Looking back on the year I believe that as a country and as a city we have much to be proud of and be thankful for.Ah yes. What records have we broken?
- Highest unemployment since 1996, when the Tories were last in government. Perhaps they're not evil after all, just really nostalgic.
- As a city, we're proudly on top of one league table… most empty shops, with a magnificent 28%.
- True, a Land Rover factory is coming. But not thanks to Uppal's free market principles: they've descended like vultures on government subsidy.
- We had a bit of a riot, but it was only a token effort.
- Student fees tripled.
- Environment abandoned.
- Planning laws ripped up to suit property developers. Wait a minute. That's what he's 'thankful for'. I'd almost forgotten that when he's not slaving away for his constituents (ho ho ho), Mr Uppal is a property developer.
- Isolated and a laughing stock in Europe.
- The few workers' protections remaining now threatened.
- Inflation at 5%. Workers' pay rises between 0 and 2% = effective pay cut.
- FTSE bosses' pay up 49% to £2.3m average.
- Pensions slashed.
- Tory newspapers revealed to be industrially criminal: Prime Minister's spokesman arrested for his part.
- Tory economics cause global Depression (and I don't mean just emotionally).
- Public services slashed. Deficit actually going up. Poorest, sickest and youngest paying for the cuts.
If Uppal's pleased with this year, Christ knows what he's planning for 2012. The horsemen of the Apocalypse?
But he does have more to say and it's both pompous and sanctimonious:
We should use this period as we meet with friends and family over the Christmas to reflect and think about those who may not be as fortunate as we are both home and abroad, and what we are able to do to help them.1. It's 'meet', not 'meet with'.
2. For multimillionaire speculators like him, we're all unfortunate.
3. Maybe I'm wrong, but arming dictators abroad, slashing public services at home, abandoning students and dismissing the concept of education as a public good and halving the benefits paid to disabled children don't really strike me as 'helping'.
4. There's no such thing as 'unfortunate' people who need charity. We are what we are for specific reasons. Some people are poor because capitalism shovels the cash into the pockets of 'socially useless' speculators like Mr Uppal, and because the rest of us are too lazy or selfish to redistribute. Millions of people have malaria because pharmaceutical companies prefer to spend their money researching remedies for rich mens' 'diseases', coming up with Viagra rather than vaccines. The environment is a poisoned mess because we demand cheap food. Etc.
Actually, I'm getting quite angry about this. His smug little homily doesn't mention or even hint at awareness that the country and a large swathe of its citizens are in serious trouble. We're getting poorer. Our jobs are on the line. Our hospitals and schools are being sold off, downgraded and removed from democratic control so that his friends can enrich themselves even further. His banking friends are avoiding their taxes and Cameron's helping them, while abandoning us to the miseries of unregulated capitalism. What do the Tories do? Uppal lobbies for tax breaks for people like him (without ever declaring an interest) and his neighbouring Tory MP pays for stag nights where his friends dress up as the SS and sing songs praising Hitler. They just don't get it.
'Merry Christmas'? Not from where I'm sitting. Fuck you Uppal. Seriously, you complacent turd.
I don't think Mr. Uppal thinks in terms of citizens. There's his family, his friends and his party. The rest of us are simply undifferentiated Bob Cratchits to be sanctimonious about. Unfortunately, this hypocritical humbug, unlike Mr. Scrooge, isn't likely to be converted.