GUTTED….AND GOODBYE.

Gutted. Utterly gutted. Fatigued after just a couple of hours sleep, disappointed, shocked and depressed. Not the night I has planned.

Still, someone is happy:

scumm

Says it all, in many ways. Soubry and Hopkins are similar people: people who thrive on division, hate, and mistaking impolite loudness for some sort of character.

What happened? Well, it really seems it was The Sun Wot Won It. And The Times. And The Mail. And The Telegraph. And, FFS, The Independent.  They realised that Labours plans to make non-doms pay their fair share would attack their proprietors, so accordingly launched an attack on Miliband that  was spiteful, borderline anti-semitic (‘ooh look: a “North London Intellectual” eating a bacon sandwich’) and utterly nasty. Fearing attacks on their own newspapers, and the opening up of the media to much needed plurality would damage their influence.

The BBC, realising that the Charter will soon be reviewed and the license fee discussed, became incredibly fearful and toed the Tory line accordingly. Thus, an open letter direct from CCHQ, purportedly from ‘small business owners, which was later found to be largely false, leads the news one night. The next, a similar letter from leading NHS doctors calling for an end to Cameron’s piece-meal  privatisation doesn’t even get a mention.

It’s hard when you get so immersed in politics to realise that other people have only a passive interest. It is important to bear this in mind when you look at the result. I don’t believe the people who voted Tory are evil, venal, and intent on ruining the NHS. I think they were scared by the press, by the relentless on-slaught of fear and paranoia directed at them.

They saw a narrative of Labour bollocking up the economy and the Tories saving it. It’s become virtually embedded. The truth of course, is much more nuanced: we had a global financial crisis. The UK was on the road to recovery in 2010, and was seriously set back by austerity (stripping us of our AAA credit standard). It has limped back into life not as a result of Tory policy, but despite. The only signs of recovery emerged after the austerity programme was temporarily scaled back.

This is nothing short of a coup against the public. the theft of public services – things WE built, WE own, that work for US are being transferred over to faceless corporations where the only concern is profit. The NHS, the BBC are next in line, The Royal Mail gone. You can forget much need nationalisation of railways. Richard Branson needs a new island.

The public voted out of fear, not hate. They are not evil, not selfish, merely were force-fed a false narrative.

What next I wrote this earlier, after 20 hours of solid blogging, just before I snatched a couple of hours sleep:

Stay positive. It looks like we will have a lame-duck government exposed massively to its own back-bench idiots. Labour will lick it’s wounds, realise that pushing austerity-lite is no vote winner and discovery its opposition fire again. A bright, strong leader to stand again a PM who will fight for every vote.

This is 1992 again. Let’s make sure we get 1997 again.

I was going to join the Greens after this election. I voted Labour but thought as the Greens reflect my views most closely, I would go to them.

Instead, I will be joining Labour later today. I want to be part of restoring that party to a proper opposition, a true force against the horrors of this gerontocracy, this plutocracy, this place where the tax-dodging press barons use hate and fear to command narratives.

We have five years of hard work ahead. Public services will be slashed. The poor, the disabled, the voiceless will be further demonised and brutalised. The rich will get richer.

But if those vile fuckers try and touch our NHS, bite their scaly, thieving hands. The war isn’t lost. its just beginning.

I stand by it, now I’ve had a rest. I’d add that we have hope in the next generation. That sounds like a cheesy Whitney Houston cover, but true. The young, raised in times of calm and prosperity during the Blair years, had little to be political about. Iraq probably lost a chunk of sympathy for Labour. The tuition fee hikes lost an even greater chunk for the Lib Dems -evidenced in the wipeout last night.

Yet we live in a gerontocracy now. The older generation have a hugely disproportionate effect on the vote due to the fact they actually vote. The youth now have to stop this. While pensions are ring-fenced, they will be denied benefits, forced into zero-hour contract jobs. If they choose to get an education, they have to take on board huge, uncertain debt to do so. Their freedom of movement will be curtailed as the UK retreats from Europe. They can never dream of owning their own house: keeping the housing market in a state of artificial over-heating is key to keeping the older generation happy and asset rich. The ladder is firmly kicked away.

Anyone who read the fantastic piece by Andre Tucker I hosted earlier this week will see  that there is growing anger, a burgeoning sense of being victimised. The Tories, governing alone, will be the sole target of this anger. In a party whose core membership is well into it’s late 60’s, with little replenishment from the other end of the generation scale, winning a  majority could be paradoxically the most dangerous thing for the Tories to have done.

Keep the faith. That is the most important thing. This is no Thatcheresque landslide. Only a million votes separate the Tories from Labour. Add in the SNP, the Greens and Plaid, and a strong anti-Tory majority is seen. Our crazy FPTP voting system masks this. But it’s clearly there in vote share.

Fight on.

