The word ‘immoral’ has been bandied about, eh? In politics and on social.
Fair enough, in fact thank god; any sentient being must have felt the creep of depravity and self-interest swilling over from the nauseating Johnson administration (hah!) to the newly-hatched but similarly reptilian Truss Crew. It may even be that A. B. de Pfeffel (etc)’s only profound contribution to British Public Life was the re-ushering of considerations around goodness and decency… because the twat was so manifestly bereft of both.
Yup, surely beyond dispute that the dishevelled clown was amoral – lazy and utterly uncaring? Secure in his repellent cocoon, protected by generational privilege and just enough ‘quirky’ wit to seduce a sufficient percentage of morons out there in The Country, as well as a few fading, doe-eyed, probably aspirational debutantes within his, or The Party’s clutches. He raised the flag for the slags – male and female – and the heartless.
Hard to be sure how much Truss loved and/or admired him, but plainly there are *connections*. Johnson’s weird ‘libertarian’ bullishness becomes her Free Market Mania. His wallowing in pomp and casual signalling about race and value becomes her pointy-thin English nationalism. Neither give a toss, nor know anything about the lives of ordinary people.
I confidently expect Johnson to be the worst P.M. of my lifetime but in that grubby contest, fair play, Truss has gotten off to an absolute flyer. She is less obviously steeped in entitlement but more openly pro- Those Who Have than he was. Astonishingly. The now infamous mini-budget, concocted with fellow servant-of-the-toffs-and-corporations Kwarteng was perhaps the most mind-blowingly brazen genuflection towards concentrated and unlimited wealth-gathering within the great families and corporations that this country/these countries have ever seen. Truss and Kwarteng shoved it in our faces. Those Who Have will get more – you other fuckers will get less, to pay for their ‘growth’.
Growth. Say it like the swear word it is. On a dying planet; in an ‘advanced society’. Four billion years of evolving life and these evil puppets are saying this is how we should work? Forget that which is decent. Forget equality or any sense of philosophical civility. Forget the Climate Crisis. Let the obscenely rich… be richer?
Biden’s notable but understated rebuke around the laughable and patently discredited ‘trickledown theories’ – unacknowledged by Truss and co, but plainly at the empty core of their vacuous ‘policies’ – was one of the minor highlights of recent political badinage, on the Twitters. (Put your hands up, friends, if the sight of a serving Brit PM getting called out for so obviously being a dumbo, made you smile – albeit ruefully). Even the (centrist) Yanks are laughing at us; at our hopeless, mean, un-educated transparency.
But maybe there is hope. Because it’s not just Andy Burnham using that word immoral. Despite the relative absence of political intelligence in the population, there is some decency. Folks know that there really is something foul about bought-Tories (like Truss) and Outed Toffs (like Kwarteng) opting to line the pockets of their allies. There is no windfall tax on the energy giants. Tax cuts *do*, barely credibly, favour the rich. The lurch both to the right and away from that which is right has found another gear. Oh, the arrogance! Did they think we wouldn’t figure this out?
On top of the willful, cheapening, xenophobic project that was Brexit, the Truss Conspiracy piles more economic and cultural madness. There’s an argument that the key driver here is prejudice – certainly it’s powerfully present. Prejudice (or lack of care) around ordinary folk, because they ‘barely contribute’. Or because they will never grow. Prejudice (of course) towards Others; those who are foreign, whose value is less than us, the Exceptional English. Prejudice born of estrangement from normal lives.
Whilst the Tories plainly got in because of this prejudice – the whole Johnson/Cummings campaign was constructed around it – something’s changed. It’s possible that many of those gullible to racial constructs are less persuaded by strategies built around class: particularly where the thrust of advantage seems mono-directional; that is, to the overwhelming benefit of the rich.
Interestingly, Truss feels relatively isolated. Even before she shocked some (but not all) of her party colleagues by being embarrassingly shambolic, it seemed like few Tories actually believed in her, or were following. (The figurehead that is Truss has always felt decapitated, has it not – even from the nonentities and bit-players that now make up her cabinet?)
The Conservative Party may, post-Boris, have been ripe for more nationalism and more strident neo-liberalism, but I’m not sure they expected this shite. Appalling competence, woeful messaging and startlingly reactionary economics.
One of the most telling allegations against the Tories since the asinine May era is that there’s been no voice for the good. No-one protesting for decency and fairness. Under Johnson, naturally, urgent or mindful voices were subsumed by the essential hedonism of the individual. Bojo was expressly amoral: nobody called him out. That cowardice – the absence of conscience – may yet decimate the party. They deserve it.
Truss is an ideological fool, soon to be caught in amber with her arms-length colleague, Kwarteng. They may actually believe in their growth theories but nobody trusts their intentions. Events – funding/’contacts’/the facts of their upbringing – present them as neck-deep in either corruption or privilege or both. They have outed themselves and some would say, the Tories, as Defenders of the Haves. They have done it more shamelessly than any government we might remember: even Johnson was less economically-wedded to the class he burst forth from.
The government are indeed immoral. Though that might not be the word that Everyman might find, it is the sentiment that will bring this callous cohort down. Soon. The people know.
They – the Tories, these Tories – are #theveryworstofus.