There's Always a Tomorrow

There's Always a Tomorrow

Anthony R. Johnson

Format: 13.5 x 21.5 cm
Number of Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-3-99131-557-5
Release Date: 01.01.1970
A look into a somewhat grim future if we allow the rich and powerful to dominate us, but with a powerful message for all who support democracy and freedom for all. While highly entertaining the book warns how technology advances can also threaten us all.
Chapter 1.

Yesterday the United Kingdom was a democracy with a reasonably fair and competent government and a judicial system as good as almost any in the world. People went about their daily lives taking freedom, justice and safety for granted. I use the word “yesterday” metaphorically as changes had actually taken place very gradually over the last thirty years. Thirty years of change which had gone undocumented in the history books. Thirty years of change which was never taught in school. Thirty years of change which was never recorded on TV or in newsprint. Thirty years of change which people were no longer even allowed to talk about. Thirty years of change which apparently did not exist.

At first the government began to appear incompetent. Changes occurred which threatened people’s freedom, but the danger was ignored. The government were believed to be too incompetent to be dangerous. Almost unchallenged, the government began to find excuses to take emergency powers; emergency powers which were said to be temporary but rapidly became permanent. Still there was little complaint about the erosion of civil liberty. The justice system was changed so that a trial became a formality, a chance for the judiciary to rubber stamp the wishes of the security forces. An arrest was automatically assumed to be proof of guilt. The system was not only designed to be harsh, give greater power to the security officers, save time and money but also to rid society of those who might be considered to be a drain on its resources: the elderly, the sick and infirm, the poor, the homeless, the non-conformists, the criminals, the immigrants and anyone who dared to disagree with The Party.

Today people live in fear. I should say people survive in fear as it cannot really be classed as living. People are unable to talk about reality, living a life of denial with a total lack of trust. Only the elite are able to live a reasonably normal life: prominent Party members, those with important skills, trade or vocation and those able to make a lot of money; people who were considered beneficial to society.
“Yesterday” life had been reasonably good and people were content. “Today” life is full of dread and fear, but for every yesterday and today there is always a “Tomorrow”! It could be days, months or years away but tomorrow always comes and, when it comes, who knows what it might bring.
Come tomorrow change will happen, maybe for good, maybe for evil but it will come!
Come tomorrow the lamb could become the lion or the mouse!
Come tomorrow we could be facing freedom or devastation! Who knows? But come tomorrow change must inevitably come!

Chapter 2.

