Letter from London

How’s life in London? The hook from London Posse’s song by the same name. Well I can tell you what it’s like. It’s awful here. The city is still the same, the cobbled streets are the same, the pubs bursting with punters buying overpriced pints are the same, city boys walking around in suits with a general disdain for others is still the same. Even the ruling political party from when the song came out is the same albeit with a lighter version interspersed between their stints. The monarch isn’t, and even as a bunch of republicans in the literal sense of the word, it’s still a little bit sad considering how long she was Queen.

The main difference between now and any other time in modern history is the looming problem of Brexit. As a majority, London (and most other major cities as a matter of fact) didn’t vote for Brexit, yet are going to be labored with its problems for the remainder of time. We understand that a majority of voters in the referendum voted for this outcome but we feel they were deeply misled by all involved. 

£350 Million (printed on the side of the Leave Campaign’s battle bus) that was meant to be going back into the NHS was a straight up lie. The idea of taking back control of our borders was somewhat true, but was later turned into a way to deny people basic human rights by introducing new “Small Boats” legislation into parliament. The only thing we achieved is putting tariffs on goods leaving or entering our small little miserable rainy rock. Oh and we didn’t solve the issue of taking back our borders because as it turns out, we still needed all of those wonderful people to come and work in our institutions anyway.

Our press are just straight up psychopaths. They harassed a woman of colour for a couple of years to the point where a member of the royal family had to essentially sever ties with the rest of them. They did everything they could to enable a racist, misogynistic and degrading culture to take over all in a desperate plea to sell papers. “We pay, you pose” seemed to take over from common decency and lead to a general culture of anything goes. They forged signatures, tried their hardest to discredit anyone associated and ruined any credibility you could scrape from the bottom of their barrels. A man sacked by the BBC for assaulting a colleague, wrote a column about stripping her naked, parading her through the street and throwing literal shit at her and this was allowed to be published in a widely circulated newspaper.

How many prime ministers have we gone through as well? Jesus. It’s getting hard to remember what cabinet member is in what position there have been so many reshuffles. Since 2019 we’ve had three, with two of those not being elected by the general public as a whole. Boris managed to make a mockery of parliament and is accused of lying to them among the other countless scandals I don’t have the word count for. Liz Truss did so much damage in a short amount of time she tanked the Pound to near parity with the U.S Dollar but will be collecting a decent pay cheque for the rest of her life. And Rishi Sunak was Boris’ chancellor of the Exchequer but apparently  wasn’t ever involved in anything scandalous. He’s managing a party in decline that’s been dragged to the right over an issue that no one wanted to fight except his home secretary and a few jaded back benchers.

Small boat crossings are not going to stop under any circumstances. They are incredibly problematic as they involve people risking their life needlessly to enter the UK. We agree with the premise that they should stop, but don’t believe that stripping away Human rights legislation and being in breach of international law as set out by the UNHCR, is the correct way to go. We want the expansion of safe and legal routes to enter the UK or seek asylum. We don’t want to send people on planes to Rwanda at great expense to the taxpayer. We want the Tory party out but considering we aren’t solely responsible for that, we’ll settle for them fixing the asylum claims system so they can process more than the 1% of applications they receive yearly. We want to be a compassionate country and mean what our elected representatives say even when they don’t mean it.

We feel sorry for the Ukranians and the Russian aggression. We feel even more sorry that our government doesn’t extend the same hospitality it did to the Ukranians as it could to all refugees fleeing persecution. We hate the repercussions of the war for those in Ukraine, just a bit more than the repercussions for us. Energy prices are a joke. A combination of removing ourselves from the EU, combined with a sell off of our capacity to store natural gas has led to us suffering with inflation beating price rises on energy to the point that we are scared to put on the heating. How long you can hold out before turning it on was a badge of honor. Anyone who doesn’t receive funding from an oil giant was calling for a windfall tax on their excess profits and we got a bill in name only.

So we’ve come full circle. The cheek of clapping for essential workers during the pandemic and then denying them all pay rises for a couple of years until they went on strike is funny in a very British way. The cheek to go for all the photo ops during the pandemic with NHS staff and then throwing them to the curb takes a special kind of liar and a culture to be descended from that liar. “We can’t give them a pay rise as we don’t have the money.” But it said we would have it on the side of the bus. 

“How’s life in London?” “It’s all right, mate.”

Jay Murphy