This weekend has, for me, been like the most savage of hangovers. Waves of despair, punctuated by panic, anxiety, paranoia, and fear. A profound weltschmerz and a curious lack of appetite, not to mention a high-pitched monotone in my left ear that sadly, this time, cannot be put down to our decrepit fridge.Good lord!
I keep remembering and then forgetting; a welcome pleasant thought will be interrupted by the terrifying reminder of what they are going to do to the Human Rights Act. As my father said, “It’s all too awful.”I can see where you get it from, Rhiannon…
I wonder how many of you, up and down the country, have been trying to hold it together too. I retained my composure for most of Friday, despite no sleep, despite returning home with the birdsong to tell my boyfriend, a public sector worker, the bad news, which he met by rolling over, saying sleepily but with cold certainty, “Well that’s my job gone, then.”Oh, really? What, the first act of the new government would be to personally sack your boyfriend, would it?
I held it together on College Green during a BBC World Service segment and, later, as I jokingly discussed with friends which sunny, socialist paradise we would decamp to before they shut the borders. I finally broke down properly at around 6pm on Friday, when I allowed myself, finally, to think about my little brother, who is severely disabled, and what might happen to him. Whether I should grab him and run for the hills so that we could camp down together under warm, soft blankets and not come down again until the bad people have gone.‘The bad people’...? Christ, how old is she?
There’s something vaguely embarrassing about crying about the government. It buys into a stereotype of left-leaning people as overly emotional and childlike in their naive idealism and belief that there is a better way to run the country than cutting services to the bone. But those of us who cried over the election result should not feel embarrassed.No, no, you should. You really, really should!
There are some who are saying that Labour was too left-wing, yet unlike the SNP, it failed to challenge austerity in any meaningful way, failed to encourage the passionate pride we should be taking in our welfare state. It failed to tell the stories of those who suffered most. It failed to listen.I think it was the voters who decided not to listen. And I can’t blame them.
The deliciousness of this article is only increased by this footnote:
• This article was amended on 11 May 2015 to remove an incorrect statement that in 2014, government figures showed that 10,600 people had died within six months of being found fit for work by Atos.ROFL!