Tagged: Government

Ineffective Opposition

It seems to be the general view that the Tories (read Coalition) will lose the next election. The people of the UK are tired of recession, belt-tightening measures, and cuts in social security payments. Apparently. The Liberals are discredited, and consigned to some electoral wasteland, never to reappear as a force in British politics. The job market has been handed over to the employers, and no-hours contracts, no union agreements, and poor hourly rates are driving the popularity of the Tories into the ground. The leaders of that party are Public School has-beens with no integrity, and are simply lining their own pockets, and those of their friends. They are espousing the policies of the far Right, for fear of UKIP, and because of the general popularity of restrictions on immigration.

All of this may be true. Much of it is often quoted by Leftist thinkers and commentators, although the news media seems to have given up attacking the government, and even the BBC are now accused of a distinct, and uncomfortable to watch, Right-Wing bias. UKIP are shooting themselves in the foot, with their members exposed as former National Front and BNP supporters, and their elected officials are being revealed, in some cases, as little more than sexist or homophobic buffoons. The Greens have little significance, outside of some local protests about nuclear power, and as the Scots are unlikely to vote for independence,  the SNP may make some noise, but will ultimately lose face.

So, where is the opposition? There is the actual Opposition, in the form of the Labour Party. It may just as well not be there. It has no forward-thinking policies, has completely abandoned Socialism, and even unashamedly admits that it will continue some present Tory policies, if it is lucky enough to be elected. There are no strong people in its shadow cabinet, and the real Left-Wing thinkers left in that party have no influence, and even less power. It is slowly dismantling its lifelong affiliation with the Trade Unions, and distancing itself from the old guard Labour politicians, and the few outspoken characters in its ranks.

Worst of all, it has a completely ineffectual leader. A man who has the presence of an awkward schoolboy, no talent at public speaking, and the charisma of a traffic warden. Miliband is the most ineffectual leader that Labour has ever had, and considering Kinnock, that takes some doing. He never comes across as genuine, whether he feels he is, or not. He has no qualities of a statesman, and even manages to make Cameron look like a man with gravitas and sincerity. His public appearances at photo opportunities look awkward and contrived, and anything he utters on camera sounds insincere, and lacks substance. In the Commons, he comes over like a sixth former in a debating society, smug at what he considers to be his triumphs, embarrassed and awkward when he loses the point of the argument. His ‘team’ sit around behind him and alongside him, looking as if they wished they weren’t there, and as if they must be ruing the day that they elected him as their leader.

If Labour do not shake themselves up before the next election, get back to communicating with the people, and choose a leader capable and worthy of leading the party to victory, then we will all lose. We won’t have a coalition as we do now, but instead we will have a re-energised, far-Right Tory government, elected on a platform of being anti-Europe, anti-immigration, and anti-people on benefits, and the unemployed. They will be pro-business, pro-financiers, and pro-the rich. Working peoples’ rights will be further reduced, and the country will descend into a new Victorian Age, of us and them, rich and poor. Labour owe it to their voters to be a real opposition, and not just one in name only. And they must get rid of Miliband, or face disaster in the polls.


Liars without conscience

Today, the news programmes here have shown reports of significant falls in unemployment. Government figures ‘just released’ purport to show an improvement of up to eleven percent, depending which channel you watch. What consciousless liars these people are. Both the Government, for spreading these falsehoods, and the news media, for reporting them. What really makes me angry, is that they expect us to be so brainless, or thoughtless enough to just soak up these figures, and believe that the recession here is over, and things are beginning to look bright. The present administration shows so little regard for what they obviously see as a bovine underclass, they don’t even bother to present accurate proof, to back up their claims.

Anyone who has the remotest interest in what is actually happening in this country can see what is really going on. People are being removed from the registers of the unemployed, in a cynical ploy to make it appear that unemployment numbers are going down, and job seekers actually have some hope of a future. So, who are they not showing in their figures?

Anyone on a compulsory re-training programme. Not unemployed. Anyone struck off of benefits for any reason. Not unemployed. Youngsters on mock ‘apprenticeships’. Not unemployed. People with no jobs, forced to work in supermarkets and retail shops to receive benefit. Not unemployed. Those unable to work due to disability or medical problems, and lucky enough to have got through the new tough tests for same. Not unemployed. If someone tries to start a business, rather than claim benefits, but they do not actually earn any money from it. Not unemployed. And the worst of all, those on ‘No Hours’ contracts. They have no set work pattern, and can be offered some hours, or no hours. Technically, they are employees of a company that can use and abuse them at will. No holiday pay, no sick pay, and no redundancy. No pay for meal breaks, and insufficient hours to get past the employment laws, but sufficient hours to reduce any benefits claimed. Not unemployed.

What happened to shame in this land? Where is the shame of the Government, for colluding with big business to engineer this situation? Where is the shame of the so-called opposition parties, for not fighting the Government, and speaking out against these practices? Where is the shame of the news media, for reporting the lies, and not exposing the truth? And where is the shame of the greedy employers, taking advantage of young and old, at the lowest time in their lives?

Well, I still feel shame. I am ashamed to live in a country that tolerates this, and under an administration that seeks to continue to do more of the same. I am ashamed and sickened by our ever tamer press and TV, that plays the game, to avoid pressure; and most of all, I am ashamed of the coalition in power, that is trying to return this country to the darkest days of Victorian values.

The Democratic Process

I have never really seen the point of a democracy. Most people don’t vote anyway. Many that actually bother to drag themselves to the polling station, just vote for the same party every election, irrespective of changes in the leadership, or policies. Some are proud to say that they vote the same as their parents did, or quote issues that supposedly inspire their choice of candidate. Very few can actually name their MP, ( Yes I can. He is a Tory, worst luck.) and some cannot differentiate between National and Local elections.

When Thatcher was first brought to power, many women cited having a woman Prime Minister as their reason for voting Tory. When pressed, few could actually name the winner in their own constituency, and even whether or not that winner was actually from the Conservative Party. Most votes are purely motivated by self-interest. If someone wanted to buy their council house, they voted for the party that promised to let them do so. They gave no thought to the other policies that arrived on the coat tails of this promise.

The current system does not give us a government that the majority either want, or care about. Proposals to change to proportional representation will result in even greater confusion, and governments with tiny majorities, constantly doing deals with other parties, to avoid a collapse. Just when you think you have voted in one party, you find yourself governed by three others as well. It is all so pointless, so expensive, and so unnecessary.

My proposal is simple. Hand over power to those who actually have ideas and policies that are not driven by the needs of big business, international corporations, and the super rich. Get rid of the Landed Aristocracy, the Royal Family, and all those who prosper by privilege alone. Re-nationalise all industry, Railways, and Utilities, and take back all the parts of the NHS sold off to the private sector. Get out of the EU, cut all ties with NATO, and politely ask the USA to stop using our airfields, giving them a date to leave. Learn from the past, and begin to realise that there is no longer a British Empire.

If you need someone to implement all this, and who is ready and available to take control; I am not too busy at the moment.

Just don’t ask me to stand for election.