If you’re reading this then congratulations – you’re on the verge of surviving a general election campaign.
Not that I wish to jinx you, of course. There’s clearly a very real chance that the next inevitable Boris blunder will involve a botched attempt at a jovial caper in which he rugby tackles an orphan into a disused canal, causing you to spontaneously combust on the spot in sheer horror but hey, you’ve made it this far – and let’s face it; if the sight of a bedraggled, philandering globule of mendacious spite attempting to indulge in painfully rehearsed seasonal whimsy didn’t end you right there and then, you’ve probably got nothing to worry about.
Given the amount of farcical buffoonery on show, you could almost be forgiven for thinking that there’s not actually anything riding on this election; that it’s just meaningless pageantry in which snappy yet ultimately meaningless slogans and twatting around in JCBs to create excruciating visual metaphors is somehow a valid methodology for determining who will make a good Prime Minister.
All fluff with no substance essentially – and that’s exactly how the Tories like it.
The contrast with the truth however, could not be more stark. This election is important – undeniably so. There simply hasn’t been a period in my thirty years of existence in which the stakes have been this high with a sense of stability so tenuous.
This country has changed beyond recognition. Both the political and social landscape we’re helplessly trapped within has become so volatile and vituperative, there’s a palpable sense that it’s about to break apart at the seams. Such toxicity just isn’t conducive for maintaining a stable, prosperous nation. Gone are the days in which fractures inflicted through division and disagreement were held together by an underlying sense of social integrity. Brexit hasn’t just damaged such a foundation, it’s obliterated it into smithereens.
Leave or Remain. Racist or traitor. You’ll have undoubtedly heard the invective – it’s become impossible to escape from. It’s been bubbling under since the referendum campaigning began and, since the result, it’s embedded itself so deep into the zeitgeist that it’s become self sustaining. This is the dichotomy upon which you’re now defined. Pandora’s box is upon and there’s no turning back.
Understandably, this ever dehumanised populace – still locked in a curious state of furious bewilderment over what the Brexit they’re fighting over even is – becomes ever the more desperate; and it’s this very desperation that provides the perfect backdrop of confusion and instability upon which exploitative chancers can really thrive.
And that’s precisely how Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.
There’s a certain irony which has arisen ever since Boris Johnson stepped into Number 10 – specifically regarding the frankly absurd circumstance of how a man, who has crafted his every utterance and cynical career move to aid his life long quest to lead our country, could end up being so astonishingly incompetent upon receipt of his dream. Barely a day has passed since Boris Johnson took office without his own inherent ineptitude and flagrant disregard for common decency working in tandem to craft some form of scandal. You’d think that a man so obsessed with one solitary goal coming to fruition would have taken the time to obtain a skill set suited to succeeding in the role.
But, regrettably, it has never been about serving for Boris Johnson – it’s been about status.
Owing to such a calamitous lack of both ability and morality, the Tory campaign has undertaken a frankly bizarre tone. Not only have they had to craft a false reality within which they’re required to pretend the last decade of misery were nothing to do with them despite being in power for the duration, Boris Johnson is such a catastrophically atrocious candidate that the only way within which he can appear palatable is to somehow persuade the viewing public that they should doubt their own sanity.
The debates were a prime example of this – at least the ones that Boris wasn’t too scared to show up for. Devoid of any real answers, incapable of articulating anything beyond the realms of a three word slogan shat out by his press team and flustered by any challenge to his narrative to the point of total incoherence, Boris Johnson was simply a car crash. Yet were you to listen to his supporters, the most nauseating and perplexing of which being Acolyte in Chief Matt Hancock, you’d think we’d just witnessed the Gettysburg address with a parting of the Red Sea thrown in as an encore.
Vomit inducing perhaps, but as I’ve relentlessly banged on about many a time, narrative is key. It doesn’t really matter if you actually won, as long as enough people think you did.
While the horror stories detailing the grim outcome five years of unhindered, far right infested Tory rule could bring are often met with a scoff and waved away as hyperbolic fear mongering, just look around you. Take a moment to scrutinise what is actually happening. The dirty, underhand tricks designed to mislead and confuse, the deliberately inflammatory rhetoric bidding to cultivate a sinister atmosphere of mistrust and intimidation, the lies upon lies upon lies – if any of this seems normal to you, chances are you’re living in a failed dystopian state.
Dismiss me as an embittered, hysterical leftist should you please, but the reality remains. You’re being conned – we’re all being conned.
So where to from here? Polling day is imminent and we stand teetering on the brink of handing a liar free reign to do whatever he pleases for five years. Can anything really be done to prevent this?
Well, you’ve got a vote. One, solitary vote with which to express your admiration or disgust – so use it. It might not make a difference. It might be completely in vain, as our deeply flawed first past the post system could well see it disappear feebly into the void if your constituency votes against you – but you have to try.
What we’re witnessing now with Boris Johnson and his pseudo churchillian bluster isn’t the dawn of a glorious new age in which Britain’s potential is unleashed through means he’s curiously unable to explain – it’s a swindle. The emperor has no clothes and his shrivelled genitals are riddled with pubic lice.
If he’s granted a working majority on election day, the lies won’t stop – especially not now they’ve been vindicated in his own mind.
And the worst part? You’ll have to suffer through five years until you can do anything about it.Follow @grahamlithgow