The United Kingdom of Mass Murder

Theory & Analysis

3rd May 2023
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It has now been 13 years since the Tories came to power, 13 years of economic misery, rising bigotry and autocratic overreach. The past year has felt like the culmination of the Tory political project, as all of these disgraceful movements have accelerated beyond what we’re capable of keeping up with.

On the surface, it’s looked like the Tory party has been in a never-ending clusterfuck. It seems like every time one disaster broke out, there were three or four more brewing in the background. Since the publication of our last issue, we have been through three prime ministers, and the two ousted PMs have already declared their intentions to return to power. But this was little more than a distraction.

For all their widely-publicised internal bickering, the Tories have been fundamentally united on the same three principles that have bound them together for years: classism, racism and authoritarianism. These principles have driven them to wage an undeclared war against us all.

"Kill The Poor"
It was a cold, bleak winter to get through this year. The boiler and the radiator, usually our two most reliable lifelines for warmth through the winter, were no longer in reach. Our energy companies, clustered together in a cartel, took on the role of a protection racket – extracting more and more of our hard-earned money for the pleasure of allowing us to live in minimal dignity. Monthly bills doubled, tripled and quadrupled, skyrocketing into the hundreds and even thousands of pounds. Many more didn’t have bills to pay, as their houses were broken into and forcibly fitted with pre-payment meters. Within the space of months, over 7 million households – a third of the British public – found themselves in fuel poverty.

The response to this systemic robbery has been tragic. Millions of people, fearing the cold winter, went into debt to their own energy supplier. Communities banded together to provide “warm banks” to people without heating of their own. Some television programs, in an accidental repeat of an old satire of a post-apocalyptic Britain, held contests to win the treasured prize of fuel. Attempts to kick off a non-payment campaign were neutered relatively easily by the government’s energy price cap. Our only potential for a mass mobilisation against the cold war ended before it even began.

But for many in the UK, even paying for heating has become a luxury, as we are forced to choose between a warm home or a full stomach. Food poverty is the new normal for millions of British people – 10 million adults and 4 million children – who often go for days without eating. It doesn’t even matter whether one works multiple jobs, or if you live in a household with others that also work themselves to the bone, as every month the prices on shelves increase by 5-15%. The “golden age of cheap food”, we’re told, is now over.

When the pandemic started, thousands of mutual aid groups were established throughout the country in order to ensure that we all got fed. But even now as the pandemic subsides, these mutual aid groups haven’t gone anywhere. One crisis has simply led into another. Food banks, community pantries and social kitchens have now become a necessary fact of life. But the diligent work of these groups just hasn’t been enough and they’re starting to buckle under the pressure of ever increasing mass hunger. Reports keep coming in that people that rely on food banks are beginning to reject potatoes and root vegetables, and increasingly request items that can be eaten cold, as the cost of cooking them is just too high to bare. Even people that once volunteered or donated their spare income to these food banks are now finding themselves on the other side of the line.

The most damaging effect that the rising cost of food is having is on our children. Kids that suffer through poverty have become reliant on free school meals, meals which are unavailable to them for months at a time. As these kids are not eating regularly, and when they are they’re eating cheap unhealthy food, doctors and nurses are now reporting a sickening rise in cases of childhood malnutrition. Children as young as two-years-old are arriving to nurseries and schools already starving. And this is while their parents are actively skipping meals in order to keep them fed.

All of this would have been too much to bare even with a functioning health service, but a decade of austere cuts to the NHS mean there can be no recovering from this torture. Waiting times get longer and longer, with millions in line for treatment that is usually months away. In the worst cases, some people are waiting years for treatment, years that they may not have. Even emergency treatment is more difficult than ever to receive. Hundreds of people die each year while waiting for ambulances that never arrive or packed into overcrowded waiting rooms that overworked doctors and nurses can’t possibly keep up with.

It’s often said that every society is only nine missed meals away from revolution. But given how many meals we have all missed and how far away any revolution seems, this old proverb seems inaccurate. How do we make a revolution when we’re too cold, hungry and sick to revolt?

"Invaders Must Die"
As with any time of crisis, the ruling class have sought out a scapegoat to blame for the problems they caused, a way to keep us divided against each other rather than uniting against them. This time, the monstrous regime of bigotry has selected targets from the most vulnerable people in our society: refugees.

Time and time again it has been made clear that there is no safe and legal route to asylum in the United Kingdom. Over the course of the past year, over 45,000 asylum seekers were forced to cross the English channel in small boats, in a dangerous route that has already claimed a number of lives. The Home Secretary Suella Braverman, building on the foundations left by her predecessors Priti Patel and Theresa May, is hard at work turning Britain’s hostile environment into a deadly one.

