Getting on my high horse
My sister was telling me that her and a couple of friends saw Gordon Brown today. My sister asked if they ought to get some eggs, but it turns out her two mates are both labour voters. This led me to thinking - why do people vote the way they do in elections?
Politics seems to me to be getting lost on a lot of levels. I believe that neither Labour, nor the Tories want to govern by democracy. I don’t think either party actually listens to general public opinion except in order to figure out what we want to hear so we vote them in for another four years. How else can Labour have presented the very same pledges and promises four or five times in one electoral term and yet still not implement many of them (NHS, Teaching, Immigration, Crime, Single Currency - all still stuck in the same state they were years ago despite pledges to the contrary)? I believe they get away with it because they know what the public want to hear, they say it, and then they do their own thing anyway. It’s my belief that they think ‘Joe Public doesn’t understand what is required to govern, so why actually listen to them? They can’t make appropriate choices.’ Well that’s fair play to an extent, because it happens to be true to an extent, but I feel if that view is taken to too far an extreme they’re playing with fire. They govern for the public, which is something that appears to get lost too often in the ‘clever’ word-play.
Tony my friend, grin your smarmy grin all you like, but I don’t give a crap about your desire to police the world, look after everyone else, and buddy-up to America. Get your own house in order before you consider the rest of the world.
I don’t want more immigrants in Britain. Not because I don’t care about their plight, but because there are lines that must be drawn. The UK population is 60 million. How many people do you want here? Are all these extra people a good idea when most immigrants will be claiming benefits for some considerable time and are becoming a considerable percentage of our population? Are a good percentage of them giving back to their adopted country, or are they draining the system of resources? Draw a line, and then when we’re ready we can help more people.
You’re still sinking billions into an NHS which your own doctors, nurses and health inspectors report no improvement in. Your nurses are underpaid and even they claim that the majority of medical practitioners are now brought in from over-sea’s. Why?
How about crime? You’re doing an excellent job of changing how you do your sums but prisons are still overflowing, judges are being told not to send criminals to jail, female convictions are increasing at an astronomical rate, your ASBO’s are a complete laughing stock, and trust in the police is continually eroded by money making and figure enhancing schemes like speed cameras and an ever reducing police presence on the street.
What’s the incentive for people to get educated and work at good jobs when under a Labour government it is more profitable to stay at home, hit the age of 16 and spend your life getting pregnant and claiming benefit? More fool the people that try to live decent lives when sponging off the government pays better. You know what that leads to? The spongers and wastrels multiply at a far higher rate than the normal population, who’s taxes are paying for the spongers to stay at home to scream at their kids, receive ASBOs and bring up another generation of spongers. Keep on running the country that way and it will cripple itself very quickly. I’m not saying that these people don’t deserve help. I’m saying that the way it’s decided how help is given is wrong. I believe the American system is much better. You get one chance at your benefits, and if you don’t change your ways they get taken from you. That’s fair on everyone.
As you can tell, I have plenty to moan about. Why am I not balancing this view with a list of things that are better under a Labour government? Because I’m not actually sure what is better now than it was seven or eight years ago.
The perception of safety in our country? Nope, that’s down - thugs are prevalent, and even where they aren’t the perception many people have is that thugs could be around every corner. Or a terrorist.
Confidence in ourselfs and our government? Nope, figures there are down.
Crime rates? Well, depends who’s doing the sums.
What about education? Well, there’s loads more graduates… in a load of courses that are effectively worthless. Oh, and of course England is the only country in Britain where we suffer top-up-fees. Excellent idea to get lots of graduates, most of which leave education owing £10k-£20k. Most of which get jobs in supermarkets they could have had four years previously without their degree. I’m sure they’re going to get on the property ladder… I’m also sure they’ll do great saving for a pension under those conditions. Of course they need to save for one early too, because you’ve screwed pensions over haven’t you?
So… how am I going to vote in the next election? By which I mean how will I make a decision. I focus on avoidance. I’m not optimistic about what Labour or the Tories can deliver, so I concentrate on what they definitely won’t deliver that the other might. It’s not a good way to make a decision, but I feel it’s the only viable method.
I certainly don’t make my decision based on the person I’m voting for. Kath reported that quite a few people in that meeting with Gordon Brown were uttering things like “he’s such a lovely man though”. So bloody what? Does his being nice have any bearing on what policies and decisions he’s going to make? Unlikely. He can make the best cup of tea in the world and visit has gran in hospital every day, but for the job I’m considering him for - I don’t care. None of that makes him a good person to vote for if his political stance is to scrap the NHS and hand over yet more political control to the EU.
I have a great fear that our way of choosing leaders and governments is the same as how people choose the winner of Pop Idol. No one cares about the talent or the appropriateness of the choice to the task. They vote for who they like. Stupid. Absolutely stupid. One of the reasons Hitler got into power was he was so very good at manipulating opinion and appearing likeable on some level. Did people consider he was showing signs of being a genocidal f***head? No, because they liked him. (I’m well aware the reality of the situation was not anything like that simple, so don’t try educating me on that. I’m illustrating a point, not documenting history).
What’s my point? Well, beyond illustrating that I think Labour is a lost cause I’m curious as to how you’re going to make your decisions. Are you going to look objectively and optimistically, pessimistically, or for whoever is the snappiest dresser and has the nicest smile?