I wish we could go back to a part of 2012 and stay there. Not all of 2012 because by then, aided and abetted by Nick Clegg’s ambitious Lib Dems, David Cameron was unleashing austerity on the country in general and the poorest people in the land in particular. I suppose because we were only in the early stages of the Nasty Party paring back the state, things were not quite so bad back then. In the summer, all of seven years ago, the country was at peace with itself.
There was no ugly divisive Brexit, not much of Nigel Farage, no Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. But what we did have was the London Olympics.
Who can forget David Beckham on a speedboat going up the Thames, Daniel Craig as James Bond with the actual Queen and Danny Boyle’s uplifting opening ceremony celebrating the best of Britain, not least the NHS. And when Chancellor George Osborne was booed at the Olympic Stadium as he handed out some medals, the country was as one.
Now, the country is overwhelmed by hate. The Labour Party has been overrun by anti-Semites, Stalinists and Trots under the woeful ‘leadership’ of an elderly journeyman politician. The governing Tories are consumed with a suicidal Brexit. Everywhere we look, there is misery.
This week the black London MP David Lammy gets a letter that reads as follows:
I HAVE JUST BEEN MADE AWARE OF THE EXTREMELY RUDE AND DISRESPECTFUL REMARKS YOU HAVE MADE ABOUT ANN WIDDECOMBES SPEECH AT THE E.U. RECENTLY
YOU SHOULD BE HUNG UPSIDE DOWN, SUSPENDED BY YOUR DIRTY BLACK B******* AND GIVEN A SEVERE THRASHING
NOW GET YOURSELF A BANANA AND CLIMB BACK UP YOUR TREE
SINK THE WINDRUSH AND ITS CARGO OF FILTH
I apologise if any of you were offended by my repeating of the actual words of that letter but it’s surely worth facing up to the state we are in. In 2012, the nation was cheering a Somali immigrant to victory in two long distance running events and within the hour the actual poster girl face for the Olympics, a black woman from Sheffield called Jessica Ennis, had won the heptathlon. It is hard to believe that the same country could produce such wildly different attitudes to race.
It is the politicians who created this mess. They gave us Brexit, they created the Windrush scandal, they who created the ugly environment for migrants, they who slashed the numbers of police officers, they who allowed Jew-hatred to flourish, they who have made us the laughing stock of the world.
The politicians have long forgotten who and what they are. They stand in the House of Commons not representing us but dictating to us how we must live our lives. Election promises lie broken, they refuse to be held accountable for their lies, they treat us as fools. Meanwhile, a million people use food banks, former service personnel join the long line of homeless people and rough sleepers, the sick and disabled are treated like dirt by a government that simply doesn’t care about them.
The summer Olympics of 2012 were a ray of sunshine in the increasing darkness. Where there were once heroes on the track and in the field, now hundreds of middle aged men turn up to cheer a man sent to prison for almost wrecking a trial of sick paedophiles.
I see no politicians in the current bunch capable of uniting the country. On the contrary, I can only see things getting even worse under the prime ministership of Boris Johnson and the opposition nominally led by Jeremy Corbyn, both of whom will speak from the fringes of right and left. Everyone else from mainstream left to mainstream right, including the silent majority in the centre ground can go hang. This can’t end well, can it?