The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

In a Pickles

As much as I abhor the fact that council chief executives earn shed loads of money, compared to bankers - the group of people that the tax payer bailed out and are now paying for again - these people and their £200k salaries are nothing. Eric Pickles is calling for these CE's to take self imposed 10% pay cuts; to send a message to all the people being hit by the cuts that everyone is making a sacrifice.

Is that the most hypocritical thing yet from this government? Telling us it's time to forgive the banks and let them get on with helping re-establish growth (oh and turning a blind eye to millions of pounds worth of bonuses they plan on giving themselves) while simultaneously berating council chiefs for paying themselves too much in light of all the many public sector workers who are losing their jobs as a result of the government slashing local government subsidies.

I'd accuse the ConDems of double standards, but that would be too simple. This is on many levels incredibly offensive.

I shall ask my favourite question, yet again. How do the Liberal Democrats sleep at night?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Big Society or Big Failure?

Share the love on Valentine's Day. Share the love and watch as more and more people face unemployment. The day has not been about love, it's been about administration, liquidation and the Big Society and how you too can lose your job, but still do it.

The Big Society has potential. There are elements of it that appeal to my socialist tendencies. The idea of rebuilding community spirit is admirable, even if it comes from a party responsible for its original destruction. But while Cameron answers concerns by using soundbites like 'We're all in this together' and 'It's not up to central government to dictate to local government how to spend its money', there is an overwhelming fear as to how it will work, especially when local government is slashing the amount of money it's giving to the 3rd sector. The many friends I have who work in the voluntary sector are more concerned about losing their jobs than they are about making the Big Society work.

It would appear, that when you strip away all the political rhetoric, posturing and altruism, what the leader of the government wants is for people to do the jobs they do at the moment for nothing, or for about £60 per week; which is the average amount of Job Seekers Allowance. Alternatively, if you haven't lost your job and you're not already using most of your spare time entertaining your kids or doing all manner of other voluntary things, then perhaps you'd like to do some volunteer work when you could be eating or sleeping?

I could, if I don't lose my job, give up writing blogs, so I could go and work for nothing in a library; except, 8 of the county's libraries are shutting and possibly more will follow in the coming years; so perhaps I could stand on street corners with boxes of books and hope to encourage a new generation to read, when they're not being encouraged to go and do some volunteer work, like emptying rubbish bins or policing the streets.

The Big Society will ultimately get supporters and those supporters will criticise the people who complain about it or haven't got the time to get involved. They'll argue that by volunteering they stand a better chance of getting off the dole queue and into a very low paid alternative job to the career they once thought they had. The right wing press will spin it all to seem as though people like me are doing everything in our power to devalue a great idea and will be unaware of the short cuts that will be risking lives or the lack of funds that will be making people poor and wishing for food.

The government don't want to do anything; it's up to you to do it, until they have to make a decision and then they will blame you for forcing them into doing the job they were elected to do.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Future is Cancelled

George Monbiot explains to us how the future of the average person is about to be destroyed by Cameron and Osborne's decision to turn the UK into Switzerland mkII.

If you know someone who voted Conservative, ask them how their children or grandchildren are going to survive in a country with no future!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

How Do the Liberals Sleep at Night?

Just when you think David Cameron (or his team of hatchet men) can sink no lower, the tenuous prime minister defies all logic and doesn't just upset the apple cart, he napalms it. So multiculturalism is dead? Really? Is this based on some extensive government research or is it just that Cameron doesn't like blacks?

I'll accept that many Brits have a problem with Islam, especially over the last few years, but to say that multiculturalism is dead is just abhorrently ignorant. Talk to the average - non-bigoted - Brit and you'll find that they worry about Muslim extremism, but equally many of them know some very 'normal' Muslims and don't even consider these people when they're considering extremism. In Northants, there is a concern over the number of Eastern Europeans in the county, but as the budget cuts bite deeper you can bet that a lot of them will be heading home as their own countries are probably not quite as bad as this one. Yet the most common complaint I hear about Eastern Europeans is the fact they're rubbish drivers and have no manners; I used to say the same thing about Volvo drivers and now believe white van man is possibly the most suitable human being for either castration or death! The majority of white van drivers tend to be Brits, so what am I? Inversely xenophobic?

To suggest multiculturalism doesn't work is crass and considering there was an English Defence League march in Luton yesterday, unbelievably badly timed. Cameron is an offensive upper class twat and I despise him a damned sight more than the majority of people who have either different coloured skin or talk in their native language. These people do not have such a profound affect on my life the way the leader of the Conservative party does!

