Britain Is Broken—And The Tories Aren’t Willing To Fix It

Published: Jan 25, 2023  |  

Labour Councillor and Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building

Britain is broken; if you don’t believe me, just read any newspaper. Misfortune and misery dominate the headlines of nearly every publication. And if you don’t believe the news, even Nigel Farage himself tweeted “Britain is broken.” 

Here is my take on why. 

I do think it is incredibly ironic that Farage has said this, when he has campaigned tirelessly to turn Britain into an isolated, divided, right-wing, corrupt island run by corporations. But let’s get straight to the point and revisit the fact that Britain is, indeed, broken. From the NHS, police, social care, education, local government, army, the economy, the list is endless. Most everything the government has involvement in is either failing or has failed. Don’t blame the workers—blame the decision makers. 

We have become a failed nation run by a party that is in power but unable to govern. It seems the only achievement of modern Britain is that we have normalized corruption. We are a champion of modernizing the top gangsters. Not the gangsters you see on the TV, because they always get caught. These are the top professional gangsters. They’ve figured out the quickest way of making money is to donate to the Tory Party, befriend a Tory Minister, wait for a crisis, ask for a Government contract, make a load of money delivering very little and then watch the Tories cover up the dodgy deal. Britain may be broken for the rest of us, but the top 1% have never had it so good.

But Britain should not be in the state it is right now. Working class people pay more tax now than ever before. Think about how much a month you spend on income tax, national insurance, council tax, VAT, fuel duty, road tax, business rates etc. Surely if we pay more taxes, we should expect high quality services. But it turns out our taxes are paying for crumbling public services and unpaid and unvalued public sector staff. The Tories are squeezing every penny from working people and then have the cheek to say they are the “party of low taxes”—and amazingly, people believe them. 

I am, of course, not against taxes: without taxes, you can’t have a functioning society. But why should ordinary people be expected to pay more for fewer services, and when rich people and big corporations avoid paying the taxes they owe? What makes this worse is that the Tories don’t just ignore this behavior—they actually enable it. Even recently, there are stories of Tory MPs being paid by companies to help them pay less tax and utilize tax havens

The Tories are the “party of low taxes for the rich.” If you own a business, you probably paid more tax to the British Government last year than BP did, and they made £9.5 billion in profit. This is just wrong and unfair on so many levels and highlights how broken the economy is. If they cracked down on tax avoidance, they could reduce taxes for the rest of us, while funding public services better. The money is out there to fix Britain, but the Tories chose not to access it.

I am going to sound like a broken record here, but 13 years of austerity has contributed to Britain’s decline. It seems like we don’t talk about austerity as much anymore, as though it’s a forgotten word. Even now, if someone mentions the word “austerity” to a Tory MP, they just laugh it off and say we’ve moved on from then. But it is more relevant today than ever. Austerity was a fancy word that masks a harsh reality. Austerity is a managed decline inflicted on ordinary people. Austerity means you spend less money on the support and services that working class people rely on. At the same time, the Tories reduced tax on the rich and made it easier for large companies to avoid tax. How broken a system can you get? Let the poor suffer while the rich get richer. This is the environment the Tories have created, but they call it “opportunity” when actually it’s destruction. After 13 years of low growth, wage stagnation, inflation, and more job insecurity, the only people with money are the top 1%. How can the Tories claim they have built a strong economy when the majority of British people have less disposable income now? Trust me, if you gave £100 to 100 people, that would boost the economy more than giving £10,000 to a millionaire.

Can the Tories fix the mess they created? Even they must realize they can’t. We are entering what might become the longest recession in decades: clearly, there are very dark times ahead, and still, the Prime Minister, the richest MP in Parliament, Rishi Sunak, has not come out with any clear plans to make life better. But how could he? How can he possibly fix a problem that he knows nothing about? 

It seems that Britain will remain in the broken state that it’s in. Unfortunately, the Tories will cling to power for as long as possible, but when the day comes and we get a Labour Government, let’s not forget which Party took our country beyond breaking point.

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