"Where we may once have been considered hopeful for the future, to the Conservatives we are now only fodder"

Grief Ritual's Jamie Waggett weighs in on 12 years of Tory rule and why the NHS may never recover.

"Where we may once have been considered hopeful for the future, to the Conservatives we are now only fodder"
Jamie Waggett

"A long time ago, Grief Ritual was created as a cathartic release from mental health issues by myself and a friend, who sadly went on to lose their battle against their condition before we had a chance to grow. However, a year or so ago, myself and new members reformed and created our debut EP Spiritual Disease: five songs that were written to express the pain, anger and resentment of having the last 12 years inflicted on us. It's for all us good working people, for all of those unable to work, for all of us who struggle, for all us people who don't want to live under a Conservative government.

"In September 2022, the Conservative government appointed Liz Truss as their fourth different Prime Minister in the last six years. This comes against a backdrop of 6.8 million people waiting for hospital treatment. Every Tory PM that has come into power over this last 12 years has promised to invest, but this has failed to occur. In Liz Truss, with a bleak winter ahead due to spiralling energy costs and a shrinking health system, we now also find ourselves with potentially the most hard-right ideologue leader of our country in quite some time. That she should be charge of making decisions about these vital services when the electorate did not vote for her feels hideous.

"Truss is anything but a fresh start for the UK. With every pay packet we struggle to make ends meet as inflation drives the cost of food and basic living expenses higher, yet Liz Truss will show no empathy for those struggling to survive. She has surrounded herself with ministers who are are against same-sex marriage and condemn trans rights. That we are living in a country with these people in charge is abhorrent and will cause further mental anguish. They know nothing about struggling to make ends meet, living pay-cheque to pay-cheque. They know nothing of the continual fear and anxiety that many people have felt over the last few months as inflation has risen and energy prices have boomed. Where our lives may once have been considered hopeful for the future, to this party we are now only fodder.

"Our EP is for everyone who isn’t here now due to the failures of the system; for everyone who is still here and missing their loved ones; and for everyone going through a tough time. The opening track on our EP – Dissolution – speaks about the damage of capitalism and how it feels to be trapped working a job that strips away your self-worth and damages your mental and physical health. We live in a society where many people spend their days struggling to provide a basic standard of living for their families while others are perfectly immune to this.

"As someone who lives with comorbid mental health conditions, as well as other physical health issues, I have often sought support from the NHS and wider health, care, welfare, and social support networks in UK. This support, treatment, and health tools and techniques that I have been taught have, at times, been vital in periods of poor health – and provided extra help on the first small steps to recovery during these periods. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be here today without this and the care of those that I have been fortunate enough to interact with.

"People like myself, and others all over the UK who cannot afford private treatment, rely on these support networks to gain a foothold when things become too much or our conditions push us to breaking point. The blame for this neglect (and the continual erosion and decimation of these vital public health services) falls squarely on the Conservative government, the greed and capitalism they have sewn in society, and the last 12 years of budget cuts and underfunding.

"The third track on our EP, Telluric, is extremely personal, as it touches on the themes of living as a vulnerable person with comorbid health conditions, under a political regime that is only interested in propping up and fattening its own nepotistic vested self-interests. The opening line, ‘Feels like this state wants me in the ground' addresses being made to feel like a burden due to the conditions you live with. Ultimately, it’s about how 12 years of the Tories has totally destroyed the NHS and our vital support networks.

"We can get better. We can grow and thrive, but we need political reform in this country. We need to expose corruption and political malfeasance. We need to impose our own ways of control so that the NHS and social support networks are supported, funded and owned by the public. We need direct action, to show the people in power that we will not be silenced and labelled 'woke' for caring about ourselves, our fellow humans and our planet's future. No-one should be living in fear of being unable to live a decent life in 2022. Our dignity is being stripped from us every day that the Tory party remains in power. The right to choose and exist freely should be a given. Queer and trans rights shouldn't be weaponised. Race shouldn't be weaponised. Our human rights shouldn’t be weaponised. Feeding children shouldn’t be weaponised. Climate change shouldn’t be weaponised.

"If you feel the same we implore you to say something – make a stand. If you’re an artist, a musician, a band, a writer, a journalist, put something out. The more voices expressing these sentiments the better, and it only takes a few people to come together to form the foundations from which something larger can grow. We must show that we won’t live under these conditions any more. We cannot allow our own future and those who will come after us to continue in this cycle of capitalist dogma and climatic destruction. We have failed so far, but we must take a stand and fight back."

Grief Ritual's Spiritual Disease EP is out now

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