This is an appeal from the heart to all those with a vote in tomorrow’s general election.
I know many people out there are angry about brexit – not only has UK not left the EU yet, there is a chance we may not leave whoever gets into power – Johnson’s deal, despite his claims, is not all it seems.
There are, however, much bigger and far more important issues to consider when choosing who to vote for tomorrow. Brexit will have minimal impact on our lives compared to the issues the media don’t want us to think about.
Young people in this country are living far more precarious lives than we did at their age: zero hours contracts, with no stable income with which to plan a future, no set hours with which to live a present, and little to no benefits are becoming the norm. At current rates, the retirement age for my nephews and nieces might be as high as 80 – effectively a gap year between work and death, if they’re lucky.
Who, for instance, ever wants to see a once strong and fit man or woman, who after dedicating their best years to the fire brigade, still working long after they should have retired, struggling up the stairs of a future Grenfell Tower, carrying 35kg of equipment attempting to save residents trapped in their homes? It sounds absurd doesn’t it, but this is where things are heading.
Just fifteen miles from where I grew up in Staffordshire is the British Armed Forces Memorial. Carved into the stone are the names of over 16,000 soldiers killed in action since 1948, fighting for ‘queen and country’ somewhere in the world in what is ostensibly peacetime. If you ever visit you’ll notice space for another 15,000 names of ‘young service men and women, waiting to die’.
The Boris Johnson regime is currently waging SEVEN wars across the Middle East and North Africa. Do we know why our country is at war? Is deploying our military into foreign countries making the world any safer? Are these wars being fought in our interests? Are they even legal? Is our news media accurately reporting these wars of aggression? The answer to all these questions is, of course, no. This government deliberately puts our soldiers in harm’s way them abandons them, resulting in thousands of veterans, some with PTSD (modern day shell shock) sleeping rough on the streets. Do we really want to continue engraving the names of dead service men and women on memorial walls?
If we don’t act now our beloved National Health Service will become a hollowed out shell, butchered by unnecessary austerity and engineered inefficiency to the point that it will no longer be fit for purpose. Without our consent successive governments are making a husk of a once brilliant institution, ripe for capture by corporate vultures and parasitic psychopaths who believe disease and ill-health should be opportunities for profit. Whatever the politicians and news media might tell us, this is already underway – a great heist 40 years in the making.
Waiting times for A & E are at record highs. We have a shortage of 40,000 nurses and 10,000 doctors. One third of mental health hospital beds have been cut in the past 9 years. Administration costs within the service have risen from less than 5% of total budget to over 15%. Couple this with the billions of pounds in interest owed following PFI and the billions more awarded to private ‘health’ companies and we can see huge flows of money, our taxes, never making it to effective front line care, depriving us all of a once world leading a health service which should always be free at the point of need.
Who really wants to live in a dystopian future where a night in hospital costs the patient like a night in a hotel? Who wants to experience that hideously cruel and barbaric US tradition, medical bankruptcy? Who is relishing that soul searching decision: sell everything to help save a loved one or allow them to die and live the rest of one’s life plagued by guilt?
A better way of organising our society is possible! This Christmas let’s give the kids something they’ll really thank us for. A future worth living.
Mike Raddie is co-editor of BSNews