Why the UK sucks

The artificially cheery taste of British austerity
The artificially cheery taste of British austerity

Alright, so my home country (that’s the UK, or Britain for you international readers) had its general election yesterday. This time around I got properly into it, which doesn’t usually happen. Apparently I even interviewed a member of the Cabinet – I know, I’ll have to be more careful about that. Well, the election results are now in, and you know what I have to say? I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with, “Thank God I’m moving to Iran.”

When I started this blog I didn’t anticipate writing anything about politics – let alone why the UK sucks – but hey, it’s sort of about me, so it counts, right? The best way to describe how I feel is that I’m disappointed. I don’t want to call half the British electorate evil… Oh go on then. Through either ignorance or malice, the UK has voted to shaft the poor and doom us to another five years of austerity. Yes, well done everyone. Pat yourselves on the back.

Attack of the feels

When I first heard the result, I felt a slight twinge of “OH NOOO,” but then I put my Zen cap on and reminded myself it’s out of my control – no need to let it ruin my day. The rest of my commute was filled full of sunshine and smileyness, whilst I listened to dramatic soundtrack music – this is my solution to the problem, “how can I make my commutes feel more epic?” Then later, when I was at work, I went online and read a few things, and uh oh, here we go, feels are engaged. Mayday, Mayday, don’t cry in front of the office.

So, here I am, writing a blog post with a heart filled with renewed disappointment in my country. I’m sitting with the tentative belief that half of the electorate are legitimately evil – evil in that they genuinely don’t care about the poor or vulnerable at all. People voted for austerity and welfare cuts – they voted to make life harsher for the unlucky and the downtrodden, whilst simultaneously patting themselves on the back for being part of the lucky few. They put it down to ‘hard work’, but the reality is they reward themselves for their own circumstantial privilege.

What is wrong with the UK

I think that, as a nation, the UK lacks empathy and compassion. We’re a nation that would rather parents to decide whether to give their children food this week or a coat for the winter, punishing children for their parents’ lack of employable skills. We’re a nation that would turn our back on refugees, condemn the homeless and throw away human rights, because, as a nation, frankly, we have about the combined wisdom of a cabbage patch. It’s just a complete shambles.

I had, however, remained unaffected for most of the morning – most likely due to my superior stoicism. That’s right – nothing much bothers me. To me, bad news is like water off a duck’s back. That is, I get a bit wet – you know, because of all the tears streaming down my face – and also my feathers get ruffled and I need to shake it off. It also helps if you have a bourbon or something. Ducks, write this down.

The moment that got my feels though… I saw a comment a friend had made on a website we both use. She’d written that her mum cried when she found out the election result, because her mum is disabled and she’d already had such a difficult time under the previous coalition. Now, of course, it’s only going to get worse for her. That kind of thing is just legitimately distressing. I told her I don’t understand why so many people in this country don’t have a heart. As Gaara dramatically said to the other four kage in Naruto, “when did you all forsake yourselves?”

Please buy my new beverage

I might make tongue-in-cheek posts about the result on Facebook, but the truth is it’s distressing. Either intentionally or unintentionally, people have chosen to make life harsher and more difficult for the most vulnerable in our society. Like Charlie Chaplin said in his famous speech in The Great Dictator, we’ve been goosestepped into misery by machine men with machine minds and machine hearts. But even that’s not true: we’ve done it to ourselves.

So that’s that, then. Five more years of austerity and welfare cuts. Good work everyone. Now please help me to become wealthy and not care about people as well. You can buy my latest product, a sports drink made from the tears of the vulnerable. Yes, with this, even the rich can taste austerity. Drink up Britain, you ordered it. As for me, I’m off to Japan.

Matt Bowen

Matt is a blogger, budoka and software developer. He sold his things, quit his job and moved to Japan to study Japanese and martial arts. Sometimes he writes about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *