The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Thursday, 29 October 2015

They Hate it When You Suggest They Are Selfish

If you sat in front of a news channel (and could filter out the repetition) for 24 hours, you would probably never want to leave the house again and I can't help feeling if the sole purpose of broadcasters, or the media in general, is to scare us so much that we don't want to be involved, that we end up switching the television or radio off and stop buying newspapers or looking at on line news.

At a certain point yesterday, I made a mental note of how much the so-called left-wing BBC made of the rather triumphant third PMQs for Jeremy Corbyn - doing a Paxman - and how all the headlines appeared to focus on Cameron saying how good everything will be rather than the fact he obfuscated six times and didn't answer the actual question. The lack of coverage of this in the right wing media was almost conspicuous by its absence and must be extremely depressing for anyone with a moral conscience when the rich do everything they can - quite shamelessly - to punish the poor people who will never vote for them.

But it wasn't just that. There was a report from an island paradise in the south Pacific which has essentially been ripped apart by the discovery of gold. I've always had a small hankering to live on a warm pacific island, but this showed me that soon there will be nowhere that is safe from the scourge of the planet - greed.

Standing in Sainsbury's today, shopping more and more on a budget and hardly ever buying treats or even something that I consider extravagant, I passed a woman with two children standing in front of the bottled water area. I heard her say, "It's no good they don't have what we want we'll have to go elsewhere." And I kind of realised that in that sentence is all the reasons why people don't care about the effect tax credits will have on the poor, or the long-term effect of allowing the Chinese and French to build and mainly own our nuclear power stations, or the devastating effect that money and the desire for more is having on the entire planet, the eco-systems and the future of even the richest peoples' children or grandchildren.

That woman couldn't get the bottled water she wanted, so instead of buying any one of the 30 other varieties, she'll drag her two kids around in her gas-guzzling 4x4 to whatever supermarket that has the trendy label she thinks will make her friends think she's cool and hip. The same way we've allowed a huge proportion of our children to become asthmatic because we'd rather drive them to and from school, because the media has made us terrified of allowing our children to actually walk to school for fear that the streets, that are now teaming with paedophiles, Muslim fundamentalists and child slavery salesmen, will have away with them. Or they might get run over because of all ... the cars... on the road... doh!

The other day, while sitting in the 3.15 traffic jam of the 2nd school run of the day, I was at a set of lights and unlikely to get over on the first, possibly even the second, attempt. It was my fault for being late, so I was surprisingly sanguine about it. Being an observant kind of bloke, I happened to notice a woman, probably in her 40s, come out of the front entrance of the Cynthia Spencer hospice and get into her car - one of those sporty Audis. I didn't get over the lights and sat at the front of the new queue as the ones opposite me changed to green. The woman in the Audi drove over the main road, slowed down next to me, indicated and turned into the slip road where the precinct of shops is (this is Spinney Hill/Kettering Road for those who know Shoesville).

I had a hunch and watched her turn into the road and then... PARK. She got out of the car and walked over to the Tesco Express. She could have walked there with a Zimmer frame in half the time. We are talking less than 150 metres - I could run it and I can't run any more!

This can only be described as the utmost in selfishness and the footprint that woman left was unnecessary and unbelievably pathetic and there you have it. Selfishness in its most basic form (and, it was that really mild day, when the sun was shining and it was like Spain, so she couldn't even blame it on the rain).

We had famous Tory peers fly back to the UK to try and sway the vote in the Lords from preventing an abuse that probably would have tarnished the UK's wonderful human rights record. Famous rich people with peerages trying to help the government target the lowest earning 20% of people in receipt of tax credits with changes that would possibly mean their children going without essential food and heat and probably all because these people wouldn't ever vote Tory.

Remember, the Tory party promote food banks as an alternative to benefits.

What a fantastic world we live in, eh? A world where Jeremy Corbyn is called a red, commie-loving threat to National Security while would-be future PM Gideon Osborne is signing your kids' future away to... the Chinese and the right wing media can't (or won't) see the irony.

I'm kind of glad I won't be around in 30 years when all those pensioners, or not as the case may be, in their 70s are looking at their grandchildren and wishing they hadn't been so selfish back in 2015.

Monday, 5 October 2015

No Surprises

Tax credit abolition. China building our nuclear reactors. TTIP rampant. £2billion short fall on NHS budget. AstraZeneca Zero tax deal. More and more public spending cuts. If anyone is at all surprised by the events in the last week then you need to revise more.

George Osborne's main criteria is to get the deficit down, yet no right wing press has made much of the fact the budget deficit is higher now than it ever was under Labour; or that Gorgeous George has actually borrowed more money - not for the country, but to help line the pockets of his new chums. We get Corbyn and the asteroid in the news, while Tories literally dismantle everything that is admirable about this country and not even a sniff of it - anywhere 'creditable'.

When I suggested that a Tory government would penalise the poor and disenfranchised, many soft Tories I know accused me of the kind of scaremongering our right wing press gets away with on a daily basis. Some even suggested, when I said that tax credits would be the first thing to go that I really had no idea and I was working purely on an anti-Tory agenda. I accused many people of not caring for the country or the people and I was told, quite categorically that despite not having a job and being a victim of austerity cuts TWICE, I didn't know what I was talking about. I accused them of being 'alright Jacks' and was pretty much ostracised and told they were doing it for their kids - because, as we know, the Tories are the party that plan for the future of your kids. I mean look at the amount of schools, hospitals, nurseries and child-based community projects they fund or have built...

Champagne is back on the menu at the Tory conference; but more alarming than anything else are the steel fences around the venue and the armed guards, and snipers on roofs. At the labour Party conference a week before any Tony, Gordon or Mandleson could have strolled up to Jeremy Corbyn and shook his hand. The Tories are the party in power; they have a majority; they are telling us what a good job they're doing - so why are they barricading themselves away from their adoring general public - I mean 60,000 turned out yesterday to wish Dave and Gideon a good conference, did the PM pop out and say thanks?

The pinnacle of how far the general public has lost touch with politics was summed up, yet again, by someone I know who believes that everything on ITV is indicative of the country as a whole. I had had this argument many months ago when my brother suggested that you only had to watch Jeremy Kyle to realise why people should never vote Labour - as if anyone other than Margaret Thatcher can be blamed for the rise of the Chav class. It also is never noted that people who appear on Kyle's show represent less than 0.01% of benefit claimers in the country and according to a survey the majority of these people would vote UKIP or Conservative because they're 'aspirational' - yet, they're not. The problem is when you read facts about things and it doesn't come from a recognised news source, people who don't want to believe it, won't.

All over the news today is Cameron's promise for a 7-day-a-week NHS. This has been trumpeted all over the media, yet senior NHS doctors have been quick to point out that there isn't enough staff to cope with it at the moment and unless the government invests in new medical staff then this is a promise that people will struggle to see. The government are believed to have misplaced £2billion of NHS money - according to less right wing newspapers - perhaps that £2billion is what is going to be used to train the next generation of doctors and nurses?

Also, just to prove what a lefty I am - this 5p plastic bag charge will pretty much only affect the poor. Most affluent Tories who stuff plastic bags with their caviar and Wagu beef can afford to buy a bag for life or more likely pay the 5p charge over and over again - then the poor and disenfranchised will get the blame for all the landfill bin bags, because the media can and will do that and most of you will believe it...

This is England 2015.