End of this blog? In the main, yes. I’m worn out. Over the last three weeks alone I’ve written more than 40,000 words. That’s the size of an average novel. I’m also tired of the legal threats (never carried out, but worrying), the threats of violence, the negativity daring to speak out against the status quo engenders. And I’m fed up with people saying to me ‘Oh, you wrote about politics. I thought you were meant to be neutral’, as if for the last seven years I’ve scrupulously written mere transcriptions of events, with no attendent commentary. IT’S A BLOG. IT IS A PLACE WHERE I PUBLISH MY THOUGHTS, MY OPINIONS, MY ANGLE ON LIFE. HAVE YOU ACTUALLY TRIED READING IT???

I have, and I think this is where they get confused, remained totally independent throughout. Not a penny, not a favour, not even a single pint has been garnered off a political party for writing this. I’ve done it alone for the best part of a decade, with the only intention of making sure some light is shed on places that politicians would prefer remain murky. I’ve had my share of scoops, scandals and shenanigans. I’ve met dozens of politicans en-route. Generally ok people. Some utterly lovely. Some utter charisma voids (Clegg, David MIliband). Some nasty careerists. Our newly reelected. Mainly, they’re just people though. I have a grudging respect for anyone who chooses to dedicate their career to such a bizarre way of life.

I have a couple of good submissions to print up on politics, then that will be it.

I’m off on holiday next week, somewhere hot, for a few days of decompressing. When I return, I’ll have a clearer picture of what to do. Right now, I want to dedicate my time to the things that really matter to me. My wife, who I have seen far too little of late. My work on the UNESCO City of Literature bid, which I truly think could be a massive boost for our city. OXJAM, which in it’s fifth year of existence goes strength to strength, and unites this town where others try to divide, The Beestonian, which we’re expanding from next issue and continues to attract excellent writing and ideas from Beestonians all over: our Facebook page keeps surging in Likes, now close to 2,250. The Film Club at Cafe Roya, which has been having a wonderful run of form of late: raising money for local charities, showcasing young filmmakers, giving the town a place to catch film that would most likely pass them by.

I also have a follow up to the Beestonian film to get scripted and filmed, which is shaping up into quite a project.

I will still use this space to write my thoughts on, you can read them if you like. Local politics may stray into stuff, but only casually. I want to write about anything I feel. I have an article about how Zeno’s Paradox annoys and influences everything I do kicking around in my head. Definitely niche that one, and I’ll probably never actually finish it (and if you get the joke there, hello, fellow nerd).

I’ve loved doing this. I’m happy to leave on a high in terms of readership, and a low in terms of results. Hope to see you soon, Beestonians.

Matt Goold.

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22 thoughts on “GUTTED….AND GOODBYE.

  1. “fight on”…. “I give up”
    😦

  2. patranne says:

    Thanks for all the blogs (and I like the Zeno’s ref …….)

  3. Diane Watson says:

    I don’t seems to be able to comment on the blog so this is to express my appreciation for all your thoughts on politics and everything else you do for Beeston. I join you in your despair at the election outcome and feel for you in your exhaustion. You have entertained us, made us reflect, kept us informed and been a truly good fellow. Well done Matt. Enjoy your break. Best Regards Diane Watson

  4. Elsie says:

    Great post.
    I too went to bed feeling gutted and having started the day talking to someone with a terminal degenerative muscle disorder, who on finding out the election results promptly contacted dignitas as she put it ‘the country has voted me a burden and I really don’t want to die in a privatised place where profit and turn around are the order of the day’ it’s been tough one.
    I worried I had brainwashed my 5 year old son too well as the first thing he asked on waking this morning was the results and when I told him he cried and told me I don’t want to live here anymore. But on reflection I have come to remember how living through the thatcher years made me who I am today. We survived that and can and will survive this. We need to fight back, stand up for what is right and look to the future.
    My son will hopefully grow through this to become politically aware, questioning and ready to stand up for right. He will grow into the next generation of those once again interested and ablaze with political action. The Phoenix rising from the ashes.
    I hope David Cameron doesn’t think that just because he has a majority it will be an easy ride and I hope we as a nation have the strength and integrity to make our voices heard.

  5. Simon Burrow says:

    Thanks for all your brilliant work Matt. I guess so many of us are feeling utterly despondent today, and your blog helped grant me a little perspective on the future (I had mooched miserably through Beeston this morning and couldnt help assuming that everyone I saw was a potential Soub voter – poor Nick, – that majority – How the hell???).

    Let’s hope 2020 resembles 1997 (minus Tony Blair). I too have resolved to join the Labour party and will be doing so tonight. Keep up everything you do for the good of Beeston and enjoy your holiday.
    Best wishes
    Simon

  6. Jeanie says:

    Tomorrow is another day… Keep heart. Keep cool. As my late dad would say x

  7. Helen says:

    Thank you for such an insightful and inspring piece. Very much needed on this horrible day. Enjoy your very well deserved break. Helen

  8. Stuart says:

    Go relax Matt, it’s a shock to all of us. Ye gods.

  9. Never say never; it’s been a long day. But if you do choose to draw a line, you’ve done mighty fine work here, of which you can be proud. All the best, however it turns out.

