Sunday 30 October 2022



THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE - 'Io rescues Odysseus' (2016) - oil on canvas - by Claire Healey

Dear Rob,

For a sizable chunk of my 24 years, I’ve been witnessing Britain’s political decline. I’ve watched as our institutions faltered, our social safety nets were systematically dismantled, and our leaders grew ever more obsessed with their own power instead of their responsibility to the public. The worst part is that I’ve always known it doesn’t have to be this way. 

My choice of an image to illustrate Matt Gallagher's statement that it doesn't have to be this way - there was an alternative - there was a socialist vision fit for the 21st century and I heard it in person outlined by Jeremy Corbyn at Heartlands in Cornwall in 2017 and 2019.   

Not unlike millions of my peers, I want to build a positive future for myself and those I care about. I can speak for many in my cohort when I say that the optimism is draining, and the dread is setting in. We’re facing down environmental calamity, a broken and unequal economy, rising authoritarianism, and a political system ill-equipped to do anything at all about it. It would be nice if the people in charge were looking out for us, but they’re nowhere to be found. 

I’d also like to live in a country with values I can get behind. Kids really shouldn’t be going hungry, we shouldn’t be price gouged by energy companies making record profits, people shouldn’t need to work multiple jobs to survive, we should probably do something about the destruction of the natural world, migrants shouldn’t be treated as sub-humans – I could go on. I know it could never be a straightforward task, but I’d do my bit to support a government if I trusted that they cared at all about any of those things. It’s quite clear at the moment that they don’t.

A former PM behind bars - see this link for the case against the man - press here.

The last year in particular has been particularly eye-opening. Boris Johnson finally resigned after an insane amount of scandals and a record of lies longer than the Bible. Liz Truss barged-in unelected and did decades worth of damage to this country (and my generation’s livelihoods) in just 44 days. Now, we’ve been blessed with the supposed “return to normalcy” that is Rishi Sunak. As you might have guessed, I’m not exactly convinced. 

Rishi’s vision is not a hopeful one for me, nor I suspect for many others. For one thing, Sunak’s attitude towards environmental issues seems absolutely ballistic. As someone who studied climate science at university, I’m astounded that he’d opt out of even attending the COP27 climate summit, which is pretty much the bare minimum a leader can do anyway. Considering three quarters (75%) of adults in this country express concern about climate change according to the ONS, his complete indifference is insulting not just to me, but to most of the country. 

Wake up and smell the collapse of the world we once knew.

Then we’ve got the cabinet from hell. These are not the kind of people I’d trust to have my back, or even the kind of people I’d grab a pint with. People like Therese Coffey, who said Sunak can take a raincheck on COP27 because it’s “just a gathering in Egypt”. People like Dominic Raab, who is back in action and keen to remove our human rights. People like Michael Gove, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Boris Johnson through every lie and scandal. 

What about Kemi Badenoch, who fought valiantly to make it harder for people to vote, or Gavin Williamson, who was previously dismissed for leaking confidential information as Defence Secretary? Even ignoring Leaky Sue, it’s not exactly a super team of principled leaders. 

What these appointments show me is that Rishi Sunak is completely unserious about actually solving any of the massive problems affecting people my age. These people only think about themselves. No matter how many times the revolving door spins, all this group can produce is a bunch of self-indulgent narcissists that care far more about their careers, titles, and promotions than the state of the country. 

I’ve learned that if I want to live in a better world, I’m going to have to fight for it. These are not problems that can be fixed by asking politely.

Another fighter - Greta Thunberg - August 2018 

For that reason, I’m glad to be working with Open Britain to defend, strengthen, and renew our political system. I’ll never give up on the idea that we can build a system where people like me have an actual voice, and can elect leaders who fight for what we believe in. We know how to start: let’s get proportional representation, get the money out of politics, get our rights back, and begin the construction of something that actually works for all of us.

All the best,


Matt Gallagher
Open Britain


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