How long do you have?
In almost exactly a month, the UK will be holding another election in an attempt to do what the Tories obviously find impossible: successfully run the country.
As we approach our third general election in four years – and since it feels like we’re in with a real chance of unfucking the country – we thought it was time to collate all the bad things said by the idiots in government.
Obviously this is not a comprehensive list because we’d literally be here forever, but here’s some key quotes to remember as we head to the polls.
GRENFELL TOWER VICTIMS LACK ‘COMMON SENSE’
Last week, Jacob Rees-Mogg went on the radio and said he was too clever to die in a fire. Too clever… to die in a fire. Discussing the recent Grenfell Tower fire inquiry, Rees-Mogg claimed the victims lacked “common sense” because they didn’t flee the burning building. He said to the presenter: “I think if either of us were in a fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we would leave the burning building. It just seems the common sense thing to do and it’s such a tragedy that didn’t happen.” He concluded: “I don’t think it’s anything to do with race or class.”
To summarise: Rees-Mogg believes it is entirely your fault if you die in a fire. It is not the fault of the cost-saving cladding that failed fire safety tests. It is not the fault of the council who ignored complaints by concerned residents about the cheap refurbishment of the building. It is not the fault of the people in power, including the prime minister who – as Mayor of London – was in charge of the London Fire Brigade for years. It is because you lack “common sense”. OK.
Oi @Jacob_Rees_Mogg you need to resign you’re an actual piece of shit I beg everyone watch this - MP Jacob Rees Mogg in a nutshell saying Grenfell Victims should of had the common sense to escape. I can’t believe the cheek fucking hell these politicians are actual aliens pic.twitter.com/aQ4NxwdBCG— #MERKY (@stormzy) November 5, 2019
THEIR ‘GO HOME OR FACE ARREST’ VANS
In summer 2013, Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ strategy was well underway – a policy that intended to make it as difficult as possible for people living illegally in the UK. As part of the campaign, the government drove vans around six London boroughs with areas of high migration – vans that read: “In the UK illegally? GO HOME OR FACE ARREST.” Not only did the vans display inaccurate arrest figures (AKA lies), but the slogan was hateful and intended to instill fear in those who saw it. As Labour’s Yvette Cooper said to May at the time: “You agreed to that slogan and you agreed to send it round communities whose parents heard it from the National Front in the 1970s.”
MUSLIM WOMEN IN BURKAS ‘LOOK LIKE LETTER BOXES’
Boris Johnson – the man-child currently ‘running’ the country – is potentially the worst offender when it comes to speaking things out loud. In August last year, the now-prime minister said that Muslim women wearing burkas “look like letter boxes”. Johnson explained that he felt “fully entitled” to expect women to remove face coverings when talking to him, and asserted it was “absolutely ridiculous” that people wore them in the first place. In case he’s still confused: Johnson shouldn’t feel entitled to anything from women, particularly changing the way they choose to dress. He also shouldn’t presume anyone wants to speak to him in the first place TBH.
BLACK PEOPLE HAVE ‘WATERMELON SMILES’
Boris Johnson again! Our prime minister elected by 0.13 per cent of the population! In a 2002 column for The Daily Telegraph – which saw him earn £275,000 a year, or £2,291 an hour (cool!) – Johnson described black people in Africa as having “watermelon smiles”. In the same article, the prime minister also used the racial slur “piccaninnies”. This is the same man appointed foreign secretary in July 2016 – the month after the UK was already in the world’s bad books for voting for Brexit. It seems elevating racist men into the highest positions in office is just protocol now.
MEN GET ‘A RAW DEAL’ AND FEMINISTS ARE ‘OBNOXIOUS BIGOTS’
Determined to offend as many people as possible, the Tories have also said their fair share of slurs about women. In 2011, Dominic Raab (now known as the Brexit secretary who quit after four months of achieving nothing) wrote in an article for PoliticsHome that men suffer more discrimination than women. He said, “from the cradle to the grave, men are getting a raw deal”, adding that feminists are “obnoxious bigots”. It must be so hard for Raab to be a wealthy, straight white man in the current climate. ‘Political correctness has gone mad, hasn’t it? Why can’t I grope women in the street? I can see their ankles, they’re clearly asking for it!’ Kill me.
WHEN THEY PUBLICLY OUTED SHAHMIR SANNI
In March 2018, 10 Downing Street publicly outed Shahmir Sanni – a young Vote Leave intern-turned-whistleblower. After exposing illegal campaigning tactics by the Leave camp (including the current prime minister), Number 10’s official press office issued a statement which outed Sanni for having a secret 18-month relationship with Vote Leave official Steven Parkinson. Just one month later, May (PM at the time) said she “deeply regrets” Britain’s legacy of anti-gay laws, before promising to be an LGBTQ+ ally for life, then voting against same-sex marriage. Consistency!
Speaking to Dazed weeks after this outing, Sanni said: “They outed me just to make me feel scared, to make me feel vulnerable.”
BLACKFACE IS AN ‘ENTIRELY ACCEPTABLE BIT OF FUN’
It seems the Tories absolutely love racism (IMO, don’t sue me for libel), so the fact that MP Desmond Swayne described blackface as a “bit of fun” shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise. In September, a photo emerged of Swayne dressed as James Brown at a fancy dress party. Refusing to apologise, the politician said the only reason he wouldn’t do it again is because “you have to go to some trouble to get it off”.
Labour’s Dawn Butler took him to task, saying: “This is another example of a politician not even trying to understand the history of oppression and racism.” I wonder why young Tories keep getting called racist?
VOTING CONSERVATIVE WILL GIVE YOUR WIFE ‘BIGGER BREASTS’
I mean, LOL at this one. In the 2005 leadership contest, Boris Johnson claimed that “voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3”. Sign me TF up! If 18-year-old me had known my boobs would get bigger after voting Tory I’d have applied for a job at The Sun. My whole career is a lie!