I am very concerned indeed about the future and the implications of this new Tory ‘government’ for disabled people. Under labour, of course, I think it fair to say we flourished: we could employ our own staff, public transport became accessible, and more disabled kids were included in mainstream education than ever. Of course, it wasn’t perfect, and there was a long way still to go, but I honestly fear that the Tories will now undo the progress we made. We know they’re planning to reverse the trend towards inclusion under the euphemism of choice. They’re also planning cuts in spending deeper than ever before: all it would take is for one of them to look at the direct payments scheme and to think: ‘it would be cheaper to put these cripples back into homes. That way, we can tax less, and we won’t have to look at them, too.’ Mark my words: under the Tories, given a choice between our freedom and higher taxes, it’s our freedom which will be at risk.
I am very concerned at our current state: the people now holding power keep describing society as broken; a notion that, when you think about it, reveals some very dark attitudes, how can society be broken? If something is broken, it means that it is not in it’s original state: hence, a toy can be broken, a light-bulb can be broken, a cup can be broken and so on. But society is something organic; it evolves constantly. New trends come and go, people take up new attitudes, and so on. Society has no original state, and therefore cannot be broken.
The only way you can say society is broken is if you take a rigid view of what society should be. That is to say if you subscribe to a set of values against which society can be judged. Any such set of values will be both narrow and artificial. The Tories cling to just such a set of values, derived mostly from the JudaeoChristian tradition. Hence, for instance, they see marriage as superior to other kinds of relationship, despite the fact that that many people prefer other kinds of relationship. But, to the Tory, this doesn’t mean that marriage is an outdated institution, but that society is wrong and needs fixing. Thus the Tories intend to impose their views upon us all, making sure we conform to their values, trying to suppress anything that does not fit their schema. Some may think I am exaggerating or being reactionary, but CaMoron’s words are quite plain, and I’ve only taken them to their logical conclusion. This talk of broken societies reveals much about the true attitudes of the Tory party.
I like to think that I am a pretty liberal, tolerant kind of guy, not often given to political extremism. Yet it would now appear that talks between the lib dems and labour have broken down, and, as such, the Tories will now almost certainly take power. While they are the biggest party, the fact remains that they did not win the election. Therefore I refuse to recognise them as the ruling party, and I refuse to recognise David CaMoron as prime minister. As far as I am concerned, this country is now leaderless, and I plan to do whatever I can to remove that squatter from number ten. His is a party of segregation, elitism and class division, and I will not tolerate it. His attitudes to Europe, immigration and the wealth fare state ran counter to my beliefs of tolerance and cooperation; moreover his plans to slash services so he doesn’t have to tax his friends will make us all suffer while the rich prosper. It is time I stood up for what I believe. I view this government as if it were a force off occupation, and I plan to resist it however I can using only non-violent means..
I do not have much to report tonight – you guys will have certainly learned what’s going on nationally for yourselves – but, having lived in south east London for several months, I’m beginning to see what a sense of humour the people around here have. I keep seeing cool little things which just make me smile. The other day, for instance, I saw a yellow reliant robin marked ‘trotters independent traders’; whenever I go over to Woolwich, I pass the queen Victoria Pub; there’s even a ‘Dot’s Laundry’. I love these little details, these little references – they just make one smile. People here are very proud of who they are, but it’s good to see that they’re not afraid to take the piss out of themselves.
Two days on and we still have no idea who will be the in next government. Although the reporters keep saying coalitions are the norm for Europe, I can’t help feeling it’s a bit of a train wreck.
Anyway, to lighter matters: we were watching tv last night, going through all the channels, when Lyn and I stumbled upon something rather odd. It was called FOBO – Films of black Origin. It was showing some very strange stuff indeed. Not strange in terms of plot, but the shooting style was completely alien to me. You could tell that these films were made recently, but the films appeared to be made using cameras from the sixties or seventies. To eyes used to Hollywood, it was something totally foreign. Mind you, I let out a few rather guilty laughs: one film had a kid running around the jungle with a bloody great knife, winning a wrestling match and attempting to marry a girl twice his age. I hope the fact I found this funny doesn’t make me racist. Oh well, I suppose it broadened our horisons anyway.
Poor David CaMoron must be gutted this morning. Okay, he may have got the most seats, but not enough to form a government. Even against an opponent as popular as brown, he didn’t get the absolute majority he so desperately needed. And I think he needed one badly, for now he’ll have to form a coalition with the lib dems. This is rather good news for labour supporters: if the Tories get in with liberal help, I think several things will happen: A) the liberals will prevent CaMoron from doing too much damage; B) we’ll have electoral reform, and, most crucially, C) we’ll have another election quite soon, meaning that if the Tories do implement the cuts they promise, they’ll be out of power by 2012, so unpopular that they never return. So, in a way, I’m quite happy with how this election went, although that doesn’t mean that I will be anything but highly critical of a Tory government. Of course, this relies on brown conceding defeat, but I don’t think he’ll try to hang on, will he? I hope he sees the bigger picture.
I really do not know what to write here tonight. I could launch in to yet one more diatribe against the Tories, but you know what I’ll say, and anyone reading this will probably have already voted, so whatever I write will be moot. I’m genuinely fearful of what tomorrow might bring – come the morning, CaMoron might be in number 10, and all that I hope for will be gone; but tonight I just want to settle down, give Lyn frequent cuddles, and hope for the best.
It has been a while since I had occasion to write a ‘what I did last night’ type blog, but this is just such an entry. We went over to see Hugh and his new band – the oddly named Saltwater Samurai – play in a pub in new cross. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect; I didn’t even know what type of music they played, butt nights out are nights out, so I went anyway.
I was worried that we’d not see Hugh at all the entire evening, except for on stage, but as soon as we went into the main part of the pub we heard ‘Matt and Lyn!’ It was good to see him, and the four of us went over to a table and got chatting. Predictably, pretty soon Lyn and Hugh got into a conversation about music which went over my head, but that was what I wanted. Then, after a while Hugh had to go play his set.
The music was cool, but hard to describe. Fairly jazzy, but with odd sounds and beats. I think I like it.
We left about half eleven. Hugh came back to talk to us after his set, and another guy I knew from Chester – Tom – came to say hi. It was a cool night, and it reminded me how long its been since I went to such a gig, but I rather suspect we’ll be going to a few more.
I am not completely sure what’s going on with regard to the pub. Lyn and I are still pretty angry about it, as are Dan and Paula, our neighbours and friends. Lyn emailed some of the local press yesterday, and at one point I was all ready to go over there to sort all this out, but Lyn reminded me that there are far better, more subtle ways of solving this problem. I know some may think we’re making a mountain out of a molehill, and that we should let this drop, but it is the principle. We have as much right to drink as much as we want as anyone else; we should not be dictated to. What the guy in the pub was highly patronising and discriminatory., and I refuse to get him get away with it lest it happens again to someone else.
I cannot recall ever feeling this pissed off. We were in the swan earlier; we got the first round and all was well. We then sent our PA up for another round, but the bartender refused to serve her. Apparently, when we get drunk we ‘make a mess’, so we couldn’t have a second drink. We have never left that place in anything but an orderly fashion; we have never caused any trouble or hastle there. According to our PA, he alluded to our dribble as a factor in the ‘mess’.
In short, I think this a case of plain discrimination. Me and Lyn are adults, dammit, and we will not be treated like this.