The grandfather clock in the living room struck the half hour. That meant it was half past four and it also meant that Tom could expect his grandson any time now. Josh always called in on his way home from school on Thursdays to have a drink, some cake and a natter with his grandad. Tom was making himself busy in the kitchen while he waited. The back door was always left unlocked, for easy access when Tom was expecting visitors. It made things easier as Tom wasn’t too quick on his feet these days. The clock had hardly stopped chiming when Josh walked in, right on cue.
“Hi grandad. How are you?” the boy asked.
“Arthritis is playing up a bit but I mustn’t grumble,” said the old man. “All part of getting old. Anyway, how are you and your dad? Not seen your dad in … oh … must be three weeks at least.”
“We’re both fine grandad.”
“The kettle’s just boiled. Do you want a cup of tea, Josh, or would you rather have a cold drink? I’ve got some carrot cake as well if you want a piece.”
“Yes, I’ll have a piece of cake please grandad. Actually, have you got any cola?”
“As it happens Josh, I have. It’s a bit hard to come by these days, with the shortages and all, but I managed to get a bottle yesterday. It’s a bit expensive but I know how much you like it. I’m having a cup of tea anyway but you can have a glass of cola with pleasure.”
Tom continued to make the tea, cut the cake and pour Josh’s glass of cola. Josh pulled up a chair and made himself comfortable at the table.
“Everything OK at school Josh?” the old man asked.
“Yes! They’ve been teaching us how to be good Party members.”
“That says everything about The Party,” said the old man. “If you have to be taught how to be a good Party member. If you believe in something, you don’t need to be taught how to believe in it.”
“Actually grandad,” said the boy, “it’s very strange that we are taught history and politics up to the early twenty twenties, just after we left Europe and we are taught modern history and politics, over the last couple of years, but there’s a thirty-year gap in between which we are told nothing about; absolutely nothing. It’s almost like those thirty years didn’t exist. Perhaps you can tell me about it. I’ve heard you mention things to dad occasionally but he usually just tells you to shut up.”
“Your dad has always been afraid of getting into trouble with The Party. Many years ago, The Party made it illegal to talk about the events of that period. I do discuss them occasionally with a few of my old mates, in private, but you have to be very careful about who you are talking to. The Party takes a very dim view of it. You can get into all sorts of trouble by saying the wrong thing to the wrong person.”
Joshua Kerley, Tom Chadwick’s grandson, was a bright and inquisitive fourteen-year-old. He was usually very happy and outgoing but somehow, he had seemed different over the past few weeks. He seemed a bit broody and introspective as though there was something on his mind. Tom was a bit unsure whether to tell the boy what he wanted to know or not. It could be dangerous if others got to hear about it; dangerous for Tom and for Josh himself, but he knew he could trust Josh. Josh was his grandson after all and they had always got on really well. If he couldn’t trust Josh, then who could he trust. Of course, he could trust him. He just had to make sure that Josh kept his mouth shut and didn’t inadvertently say anything about their conversation to anyone else.
Tom looked very serious and concerned. “Josh, if we talk about this, you have to promise me that you won’t speak to anyone else about it. If you do, we could both be in very serious trouble. I mean it Josh!”
“Of course, I won’t say anything grandad. My lips are sealed,” Josh replied.
“So, what exactly do you want to know about?” asked the old man.
“Well, I’d really like to know just what happened in those missing years of history and why it has been covered up and buried.”
The old man began cautiously at first. “Do you know about Brexit?”
“Yes, we are taught about that,” replied Josh. “It was when we left the European Union. I think it might have been in 2020.”
“That’s spot-on Josh. Well done. It was 2020 and when we left the European Union there were problems, particularly regarding trade, which the government failed to get to grips with. Things were made worse by failure to deal with climate change, a series of avoidable “natural” disasters, fragmentation of political parties, disunity of the people and a lack of accountability by the government of the time.
Things really started to deteriorate from 2021 onwards. Trade started to unravel completely. European markets and suppliers were lost. Instead of trying to rebuild that trade, the government turned its back on Europe altogether. We pinned our hopes on favourable trade deals with the U.S.A. and when they failed to materialise the economy started to collapse. There were shortages of imported foods and essential supplies. Fortunately for the government of the day, the Conservative Party, the opposition had become so badly fragmented, with leftist and moderate factions only interested in fighting each other, that they were unable to successfully oppose the government. In an attempt to increase its strength and ensure that they continued in government, the Conservative Party combined with a host of smaller right-wing parties. Many of the parties such as The Brexit Party, UKIP, BNP, the National Front and Britain First were more extreme right wing, nationalistic and in some cases even fascist. They formed a new party, The United Conservative and Nationalist Party or U.C.N.P., which we now just refer to as The Party. To accommodate the more extreme parties, the UCNP itself became more and more aligned to the extreme right wing.
Many businesses collapsed but we became the most successful in the world at three pretty despicable things,” continued the old man, “arms production, waste disposal and providing a tax haven for the rest of the world.
We supplied almost the whole of the world with weapons, including chemical weapons, biological weapons, weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons, regardless of who was buying them or what they would be used for. We supplied weapons which enabled other countries to kill hundreds of thousands of people, some soldiers but many civilians. They fought wars, revolutions, carried out atrocities, murder and genocide all using weapons manufactured and supplied by Britain. We supplied weapons which were, in some cases, used against our own friends and allies. We even happily supplied weapons which were so lethal, so powerful and so uncontrollable that they were totally forbidden under international law. We didn’t care. It was business.
We imported waste from all over the world. It was brought in by the shipload and large areas of the land and sea were used for waste disposal, no matter how toxic that waste was. We became known as The World’s Trash Can.
Ridiculous tax laws enabled mega rich foreign companies and gangsters to make massive tax savings and launder their money while British citizens were taxed to the hilt.
Desperate for a cheap supply of power, but not prepared to put money or resources into renewable energy, the government backed fracking on a massive scale. At one point it looked like fracking would be stopped, but then the government made a U-turn. Fracking was never successful in providing cheap power but it did help to cause several large earthquakes. Three particularly bad ones happened in Bradford, Sheffield and Preston.
