Our position in the General Election. More foodbanks than McDonald’s, a government that ignores poverty and deliberately destroys public services, a PM who lacks empathy and runs away from scrutiny. If you are still tempted to vote Tory tomorrow, think again...

First published in December 2019.

You heard it or read it last week, there are now more food banks than there are branches of the fast food chain McDonald’s in Britain, new figures from the Independent Food Aid Network suggests, estimating “around 2,000 food banks in the UK.”

Is this something to be proud of? Is this something that ‘getting Brexit done’ will resolve? Is this something the Conservatives want to deal with? Is this something they even care about?

Of course not. And it is disgraceful to say the least.

The current government does not have any interest in changing the poverty crisis because Conservatives like to restate their deep belief that “work is the best way out of poverty.” The problem with this slogan is that that’s exactly what it is, a meaningless slogan with no truth in it. Indeed, year after year, researchers have been telling us that most people in poverty in the UK actually live in a household where someone is in work. Report after report, the number of people with a job but living below the breadline has risen faster than employment. Even the United Nations estimate that 2.8m people in poverty in the UK live in families where all adults work full time.

So what have the Conservatives done for the last nine years in power to improve people’s lives (they called the divisive EU Referendum which resulted in Britain stuck with an endless Brexit crisis), keep them safe (they cut 20,000 police officers and increased insecurity in UK streets), improve education (they cut school funding which means schools must crowdfund for material or close on Fridays), look after the NHS (they drove services and staff to breaking point), and the list goes on... needless to remind you of the Windrush and Grenfell scandals, the Hostile Environment, the treatment of EU citizens as citizens of nowhere.

As Dr Tom Gardiner rightly wrote in PMP Magazine today, “the Conservatives have been in power for a decade. They have overseen a crisis in our NHS that was entirely avoidable. It’s time to speak up and make your voice heard. Because tomorrow, the future of our NHS as we know it will be decided. And we can’t afford to lose it.”

But... the Conservatives have a great new manifesto!
Have you actually read it? – It is not that long!They will take you back to 2010!

But... the Conservatives say they will “get Brexit done”!
They are lying to you. They had 3 years to deal with it and they failed. With Boris Johnson leading a Tory government on Friday, there will be a hard no-deal Brexit on 31 December 2020. Indeed, in a private meeting with MEPs, the EU’ top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told MEPs, “It is unrealistic that a global negotiation can be done in 11 months, so we can’t do it all ... If there is no extension, we will still have a few months to achieve what I would describe as the minimum necessary for the economy and security or to prepare for a cliff-edge ... If there’s no deal, it is a cliff edge for trade.”

But... the Conservatives now have this great new leader in the person of Boris Johnson, don’t they?
Do you honestly think Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is the man who can lead people to a brighter ‘Global Britain’ with latin phrases and awkward jokes that divert the media attention away from the reality of what the Conservatives actually do behind your backs?

If you are still unsure. If you are tempted to believe him. If you are tempted to vote Conservatives tomorrow, think again.

Look at the way Johnson handled the situation of a journalist asking him about little Jack who had to wait on the floor at Leeds Hospital: he first refused to look at the photo of the little boy, then took the mobile phone of the journalist to put it in his own pocket, and finally looked at it with a face that transpired a feeling of little or no interest for the poor boy whatsoever. No empathy.

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Think about the interviews Boris Johnson has refused to submit himself to (such as the ones with GMB or Andrew Neil) to avoid having to answer tough questions and to avoid scrutiny. What do you have to hide, Mr Johnson?

Keep also in mind the way Boris Johnson handled the London Bridge attack, politicising the situation when Jack Merritt’s Dad had precisely asked for politicians not to take advantage of the situation to score political points during their campaigning.

What does it tell you about Boris Johnson? What does Boris Johnson really care about? “Me, myself and I,” to quote Beyoncé.

Has he left no sense of decency?

To be Prime Minister, it’s actually about giving a shit. And to vote tomorrow is also about giving a shit.

Ask yourself. Do you really trust the Conservatives with the NHS? Do you trust them with the Police, with the Home Office, with human rights, with workers’ rights, with immigration, with education, with Brexit, with their special relationships with Trump or with Russia?

Our mission at PMP Magazine is not to act as cheerleaders for any government or any political party, but to be a beacon of light amid the current political darkness. We aim to inform and educate to make a social impact. We believe that after Brexit and Trump, it is now time to fight back and stand up for truth and facts, or our ability to make informed decisions will be forever compromised.

The Conservatives have become an Orban-like party of government that doesn’t hide its aim any longer: making Britain the next illiberal democracy. A place where threats, deception and corruption have replaced the rule of law, scrutiny and citizens’ rights.

In tomorrow’s election, we agree with Daniel Reast that “a vote to keep out the Tories is a vote not wasted.”

So, if not the Tories... who?

Tomorrow’s election is not about making Jeremy Corbyn win. Tomorrow’s election is about making Boris Johnson and the Conservatives lose. It is about Remainers taking back control and saying NO to Brexit.

You can only achieve that by voting tactically.

There is no time for “But the LibDems supported Austerity”, “But the LibDems support Tuition Fees”, “But Labour has a serious issue with Anti-Semitism” or “But Labour supported the Iraq War”...

As the always brilliant Professor Chris Grey put it in his latest piece in PMP Magazine, “If you want to stop Brexit, then, to be brutal, those things, important as they are in their own right, are not relevant to doing so ... The only realistic alternative to a Johnson majority government is a Corbyn minority government. There is no realistic prospect of Labour having a majority. So Corbyn would be highly constrained in what he could do ... With LibDem and SNP support what a minority Labour government would be both able and obliged to deliver is another referendum and, with it, the chance – only the chance, but the only chance – of remaining in the EU. No other realistic combination of events does this ... Whilst voting tactically will only mean a constrained minority Labour administration, the alternative is an unconstrained Tory majority government in the grip of its own extremism.”

Therefore, our position for tomorrow’s election could not be simpler...

Don’t vote with your heart, vote with your head. Vote tactically. Keep the Tories OUT of Number 10.

Then, alea iacta est! 🔷

₁ “Let the die be cast!”

Check out our ultimate Tactical Voting Guide to know how to vote tactically in your constituency to defeat the Tories.

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com on 11 December 2019. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Gif of Number 10.)