Almost immediately after taking up the role, Braverman described refugees fleeing war-zones and economic collapse as “invaders”, in a shockingly fascistic speech that a Holocaust survivor likened to the rhetoric used by the Nazis. Rhetoric aside, the Tory government has already established concentration camps, proposed the mass deportation of refugees and overseen the disappearance and kidnapping of children. They have even more shockingly sided themselves with the worst scum in society – slavers – with their declaration that they will withhold protection from victims of modern slavery.

The government’s anti-refugee rhetoric and policies have emboldened a rise in street-level fascism. In October, a fascist carried out a terrorist attack against a refugee camp in Dover. Thankfully he was unsuccessful, but his genocidal call to action was taken up by fascists throughout the UK. Attacks on asylum centres have only increased since then, with one particularly shocking case of a fascist mob attempting to storm a hotel housing refugees in Merseyside. Were it not for the brave defence put up by local anti-fascists, a massacre may well have occurred. At every step of the way, the government has failed to condemn these attacks. In fact, their rhetoric has only grown sharper. Although they are not part of the same organisation, it would be naive to suggest they don’t form two parts of the same whole. The Tory Party, for all intents and purposes, is transforming itself into the political wing of British fascism.

"Death to Dissent"
While we have been kept busy trying to keep food on their plates, the Tories are content that everybody is too distracted to pay attention to their moves towards creating a dictatorship.

The Tories were already moving to create an unaccountable executive government, outside and above the scrutiny of parliament and the courts. Since the Supreme Court rolled back Johnson’s prorogation of parliament and blocked the deportation of refugees, the Tories have had their scopes set on the “lefty lawyers” that scuppered their autocratic ambitions. Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has already given the government the power to circumvent the courts and now wants to entirely block the possibility of judicial challenges to the government’s actions.

Their desire for unaccountability has driven and been driven by attacks against their enemies. Not against His Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition, of course, but against the real opposition to the Tory project: political dissidents and the organised working class.

First and foremost on the government’s enemies list was protestors. The rise in direct action campaigns against racism and environmental destruction has put the fear of the people into the hearts of the Tories. In response, they have moved to restrict protest – even the most peaceful – against their rule. Last year’s infamous anti-protest act didn’t go far enough for the Tories, who now intend to criminalise any form of disruptive demonstration. Long prison sentences await those that want to act against injustice, even those that wouldn’t hurt a fly.

The government is also targetting workers, who dared to negotiate for better wages at a time when food and shelter are more unaffordable than ever before. At best, they offer paltry concessions that barely cover the cost of inflation. Meanwhile, they work together with the bosses to repress striking workers and their unions, pushing for new laws that would allow employers to fire and sue anyone that interfered with their profits.

The Tories have even set their sights on destroying their own greatest legacy by withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Inspired by the dictatorships of Lukashenko and Putin, where dissidents are imprisoned, tortured and murdered as a matter of routine, the new Tory Party has declared that it no longer wants to be constrained by these pesky human rights. Without this bloody convention holding us back, they could finally Make Britain Great Again.

Before long, many of the rights and freedoms that we have taken for granted may no longer exist.

What Is To Be Done?
Having gone through all of this, it should be some relief to know that the Tories will likely be trounced at the next election. But unfortunately, we live in a society where the other faction of our ruling class is barely any better. Under Keir Starmer, the Labour Party is beginning to lose any real distinction from the Tories, in a sharp move to the right that makes even Tony Blair look like an ultra-left communist. The so-called party of the workers is now turning its back on workers. They have aligned with the Tories on attacking devolution, trans rights and the NHS. Even arch-nationalist Nigel Farage has endorsed Starmer’s Labour, which he considers even further right than the Tories on immigration. At this point, Labour is little more than a more competent Tory party.

But even if we did elect the most benevolent and progressive Labour government in history, they wouldn’t be able to undo a fraction of the damage that the Tories have done. Even if they dedicated their entire legislative power towards repealing the authoritarian acts passed by the Tories, it’s inevitable that they’d miss some. The Tories have successfully Gish galloped their policies into the long-term. Tory policy is integral to the British state. The British state is a Tory project.

If the Tories are ousted, they will do what they have always done: regroup, bide their time and build their strength until they can take back the power they see as theirs by right. And when they return, they could be even worse than they are now.

The solution to this creeping tyranny in our country requires nothing less than the elimination of the Conservative and Unionist Party, all its organs and all that which enables its rise to power. If it’s a war they want to wage against us, we must be prepared to fight back. ■

Written by Guillem Gallès
Audio Reading by Ed

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