In 2028 there was a huge explosion at the nuclear power plant in Torness. More than two hundred and fifty people were killed outright by the explosion. Many more died later due to the effects of radiation exposure. Thousands of people had to be evacuated and moved into refugee camps. In fact, the explosion made it necessary to evacuate an area with a radius of thirty miles around the power station. That is an area of more than two and a half thousand square miles. The evacuated, contaminated area was used for storing much of the imported rubbish. Initially, it was put into landfill but later, as quantities increased and it became more difficult to keep up with the demand, it was just dumped on the ground. The country which got rid of its coal tips in the nineteen seventies was now building huge open rubbish tips, vast waste mountains, in the east of Scotland. These tips included both harmless and toxic waste. The authorities did not care as the circle of land around Torness would never be inhabited again. Some of the rubbish was also deposited in huge trenches dug in the sea bed near to Torness. However, that was proving too expensive so much of the waste was just dumped into that area of the North Sea. People who had been evacuated after the Torness explosion were moved into refugee camps and so-called temporary accommodation in a twenty square mile area to the south of the evacuation zone. As far as I’m aware, they have still never been properly rehomed as The Party didn’t want them mixing with the general population.
There were many demonstrations and some rioting in protest at what was happening. People were calling for an election.” Tom continued. “That caused The Party to take emergency powers. First, they abolished all elections until all unrest had settled down. Later, they passed a bill stating that a general election would only take place when it was deemed necessary by the government. That was soon followed by a ban on all other political parties. All opposition parties were deemed to be subversive and, as such, membership was made illegal. To avoid any further demonstrations, it was made illegal to have a gathering of more than twelve people under any circumstances, except for government members, security officers, hospitals, places of work and schools. Even weddings were restricted to very close family only, as the twelve-person rule was applied. Funerals had already been stopped as the state took possession of any bodies. No-one was allowed to be buried or cremated privately. That could only be done by the state. Even transport was hit by the new law. Trains were abolished as it was impossible for them to operate with no more than twelve passengers. In some places, new metro links were set up with single carriage computer driven rail vehicles carrying a maximum of twelve passengers. The old buses and coaches were scrapped and replaced with a network of minibuses carrying a maximum of eleven passengers plus the driver.
The government stopped referring to itself as The Government. It was only referred to as the UCNP or more commonly just The Party.
When the old king died, King Charles the Third, the monarchy was abolished and the Royal Family were given a large cash settlement to become commoners.
The press had fallen more and more under the control of The Party. Any independent newspapers were closed down and the reporters were arrested. By 2027 the only news left was Party propaganda. There were always rumours and some underground news reports that got through. That is when The Party made it illegal to discuss any events that occurred between 2023 and 2053. That’s why you’re not taught anything in school from that period and that’s why this conversation has to stay strictly between us. I mean it Josh. If you repeat any of this, we are both in deep shit.”
“You can trust me grandad! What about climate change? What problems did that cause over those years?”
“Well, I’ve told you about the big earthquakes in Bradford, Sheffield and Preston. There were lots of minor ones as well but we heard that around fifteen hundred people were killed in those three alone. We were pretty sure that they had been triggered by fracking although the frackers and The Party tried to whitewash them all as just freak phenomena. Global warming was pretty well ignored, although to be fair that was pretty much the situation worldwide. Too many people buried their heads in the sand and ignored it. When the sea rose, large areas of land were flooded permanently. It was estimated that twenty per cent of the U.K. land mass was lost under water. Most of London and much of the Thames Valley was permanently flooded. That was why the government and the trading centres were relocated to just outside Birmingham, where they are now. Birmingham was believed to be very unlikely to suffer severe flooding and it was safely away from the areas that had suffered earthquakes. They stayed clear of the city centre to avoid the air pollution.”
“You can’t blame The Party for the floods grandad.”
“OK. Climate change was an international problem, but we never tried to do our bit or to persuade the rest of the world what we all knew needed to be done. When the floods came, as they were obviously going to do, The Party did nothing to try to control the situation. There was no new flood barrier schemes or pre-emptive relocation of vulnerable communities; nothing except moving the government from London to Birmingham.
They ignored warnings about air pollution and now so many inner-city areas are virtually no-go areas without face masks and sometimes even breathing apparatus. Your grandmother died of pneumonia caused by air pollution. Of course, the authorities denied that pollution was the cause. She couldn’t get any proper medical treatment either due to The Party having destroyed the NHS.”
“What was the NHS?”
“The NHS was the National Health Service. It provided free health care for everybody and was funded by the government but The Party decided that it couldn’t afford to keep it going any longer. That’s why we ended up with the system we have today. The privileged get free treatment and the rest of us have to rely on charity medical centres, run by volunteers, with few or no resources.
Anyway, as I was saying, we couldn’t get any proper care for your grandmother so she was just left to die, just like your mother.”
“My mum?” Josh asked, quite shocked at the mention of his mother’s death. His father had never talked about how his mother had died.
“You were just two years old,” continued the old man. “That’s why you can’t remember it. You would have had a little brother but there were problems with the birth. We couldn’t get any proper medical help. Your mum and your brother both died because those bastards who were supposed to be running the country had destroyed the NHS. I lost my wife, my daughter and a grandson. Of course, everything was covered up. The death certificates just said they had died from natural causes.” Although not a man given easily to tears, Tom found his eyes getting very moist and his vision cloudy as he thought about what he had lost.
“Sorry grandad,” said Josh. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“It’s alright Josh,” said Tom, drying his eyes and blowing his nose. “It’s still a bit raw, but after all these years I just feel so angry about it.”
Having pulled himself together, the old man continued. “It became more and more difficult to get genuine news and information and now all we get is Party propaganda. All social media was closed down in2025.”
“What was social media, grandad?” asked Josh.
“It was a way of contacting people online,” continued the old man. “Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and several others. It was a way of sending messages to a lot of people in one go. You could contact a small group, dozens, hundreds, even thousands depending on how many people you had connections with. Letters were banned as it took up too much time for the authorities to open them and read them. I believe all e-mails and text messages are checked by The Party and sometimes edited or even deleted. Now people are even afraid to talk in case what they have said gets back to The Party. That’s why your dad tells me to shut up if I start talking about the past.”

