The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

In the cold harsh light of day...

I somehow think that politicians don't employ something called 'reflective practice' - the ability to sit down and take stock, reassess and redirect.

I'm afraid that as a result of the general election that my socialist values have not only resurfaced, they have bombarded me with scenarios that have made me question everything I've been thinking about over the last couple of years.

I advocated this current political arrangement. The way I saw it, the two parties would temper each other to the point where fairness would be the key word. I'm not so sure now; let me explain.

I think Clegg sold out the 28% of the population that voted for him. Many of these people voted Lib Dem in Labour seats to ensure the Tories didn't get into office. Lib Dems are essentially not Conservatives. The call of some power has clouded the Lib Dems and compromised their values and while MPs and members of the party might be jumping around like idiots; at what cost?

Everyone seems to be crowing about new politics and new opportunities it might bring, but it won't happen. What will happen is that droves of Lib Dems will defect (back) to Labour, even if the marriage works, because it will sit wrongly with their principals. Can you imagine floating Lib Dem voters looking back on this 'partnership' and thinking about the grinning, posh boys of the Bullingdon Club and the sneering, self-serving and morally corrupt Tory MPs, members and supporters? They will have realised that they sold their principals down the river for 12 pieces of silver (or 5 if you count it as ministerial positions).

I want to be positive about this coalition; but it sits wrongly with me. I feel as though I voted Conservative at the last General Election and that effectively means that my brief flirtation with the Lib Dems is over. I think I would now vote Labour even if Blair came back.

I am fed up with ignorant buffoons crawling out of the woodwork condemning Labour for 13 years of Hell on Earth and I'm thinking 'where have you people been hiding for 13 years? Can you remember what 18 years of Tory government did for this country? The fact we have no infrastructure; everything was sold off and the lesser classes were treated like shit covered trainers. The fact that the last Tory administration destroyed community, effectively causing all of the problems we have today with antisocial behaviour. People blame Blair and Brown for Iraq and Afghanistan, but people seem to forget that Thatcher started a war with Argentina just to ensure she won an election she looked destined to be destroyed at. Because of the Tory party we're having to use more and more cars, because while we still have a rail network, the idea of forking out ridiculous amounts of money to stand on a packed train to London is far less preferable than driving.

We were all going to suffer from austerity measures; but I really believe that if you earn under £50k a year, then you're going to be desperately trying to make ends meet by the time this government is forced back into an election. We're going to see indirect tax rises everywhere - the spending cuts will mean that if councils don't increase council tax then you'll see the Draconian measures of charging us for our waste - which could lead to as many demonstrations as the Poll Tax - despite the fact that waste disposal is part of the council tax and about the only front line service that you see on a regular basis. VAT will go up; yeah they might scrap the rise in NI, but they'll get it back from us rather than from employers - because, lets face it, our employers are far far more important than us - aren't they? It's important that senior management get bonuses and the ground staff get pay cuts.

The sad thing about the election is that it was a smack in the face for people like me who felt that the people were changing and were more likely to vote for something different. Looking at the results, its clear that independents don't really have a chance and even if they get into local politics, one person alone can't stop anything. Therefore, I've decided that I'm not going to run for local elections next year. The straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, happened yesterday when I was talking to a colleague who works in senior management for a service that is likely to one of the first hit by any public spending cuts. "I'm glad that the Tory's will be involved in the new government," she said.
"What about the fact that your entire department might end up being axed and you might be out of a job?"
"I never really considered that."
This is someone who earns twice as much money as I do and has masses of responsibility, but obviously very little common sense.

During the election campaign, I saw this disabled girl saying on television that she wanted Cameron to win because the Tory's might do more for the disabled people. Ha! The blind ignorance of the world is remarkable. Since the result has been announced there have been some positively heinous twats appearing on TV and radio saying every single reason why I've never voted Conservative, never will vote Conservative and have finally lost my faith in people to do the sensible thing. Thatcher made most of us self-centred selfish bastards - on May 11, 2010 her legacy was exonerated.

I will continue to fight for what is right in Northampton and the shire, but maybe with a little less enthusiasm and a lot more cynicism.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Maybe Politics

After listening to every side of the political debate; from journalists with left leanings, right leanings and central positions, this is what I think is going to happen.

