroom tax that it has now been ruled both ‘unlawful’ and ‘discriminatory’.

Johnson’s Party Have Butchered the NHS

Johnson and his gang of right wing reactionaries are responsible for the worst performing NHS in history. Their polices of capping public sector wages, allowing tuition fees to rise to an average of £9,000 a year and abolishing the student nurse bursary has produced a critical staffing crisis including over 40,000 nursing vacancies. Four year old Jack Williment was forced to sleep on a hospital floor on folded jackets as no beds were available to receive the suspected pneumonia sufferer at Leeds Teaching Hospital days ago. He needed oxygen and medical attention but as no beds were available he spent four and half hours on the floor and a further five hours on a trolley before a bed could be made ready to admit him. His mother Sarah was a regular Tory voter but after the traumatic experience suffered by her son has vowed to switch her allegiance to Labour on Thursday to save the NHS.

Since 2010 Tory cuts have resulted in the loss of 15,000 hospital beds while the number of patients forced to lie on trolleys awaiting treatment has risen by 1000%. Some citizens have died on trolleys in overcrowded and woefully underfunded hospitals.

Johnson’s pledge to spend more on the NHS if elected is empty and worthless. The Tories have been in office for nine years and irresponsibly butchered the most prized asset across the UK. They simply cannot be trusted with the NHS. They have already awarded contracts worth £15 billion to private contractors in the last four years alone, and their record on selling gas, electricity, water, railways, telecoms, Royal Mail, steel, BP, Buses, British Airways and loads more formerly public assets teaches us that they are committed to privatisation of everything which can generate some profits for their rich backers in the stock markets.

Tory Record on Schools and Homelessness Is Shameful

Homelessness in a rich and developed society like the UK is shocking yet under the Tories it has rocketed and on cold December nights right now the number of rough sleepers has reached 9,000, a 24% rise in the last five years. A shameful problem has got progressively worse under nine years of the Tories.

In schools teachers are compelled to buy essential teaching materials from their own resources or through fundraising, such is the crisis in funding. Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that spending per pupil in England’s state schools fell by 8% in real terms between 2009-10 and 2017-18. Some teachers even have to provide food and toiletries due to the poverty affecting increasing numbers of pupils:

“One in five teachers are spending their own money on classroom supplies, while nearly half say they buy food, clothes and even soap for poor pupils, according to a report charting the effects of austerity on schools”.

Tory Economics Produces Obscene Inequality

On the economy the myth is propagated that the Tories are the most competent and the only ones who can be trusted. Their hired liars in the press and media pedal lies and distortions every day about how well the economy is performing. When lower unemployment figures are lauded they don’t explain that millions of workers are in insecure, low paid, part time and zero hours contract jobs which promote poverty and despair, not prosperity and security. Over 14 million across the UK are now officially poor. Four million are children but nine million are workers in low paid jobs and that vast army of the ‘working poor’ is the fastest growing category of those classified as poor.

While real wages have been frozen and real standards of living have been slashed the richest 1000 have amassed an extra £512 billion in personal wealth and according to a recent Equality Trust Report the six richest billionaires in the UK now have more personal wealth, £39.4 billion, than over thirteen million citizens. Let that sink in for a moment. The “remarkably successful” Tory economy has taken us to a place where 6 individuals have more wealth than 13.2 million others combined!

That is not success – that is obscene. Millions struggle in poverty and the life chances of over four million children are seriously undermined while six billionaires control over £39 billion! Such statistics disgust me. I hope they disgust you also.

Don’t Let the Billionaire Press and Media Fool You

Logic should dictate that Johnson will be swept aside on Thursday night by a tide of concern for the future of the NHS, compassion for the treatment of the poorest and most vulnerable in society and anger at the corruption, lies and hypocrisy which pollutes the Tory party from top to bottom. All that stands in the way of Johnson and the Tories getting the electoral mauling they so richly deserve is the billionaire owned and controlled press and media which daily shields the Tories from the blame they deserve for the mess they have created in our schools, hospitals, justice system and housing sector. The billionaire owners of the likes of the Daily Mail, Sun, Telegraph, Talk Radio and others throw sand in the eyes of the public and turn black into white and lies into truth. The evidence shows Johnson is a racist, misogynist liar but the daily narrative is that a lifelong anti-racist in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn is actually an anti-Semite! George Orwell himself would be stunned by the brass neck of the media promoting such obvious lies.

Corbyn states his unwillingness to push a nuclear button and kill millions of innocent men, women and children and destroy the planet we live on and he is condemned for being weak and feeble. Those willing to fund, promote and use such weapons are praised as strong and trustworthy rather than being exposed as the crazed lunatics and war criminals they are. Spending plans designed to raise millions out of poverty and radically improve the health and education services we all rely on are continually undermined as unaffordable by media promoted ‘experts’ but no one in the mainstream media bats an eye lid when £200 billion is set aside for a new generation of immoral nuclear missiles which have been declared illegal under international law. These monstrous bombs kill millions indiscriminately. That’s what makes them both illegal and immoral. Yet those defending them are the heroes according to the press and media.

Show Courage and Intellect on Thursday

I ask each and every one of you to display your personal courage and intellect. Show your families, friends and children that alongside your backbone you have the power of independent thought. Remember the Tory lickspittles in the mainstream press and media used to tell you George Michael was a dangerous pervert while Jimmy Saville was a man of honour deserving respect. The kind hearted and incredibly talented philanthropist was mocked and attacked while the child molesting paedo was promoted and knighted. Today those same newspapers and media outlets attack Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon while defending and promoting Boris Johnson. Don’t be conned. Don’t allow them or Johnson to take you for a mug. The billionaire press baron tax dodgers and Johnson have no interest in working people or public services. They are only interested in maintaining their obscene wealth and privileges.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, left, and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a head to head live Election Debate at the BBC TV studios

On Thursday between the hours of 7am and 10pm the poor and powerless have power in their hands. The power to fundamentally change society. This election is no ordinary election. It is the most important in my lifetime. By voting SNP in Scotland and Corbyn’s Labour in England and Wales (save the 4 Plaid Cymru seats) ordinary people can effect extraordinary change. Ditching Brutal Boris is the most important thing you can do for the future of your family, the NHS, education, the homeless, the poor and the planet. You don’t have to agree with everything Corbyn or Sturgeon say or do but if you have an ounce of compassion for humanity in your body you must reject the Tories and their agenda of lies, division and discrimination.

Progressive Parties Can Win – Vote for Them

This election is wide open. The opinion polls are generally rigged to try and shape opinions, not reflect them. Millions of young people have consciously registered to vote. They have registered to vote for hope and change, not further despair and darkness. Labour can win enough seats in England and Wales to form a progressive post-election alliance with the SNP. That is a genuinely progressive and bright option but only if you use your vote. When Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz asked the Tin Man how he could possibly live without a heart he replied “Easy, I vote Conservative”.

Don’t be a heartless Tin Man or Woman. Between now and Thursday do all you can to convince your neighbours, family, friends and workmates to reject the Tories wherever they live. Vote for the candidate most likely to beat the Tories. Vote with enthusiasm and purpose. Let the words of the sorely missed Tony Benn inspire you:

“You need two flames burning in the human heart: the flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope you can build a better world.”

Posted in Articles, Tommy Sheridan's Columns.

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