Suddenly Tom was startled by the sound of an alarm signal which seemed to be coming from inside Josh’s jacket. Josh pulled a radio transmitter from his inside pocket.
“That’s fine Joshua. We’ve heard enough,” came a voice from the phone. “We are coming in.”
“I don’t understand,” said Tom in a state of confusion and more than a little fear. “What’s going on Josh?”
“It’s simple enough. I have become a member of The Party Youth Movement. We are expected to help to seek out dissidents and inform on them. Your unfounded rants against The Party have all been heard and recorded by my superiors. I’m sorry grandad.”
“Josh, you’ve been brainwashed,” said the old man disappointedly. “Do you know what you’ve done, not just to me but probably to your dad as well?”
At that moment three men burst in through the back door. All three were wearing the brown uniforms of the Government Enforcement Officers.
“Allow me to introduce myself,” said the leader of the three. He was a small, dark haired man with piercing eyes, who’s gaze locked on to Tom and would not release him again. In fact, it felt like those eyes were penetrating Tom’s brain and reading his innermost thoughts. He tried to look away but was trapped by those eyes. “I am Chief Officer Adam Mollison of the Party Enforcement Office. My two colleagues are officers Powell and Willford. Are you Tom Chadwick?”
“You know I am,” replied Tom, slightly defiant but still feeling violated by those penetrating eyes.
“Then I must arrest you for spreading dissident libel against The Party. Powell, Willford, take him to the car.”
“Josh, I hope you know what you’re getting into boy,” said the old man as the officers took hold of him. “You’ve killed me Josh, just as surely as if you’d put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger yourself.”
“You’re being over dramatic grandad. You’ll just be sent for Civil Correction. They just need to make sure you follow Party rules in the future.”
“No Josh. Don’t be so bloody naive. I’ll be one of the old people who get arrested and disappear, never to be seen again. Your dad’s not safe either.” The grandfather clock struck five o’clock. “It’s thirty minutes since you arrived Josh, thirty minutes to blow your whole family apart and for what? For the approval of the fucking Party and this arrogant bastard,” said Tom, looking Mollison straight in the eyes with hatred and defiance.

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