The Decade in Tory
By Russell Jones
A hilarious, furious & absolutely true comedy about the most hapless government since the last one
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That man who wrote that thing you once retweeted is back, and this time you can’t retweet him.
If you loved RussInCheshire's The Week In Tory, you’ll hate The Decade In Tory, an inglorious black comedy about the relentless stream of ineffectual, divisive bum-slurry that’s poured from Downing Street since 2010. Their interminable failures will be examined in chapters covering Equality, Health, Education, Democracy, Brexit, Law, Media, Covid 19 and Corruption.
[Correction: the chapter on corruption will examine their successes.]
The book breaks down the government’s breakdowns by category, so you can skip straight to the bit that most endangers your kids’ futures, and bathe in the warm fury. We start with the Cameron government’s pledge to tackle inequality with policies that directly contributed to 140,000 deaths, and reduced UK life expectancy for the first time since 1841.
Then we move onto the NHS, where Andrew Lansley’s “efficiency-based reforms” led to admin costs rising 180%, and a hospital being charged £52,000 to re-hang a door.
And then there’s education, where cuts before the pandemic even began meant schools commonly had to close half a day a week because they couldn’t afford to remain open. And even today, promises to “level up” funding actually mean a £1.3 billion shortfall by 2022. And all this in the 7th richest nation that has ever existed in the entire history of the world.
But it’s not all fun and games. The book also covers the bewildering storm of lies and betrayals that led to Brexit, and the ongoing fallout from that demented period. And of course, it will examine the response to Covid-19, which the government took so seriously that for his first brain-dump onto a frightened public, Boris Johnson chose to be interviewed just after a segment where Phillip Schofield got his head stuck in a wigwam for dogs.
It was during that single, uninterrupted stream of consciousness that Boris Johnson, barely distinguishable from a haystack cursed by a witch, suggested we “take it on the chin”, whilst avoiding any “draconian measures” and simultaneously taking “all the measures that we can” to stop the disease.
It was only a short, reassuring step from there to the government announcing it was safe to share cars with a stranger, as long as “the driver doesn’t look to the left”, and then they really hit their stride as Dominic Cummings finally put Durham on the map, then wiped his arse with that map, and attempted to flush it down the nation’s throat.
The Decade In Tory is the perfect gift for left-wingers who love to be confused about whether they should laugh, right-wingers who love to be angry at the truth, and millennials who just need something to burn so they can stay warm.
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Russell Jones is a designer, project manager, programmer, and wazzock living in Cheshire with a ludicrous dog, and a cat that would certainly strangle him if it had opposable thumbs.
To relax, he paints portraits, plays drums, tweets about politics, and grinds his teeth to a fine powder whilst watching the news.
He published a regular breakdown of the government’s regular breakdowns under the hashtag #TheWeekInTory, which was inflicted upon around half a million unlucky recipients per week.
He’s approximately 50 but prefers to take advantage of a flaw in statistics which allows him to claim he is, on average, 25. He’s single, partly by design, and partly as the result of his queasy resemblance to a discarded early draft of Chewbacca that somebody pulled out of a bin and taught rudimentary table manners.
He almost certainly doesn’t want to attend your party.
Settle in, imbibe whatever sedative or chemical agent does the trick for you, and let’s rewind the clock to those halcyon days of May 2010, when we all still thought things couldn’t get any worse. Remember how that felt? Me neither, but honestly, there was a time when we still thought ‘rock-bottom’ was the shambolic, incoherent, and unrepresentative back-room scramble to assemble a working government whilst the global economy collapsed around us. “This is it”, we said. “This is as bad as it will ever get”.
Oh, to be that naïve again.
After 13 years of Labour rule, Britain’s voters had grown tired of looking at the miserable face of Gordon Brown and decided to replace him with a more even distribution of misery. Actually, to be fair, the nation decided nothing of the kind: we were offered a choice between a deflated scrotum, a polished turd, and an innocuous, grinning tea-boy from the HR department, who could promise anything he wanted, because he knew nobody would give him power. And then we accidentally made him Deputy Prime Minister.
Because don’t forget, it was all an accident. Think back to May 2010, the last recorded sensible decision the British electorate ever made: we looked at the choices presented to us, and picked nobody at all. But apparently – and right now, you really have to question this statement – but apparently, we’d be in real trouble if we didn’t have a government; and that’s how David Cameron, a sort of irritated glans in a shiny suit, became the sixth person since the war to start the job of Prime Minister after not winning a general election; but by no means the last.
