A Country That Works For Itself: Back to the false narrative of bootstrap Britain

We are being promised a country that works for everyone. Theresa May stated in her Conservative party leadership victory speech back in July that the Tories intended to “give people more control of their lives”; those seven words may sound fairly innocuous, to some ears, they may even sound like a jolly good idea but what do they mean when a Tory Prime Minister says them?

When I heard those seven words alarm bells rang; channeling of Margaret Thatcher Alert. When a Tory says that they want to give people more control of their lives what they actually mean is that they intend to continue with shrinking state spending on the public. They mean they will hand you headline tax cuts in the budget, whilst hitting you with net tax increases buried behind the headlines. They mean that the Tories want to take as little responsibility for people’s welfare as they can humanly get away with. If they have to scrap your human rights protections to shrink the responsibility of the state for people’s welfare, then that’s exactly what they’ll do.

For the Tories, having more control of your life does not mean having greater freedom to choose how you conduct your life. It does not mean having greater worker’s rights and protections so that you can navigate your working life in your best interests. It means you having no right to anything other than a right to exchange your labour for whatever return that you can get, based on whatever skills you can accrue, the responsibility for which is purely your own and you have no right to any sort of life that you cannot buy for yourself from the money that you exchange your labour for. Cast an eye back to a bygone era and look at debtors’ prisons, no rights except those that you can afford to buy. That is what the Tories mean when they say people will have more control of their lives.

The Tories are not promising an egalitarian state. The Tories are not announcing a ground zero for cumulative socioeconomic advantage in Britain. There are no plans for an equitable distribution of our country’s wealth. You will have the advantages that you can buy yourself from whatever position of cumulative advantage that you currently enjoy. If the Tories announce programs of investment, then they will be offered as contracts to those people who have already disproportionately advantaged themselves from our society’s wealth and they will continue the Tory ‘Long term economic plan’ of transferring wealth from taxpayers to privateers.

With the announcement of returning to a tripartite education system, the Tories have made it clear that they interpret giving people more control as people ‘pulling themselves up by the bootstraps’; that is the intellectual development that the Tories have enjoyed. The Tories have never progressed beyond the 19th Century. The words have changed but the politics of May’s Tory leadership has the same hollow ring of every Tory leadership in living memory. The economic policies introduced to govern Education, which have established the conditions repeatedly exploited by fraud, will engulf the entirety of Britain’s public spending. The Tories will eventually be dumped ignobly from office as they were in 1997 but not before they have repeated their ransacking of the British economy.

And then there are the dark tones of scapegoating that the Tories lost the EU Referendum because of. There is a social-cultural vandalism to the Tory rhetoric on people who are ‘other’, it is a turgid well that the Tories repeatedly dip their bucket into to cover for the shortfall between their talk of social justice and their actions as asset strippers. The Tories are a plague on this green and pleasant land, locusts who fester in a jar in opposition but whose poison seeps into society via their associations with the media. The LibDems opened that jar in 2010, even though the British electorate had only loosened the lid to take a peek.

Is there another way?

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