I can count almost as many 'foreign' friends as I can British ones. A lot of my non-British friends are considerably more accommodating than a lot of English people I know and guess what, the nicer you are to a non-British person the more respect you get from them - period and fact!

There are so many people in this country at the moment who haven't got much to smile about (myself included) and the last thing we need is some idiot prime minister giving the ignorant and stupid among us the opportunity to blame someone else for his government's massive mishandling of our budget deficit. I'm beginning to get the impression that Cameron feels that this is his party's only chance of power for a long time, so he's going to do everything in his power to fuck it up for those who inherit the reins. It's customary for an outgoing government to make it difficult for the new incumbents to hit the ground running, Cameron, Osborne, Gove and co seem to be making sure that the country is in such a terrible mess that no one will be able to fix it and the Liberals are party to this erosion of our country and sit on their hands, say nothing and enjoy the trappings of power for the now, because they suppose there will never be an again.

There is a new cable TV programme called Tool Academy; essentially it is 30 men competing to see which one of them is the biggest twat; if the producers managed to get Cameron on it they would have a 5 minute show...

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Walk Like an Egyptian?

Apart from the fact that you would think Egypt was actually in the UK considering all the press coverage, it does raise a very interesting question. With the population of Great Britain becoming increasingly angry at the spending cuts and most being affected in a derogatory way, could something like a revolution happen in these apathetic isles?

The short answer would be: No.
The not so short answer would be: highly unlikely.

However, we only really see mass demos and public disgruntlement when there is a Tory government in power, so should the next year become misery filled months of despair and hopelessness, could we rise up and demand a better government or at least one that acknowledges the needs of the people?

The strange thing is this government seems to have no real regard for its grass roots supporters; with the news that shedloads of bus services in rural areas are being axed, it's difficult to disassociate the countryside with anyone other than Okay Yar Tory voters. Yes, there are, in fact, a lot of unemployed and socially excluded people living in villages, many of whom depend on bus services to get to the dole office, job centres, drug dealers and friends; but cutting services to small villages means that the Okay Yars will now have to spend more time sharing their idyllic villages with these self-styled scum of the Earth and I'm sure they're not going to like that. I mean, hooray Henrys don't like these hunt sabotaging, long haired, uncouth, sexually depraved oiks in their backyards to begin with and losing them for a few hours a day is probably a blessed relief, but now...


The EDL or English Defence League is planning a march through Northampton, which will cost the county a lot of money in policing costs and will have detrimental effects on other services because of the knock on affect. The police cannot ignore racist imbeciles like these, so despite them being in a very small minority, it's going to eventually cost us all. I wish the people who organise these essentially Nazi events realise that in the long run they end up doing more harm than good and the people they claim to be defending end up losing out because of their stupid and ignorant beliefs.

The strange thing is that Northampton isn't exactly a hot bed of racial tension or even race issues. Move over 10 miles to the east and Wellingborough has a far higher ratio of people who fit into the EDL's hate campaigns. I was talking to a friend of mine whose father co-owns an Indian restaurant in Wellingborough. His parents are from Gujarat, but he was born in Northampton. He thinks that its amazing that such ignorance still exists in the 21st century and made a very interesting statement suggesting that Wellingborough is actually very tolerant of Asians, Afro-Carribeans and even Eastern Europeans, because the town has been a multicultural haven for a long long time. Perhaps the EDL don't want to target Wellingborough for the same reason you rarely here of them organising marches in Bradford or Southall or Wembley - for fear of having their arses handed to them on a plate by the English people who regard all ethnic minorities as friends and valuable members of their society.


The County Council has just discovered they need to find another £20m in savings this year, meaning that a further 300 people are likely to lose their jobs (and the bus services are being decimated - see above). Private businesses are showing no sign of recruiting and the prospect for nearly 1000 people is that by April/May they might be facing an uncertain length of time on some form of unemployment benefit. These 1000 people will be competing with each other for a handful of jobs and 99% of these jobs will be less money than they currently earn.

Cameron can insist that we all have to make sacrifices to get the country out of debt, but it wasn't these people's fault that the country was in this mess in the first place. Why is the man in the street being penalised for something that is essentially the banks' fault? Joe Public ends up footing the bill continuously for successive government cock ups and mismanagement, yet we continue to vote them into power because we have no alternatives. This time last year, I was advocating the need for more independent MPs and councillors, but the problem is independents' are about as popular as Liberals and the man in the street seems reluctant to trust someone who doesn't represent the powers that continually rule the country.

I think if I had one wish, other than wanting enough money to buy myself a small island in the Caribbean, it would be for a massive change in the way people view politics and the emergence of sensible, people led politics.