After a meet-cute with Nick Clegg in the Rose Garden of 10 Downing Street that was as homoerotic as it was possible to be, given that each of them was little more than a life-size model of C3PO carved out of luncheon meat, the new sort-of-government set about its project. Clegg would make sure everybody in Cabinet had enough biscuits, and destroy his party for a generation; Cameron would watch as much Netflix as humanly possible and walk tersely off camera after every question; and in the background, his pet sadist, George Osborne, would drag the unsuspecting country into a pub car park, and kick the bejesus out of us.
Osborne was the political heavyweight of the outfit, having benefitted from the experience of two – count them, two – jobs prior to sitting in government. In his first role, he was a part-time data-entry clerk, responsible for filing the names of dead people at an NHS morgue. In his second job, he folded towels at Selfridges’ store.
His third job was MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer. And I’m sure, with a CV like that, we can all agree he richly deserved it.
But being in charge is such a bother, and it wasn’t even ameliorated by the opportunity to claim almost £100,000 in expenses for the paddock at George’s Cheshire home – because we all know it’s impossible to be Chancellor without having access to a small dedicated team of horses. I guess we should be grateful he didn’t claim money to install stables in the flat above 11 Downing Street. Meanwhile, Dave was also having a trying time of it: not only had he almost run out of libraries to close, but he was also having his chillax time either un-chilled or axed completely by a rabid toad named Nigel Farage, who kept yawping on about bloody “forriners” being to blame for everything.
But because the things Nigel said were so stupefyingly awful, slack-jawed TV execs kept on pointing cameras at him: and so, the idea spread.
Making all this unpleasantness go away would mean Dave delaying his ninth episode of Made In Chelsea that day. So, to avoid having to leave his sofa long enough to be mildly stern with a dozen zealots on his backbench, he decided to just call a hazy referendum on whether reality was reality. And then he decided not to bother campaigning.
In December 2015, before David Cameron lazily handed control of our fate to these maniacs, only one per cent of Britons felt our relationship with Europe was the most important issue facing the nation: by 2016 this had increased to 40 per cent, and then to 72 per cent by the time Theresa May left office.
Spoiler: leaving Europe was never the most important issue facing Britain.
No, it wasn’t. Shut up.
But the Tories were determined to deliver Brexit through thick or thin (roles perfectly performed by Mark Francois and Jacob Rees-Mogg). As a result, we are where we are: Dave resides in a solid gold shed, attempting to finish the whole of Amazon Prime; Nick Clegg went off to Facebook, to deploy all the skills that had made the LibDems the powerhouse they aren’t today; George got given a newspaper to play with; and the 0.4 per cent of the population that paid money to become a member of the Tory party got to pick a new Prime Minister, because that’s how you do it in a democracy, it seems.
After a brief, messy experiment in being led by Theresa May, a woman with all the warmth and grace of a Meccano scorpion, we placed the keys to Britain in the hands of a thermonuclear tribunal-magnet named Boris Johnson.
Let us consider for a moment Boris, a moral man, and a fine politician: I’d love to talk about all three of them, but I only have space for Boris.
Johnson may well be second only to Donald Trump as the biggest, most relentless elected liar in the world, and has a decades-long record of racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, amorality, ineptitude, and deception. He owes his success almost entirely to being able to persuade people he’s a fun, clever and educated scholar, hiding inside the bloated corpse of Billy Bunter; but he’s actually a narcissistic, bullshitting nincompoop who went on Have I Got News For You and was unable to correctly answer the question, “What is your name?”.
In a more rational world, David Cameron would have remained where he started: the PR guy for local daytime TV channel. Theresa May would be the deputy head of a primary school in Special Measures. Nigel Farage would be a shift-manager at a branch of Wetherspoons in Penge; and Boris Johnson would be children’s entertainer on administrative leave pending the outcome of a serious enquiry.
But we aren’t in a rational world: we’re in a world where the rules no longer apply. The last decade has been indistinguishable from a rollercoaster drawn by MC Escher, composed entirely of nauseating descents. Meanwhile the nation has heaved a weary sigh of relief at the demise of each iteration of their pointless, ghastly ministers, only to watch each one replaced by something even worse.
- 8th May 2021 Kill me now
#TheDecadeInTory progress report: The research stage is over, I've been writing for a week, Chapter 1 (2010) is finished, and it's been a wild ride. I'm going to celebrate with a large bottle of Vino Paralitiko, years of therapy, and an illicit to wipe clean my brain with mind-erasing drugs. There's still plenty of time to pre-order, if you hate yourself. Next step for me: a deep, disturbing…22nd April 2021 The Decade In Tory | Update
Hi to everybody who has supported The Decade In Tory.
I'm genuinely flabbergasted that it hit the funding target on the first day. In the popular parlance of anybody celebrating an achievement, I'm "humbled", which is why I'm boasting so much.
I hate to keep begging, but I also hate to starve. Writing the book means taking time away from work, and so far the funding doesn't cover the cost of…
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