A Conservative minority government with concessions given to them by the Lib Dems, to the point where the third largest party will abstain from contentious bills and be given a free whip on workable bills. The reason for this is multiple. The Tories and the Lib Dems are close on some issues, but very few, ideologically - most lib Dems today are centre left, ex Labour voters who are neither that far left or right to agree with the politics of the two main parties. The Lib Dems wants electoral reform, the Tories would concede to Parliamentary Reform. The Lib Dems are pro Europe, the Tories have become increasingly Euro-sceptic and support a lesser role in the EEC. Many Lib Dem MPs and members would find the idea of a coalition between the two parties abhorrent and it would struggle to get past them.
However, while the Lib Dems can be seen as king makers, getting into bed with Labour and propping up a coalition of defeated parties wouldn't sit well with a lot of voters, even those who voted for both parties; but, the two parties and the others they would have to embrace did poll over 50% of the popular vote - so, technically, with voting reform an issue, is any one a loser?
The Lib Dems could possible form an alliance with Labour, but that would require a new leader - therefore a new PM - and would the country accept another PM who wasn't elected as PM? For that to work there would have to be an agreement that the parties' would work together for a period of time until a referendum on electoral reform is held and then once that is decided, go back to the country again. Possibly an 18 month to two year government.
The problem with every scenario is that the Lib Dems could lose badly if it goes wrong. They could be seen as supporting a party diametrically opposed to them - unpopular amongst voters and potential voters. They would be seen as supporting the losing party if they went in that direction. However, they stand to be shafted by Tory or Labour if they go into a fully-fledged partnership. The situation for Nick Clegg isn't simple - step one way oblivion, step the other and more oblivion. He walks a thin line and his best policy would be to let someone else screw up and capitalise on that. Issue a message when it all starts to go horribly wrong for the party in power that the country had its chance for change and it chose not to, they've been given another chance and this could be the last time they will.

Personally? I grew to like the idea of a hung parliament. I felt it represented a turning point in British politics; the opportunity for more debate on why the country didn't elect a clear winner. However, it has been overshadowed by the impossible deals circulating everywhere. I think the Lib Dems ought to sit back and allow the Tory's to form a minority government. I refer my loyal readers to it is the entry I made at the end of February and refers to Marina Hyde's Guardian column advocating weak government. I'm believe that the Conservatives won the most seats and should be given a chance to govern. They are now in the position where they have to be very careful about every decision they take; they have to think about every reaction from the MPs they will rely on to abstain. They will have to do something the Tory's need to learn about - compromise. We need a fairer country, with less cuts and more investment. We need others to take responsibility for the debt - it wasn't the people of the country who caused it, therefore we shouldn't be made to pay for it. Perhaps it might work and if it doesn't we'll can all go back and try again.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

They're Off...

We're on the brink of a potentially historic election; don't think that your vote won't count. Every person has the right to vote and even if you don't like any of the candidates, just scrawl NONE OF THE ABOVE on your ballot. Be counted!

It is essential that the Conservatives do not get in. If you value everything you hold close, make sure you discourage people from voting for a party that will line its own pockets, sell of the rest of Britain, will not stimulate growth and will strip mine what's left and leave it to the rest to sort out the mess, yet again.

I could bore you all to death with things that they would change or overturn. This country needs you to vote tactically - make sure the Lib Dems at least have a chance of getting voting reform in this country. A vote for Conservative is a guarantee your children and parents will have to be looked after by you and you alone; while fox hunters trample your garden, your mortgage rate will go up massively, to ensure the savings of the rich are replenished and you'll be paying extra to have your bins emptied.

Remember, only a third of the country want Cameron; the rest of us have to live with the consequences.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The End is Nigh... (Part 2)

The previously mentioned Tory District Councillor got his premonition of doom and gloom from comments made by Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, in Paris earlier this year. King is also said to have commented that whoever gets in power this time around will never get in power again for a generation. Even some Tories have enough common sense to realise that government this time around could well be a highly poisonous chalice.

So why all the doom and gloom? Or maybe to rephrase that question; are you all aware what kind of crap we're all in whatever happens on Thursday?

If you work for the police and the NHS, then you can vote whoever you want to without a guilty bone in your body, your job is safe. The rest of us? By January 2012, unless there's a real miracle, 1 in 5 of us could be out of work. We'll be paying 20% VAT; there will be a hike in council tax next year because council funding will be slashed; we'll have less firemen - it isn't an essential service according to any of the parties - ask your candidate, he will not give you an answer. There will be no money for projects, no money for the youth or the elderly; we'll start getting into debt to live; we'll be expected to bring our children up and care for our parents; there will be no increases in salaries, but there will be indirect tax increases every single budget - your cigarettes, booze, petrol will all go up higher and higher and eventually, we won't have enough money to spend on luxuries and there will be a depression, one that will cripple not just this country, it will sweep throughout Europe; but the party in power will get the blame. Austerity will be the key word; bitterness will sweep the nation, because this will affect almost everyone; even the most guarded and withdrawn super rich Conservatives, behind their electric gates or stone walls.

The first things you'll see are park lawns going uncut; roads never being repaired; broken things remaining unfixed; then increases in parking costs, more opportunities for people to become parking wardens; punitive measures that will be short term only.

If you don't do anything else this week, think about this: if there has to be at least £60billion worth of cuts to be made by 2014 and this is going to mainly come from public spending; how are the parties going to find money to use to stimulate industry and commerce in the worst hit areas to ensure we don't have 4 million people unemployed by next Christmas?

No wonder the District Councillor thinks a hung parliament is the best thing that can happen to British politics, because that way none of them can take the blame. I'm not trying to be a doom and gloom merchant; I just think we all need to know that we're about to face - it isn't going to be nice.