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5 October 2016

The 13 things making me very angry right now

A howl of rage.

By Jonn Elledge

I’m very angry. This is why:

1. The way the definition of the political “centre ground” now apparently includes stirring up hatred against foreigners, thus rendering the term so flexible as to be entirely meaningless.

2. The gall with which someone who was home secretary for six years, and became prime minister without having to fight an election, can stand on a conference stage on national television and unironically attack “the elites”.

3. The way that Theresa May has looked at the divisive legacy of Thatcherism, and decided that the problem was that it was too tolerant and liberal.

4. Come to that: the way liberal is being used as an insult. Both sides are doing this now: the left think it means “sell out”, the right think it means “wet and a bit foreign”. This is probably Nick Clegg’s fault, but I’m quite in favour of openness, tolerance and generally being nice to other human beings, so can we reclaim that word please?

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5. The way this entire crisis is making me genuinely nostalgic for the days of Clegg, and David Cameron, and even George Osborne. I mean, it’s largely their fault, but at least it was possible to write about their government without breaching Godwin’s Law.

6. The growing suspicion that May is going to just act like Brexit is a mandate for whatever crazy-arsed right-wing shit she’s always wanted to do anyway.

7. The almost complete silence of the business lobby. Seriously, the Tories have just abandoned you to go chasing after the paranoid xenophobe vote. You fund this party. This would be a really good day to go after them for taking a torch to both the national economy and enlightenment values. Where the hell are you?

8. The way a significant number of my friends are no longer sure if they’re entirely welcome here, and every time anyone comments about this on the internet, some w**ker will pop up and reply, “yes but democracy”, and apparently we’re all just meant to be cool with that.

9. The way a 52/48 vote for something is being treated as an “overwhelming mandate”, rather than a sign that the country had become dangerously divided.

10. The fact the Labour politician who has been noisiest in his opposition to this s**t today has been Andy Burnham, thus forcing me to reassess my long-held objections to Andy Burnham.

11. The way that “taking back control” has turned out to mean losing my passport, my human rights, my freedom of movement and my lack of shame about being British.

12. The overwhelming sense that the Titanic has just crashed into an iceberg, and everyone started cheering.

13. The fact there is seemingly nobody in politics with the stature or credibility that would allow them to stand up and say, “No”.