I’ve often wondered what the dying days of the Soviet Union must have been like for the people who lived there. As institutions crumbled, buildings decayed, and the very fabric of life lay in tatters, the state broadcaster was telling a bewildered public that all was well. Soviet citizens didn’t have access to the internet, so stories like this one would have gone unreported. People would have been expected to ignore the evidence of their eyes and ears and carry on as if everything was fine – very much the way we in the UK are expected to behave as the ground gives way beneath our feet.
We find ourselves as the only country expected to be in recession in 2023. Not even Russia is doing as poorly. Charlatans scream that covid and lockdowns are causing the UK’s economic woes, but many countries had lockdowns far stricter than ours and have rebounded. What these countries did not do is erect trade barriers with their biggest market. They didn’t talk trash about their friends and allies, and they didn’t attempt to pass laws in order to break international agreements. Basically, they didn’t behave like complete dicks and expect the world to bend to their will.
At the moment, both major UK parties are happy to ignore the multiple crises and focus their attention on chasing swing votes. Judging from both Labour and the Tories’s rhetoric, swing voters are the worst people in the world. They seem to enjoy economic decline, punching down on marginalised groups, and being horrible to refugees. They’ve no interest in halting climate change, nor do they care that tens of thousands of children are going hungry in what’s supposed to be a first world nation. They’re not bothered that public services are falling apart and that the public servants who staff them haven’t had a real-terms pay rise in over a decade. Swing voters are rotten, as are the parties who refuse to tell them the truth about the devastating damage leaving the EU has caused.
The answer to the UK’s multiple crisis is to come clean about the damage Brexit has done and begin the process of rejoining the single market and customs union. It’s literally the only way things will ever get better. But for now we have sit and watch more businesses fail, more jobs disappear, and more people fall into extreme poverty as political parties attempt to step around the giant hole they dug with their silly ideology and blatant lies. What a cowardly union the UK is. I’ll be glad when Scotland is out of it.