  10. CaroC says:

    I second what Diane says, good luck with the future

  11. Many thanks Matt for all your blogs and wonderful words! Beeston is a happier place because of you, and more determined! Your superb personality has rubbed off on all of us…so well done matey! Go off and enjoy your holiday with your dear wife, and meditate and contemplate in the sunshine. Your future is rosy whatever you do! (((big hugs)))

  12. Toffin says:

    In re this country being a gerontocracy, this is exactly the same argument peddled by the Yes campaign in Scotland last year, although they went further by suggesting that anyone over a certain age shouldn’t be allowed to vote because the future of Scotland was not a future an older person would live long enough to be part of. You’re appearing to vilify older people just by virtue of them actually have sufficient civic responsibility to actually go out and vote.
    Toffin

  13. petekobryn says:

    Great work, always informative, always interesting.

    As the national exit poll was flashed up.and my heart sunk into my feet I thought “at least we might get Nick back….”

    …bugger….

  14. Chris Smith says:

    I too am completely gutted that Nick failed to get in. He is perfect for Broxtowe and I am sorry the wider audience could not see this through the ‘noise and bluster’, for what he offers so positively to us all, we will be poorer in the progress of Broxtowe for it.
    I no longer have an outright party preference so in regard to the wider outcome just feel deflated by where the country has ended up. The hidden Tory voters (vote for them but afraid to say they do), voting based on fear (real or otherwise), the loss of liberalism in our society, the lack of clarity around what labour now stands for, the almost four million votes for UKIP, they way Nothern Ireland has simply dismissed and the stark political differences across each region of the UK.
    What is for sure is the country has voted for the next five years to be messy, really messy. A leader with limited challenge (other than his right wing counterparts) knowing he is quitting this time round, a European referendum, greater splits between England and Scotland, even greater austerity, continued reform of the NHS, massive welfare cuts, and the death of progressive environmental policies. All this whilst billions is spent on HS2 and Trident, our lovely non dom’s continue to pay no tax, we give our shopping billions to those popular tax avoiding companies and the richest in society continue to watch their asset values grow (the top 1% doubled theirs in the last 5 years).

    I am well paid, have my own home and will be blessed with a good pension. BUT all this direction of travel and where we now sit feels so wrong right now and whilst I could join so many others in saying I am alright Jack, that feels so wrong for the future of our country. I am increasingly starting to admire Scotland for having a new vision of freedom and growth with a healthy dose of social responsibility, I can no longer resent their desire to free themselves from Westminster and the London centric vision of what we all need in our lives………. I want to as well!

  15. Andy says:

    Hi Matt, I’ve enjoyed your blogs over the years, the Beeston Olympic bid, the anti Tesco and the Beestonian. If you want a break that’s understandable, but thanks for expressing an viewpoint for a positive Beeston that resonated. Come back refreshed and keep us positive for the next five years.

    • beestonia says:

      Blimey! Forgot about the Olympic bid! That was silly fun. I ended up forming a strong bond with the USA Women’s Netball Association who agreed to join a mutual support thing: we endorse their bid to become an Olympic Sport, they support our bid to have the Olympics. I still hope that they knew we were’nt entirely serious!

  16. Well we all know the national picture is in the realm of the spirit while local interests is down here with us monkeys. Nevertheless, my Lord Beestonia has done fine work exposing the Myths of Ms. Soubry -fighting for the Green Belt whilst being a minister in the government that forces house-building on it. Maybe we need to control immigration, put our own fellows first, look after your children’s needs before all and sundry from across the planet. Who knows what’s best. Religion is personal truth and politics is somewhat of a game, somewhat of a balance of priorities at a given time.
    Please. my Lord, keep up the good work of journalism. It is highly valued. You are a fine man. Best wishes.

  17. Mike says:

    Beeston in Nottinghamshire is the most adulterous town in the country.
    Radio 4 – More or Less – Election and Adultery Special. 14 minutes in. (after the Trumpton election)

  18. Mike says:

    Nice article from Paul Krugman on the positive correlation between election success and economic growth in the 6 months prior to the election. Krugman has been a harsh critic of the Coalition’s austerity programme since 2010 and describes the recent economic improvement as “it feels better when you stop hitting yourself in the face” (as Beestonia and myself have commented). Expect a resumption of stop-go austerity. (Krugman also vindicates Labour’s handling of the economy prior to the crash.) At the end of the piece, there is a link to a nice article on the media’s anti-Labour bias (as Beestonia has commented).

    The Blairite faction is blaming Labour’s lack of appeal to aspiration (i.e. more actually, personal wealth accumulation). They’d do better blaming their own inability to explain basic economics to the electorate.

  19. Mike says:

    Anna Soubry MP promoted to Minister for Small Businesses.
    Businesses are small and she’s gonna shrink ’em.

  20. Michael B says:

    Thanks, Matt, for all the insights your blog provided over the years into the doings of the Good, the Bad and the Soubry. Enjoy your rest in the sun and come back to us refreshed, ready to hit the ‘send’ button again; but do go easy on the dive-bombing into the pool – we don’t want to hear about you having to be ‘re-stitched’ in QMC. (Assuming there will still be a QMC around…..)

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