In the UK General Election fever is reaching its peak. We seem to be going down the road of Americanising our General Election with television debates, which add nothing to people’s decision making in general but are a showcase for the leaders of each of the parties to put on their best appearance for voters.
I deliberately didn’t bother to see the first two debates as these events are so obviously staged and I personally cannot stand any of the leaders of the main three parties, Conservatives (tories), Labour (tory-lite) and Liberal Democrat history).
However, this past week there was a debate among Labour (tory-lite), Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru (Welsh), Greens and UKIP leaders. I could only watch this for a total of about 10 minutes as, watching and listening to Ed Miliband turns my stomach (he is such a fake) but watching the other leaders was very interesting indeed. Apart from Labour and UKIP, the other parties are all lead by ladies who have very different ideas from the mainstream parties and I think could pick up quite a few votes.
Quite rightly they all want to end austerity which, right from the start has been a politically orchestrated situation. Austerity has been forced on EU countries mainly because of the banking crash and also because, rather than being made to go to the wall and break up as many other businesses would do, they have continued on the back of being helped by governments, to be reckless in their acquisition of assets owned by other countries to the detriment of it’s people. There is no good reason why businesses other than banks could not continue doing business as before when this happened. It would have allowed for better government reserves through taxation, continued employment as people would continue to have the money to buy goods and a thorough reassessment of how banks are and should be run.
The biggest mistake made by the ECB and the UK is in allowing Mario Draghi and Mark Carney into senior positions into Italy, where Draghi was forced out, then made head of the ECB where he continues his destructive reign and, in the case of Carney, the Bank of England where he continues his sleight of hand. Both men have decided that QE (quantative easing) is the best option forward and for this reason bank interest rates are at their lowest in history.
In many ways, I’m cheered by the Greek situation because it shows up the cracks in this argument that you can create money out of nothing. I would argue that as money is now created out of nothing, money IS nothing, it does not exist. Therefore the “debts” forced on the countries of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece do not exist. There is nothing for the Greeks to pay because it is something created from nothing, backed by nothing. The samegoes for other countries in the same situations.
My impression is that a government lead by Labour (tory-lite) would mean a watered down version of the policies we have endured over the last 5 years under the tories. Neither tory-lites nor the tories are being honest with the electorate in saying how and where they intend to make the cuts they will, but this weekend there seems to be a hint as the latest headline is that nursing jobs will be cut by 2,000. Given how overstretched hospitals are at present, we can conclude hospitals are being primed for sell off to the highest bidder, whichever of the main parties gets into office.
In this context I need to take a trip back in time to about 20 years ago, the last Tory Prime Minister, John Major instigated Private Finance Initiative financing for schools, hospitals and the like. This was a model borrowed from the USA for building and modernising such institutions fit for the modern age. It works in the same way you get a loan to finance extending your home and repay over time at interest. Furthermore the interest was negotiated at a time when interest rates were much higher than they are now, meaning the return on the original loan is far greater than the original sum and cannot be renegotiated.
The Public Accounts Committee headed by Margaret Hodge admits it was a bad decision unforeseen at the time (really? I realised that at the time it was being explained to the UK public). This is the same Public Accounts Committee who get paid an extra £14,000 on top of their salaries for scrutinising legislation and questioning those people who implement (or fall short of implementing) said legislation. This is the same Public Accounts Committee who a few weeks ago have said they think they should be paid an extra £10,000 on top of their salaries for doing this job. This is a good example that shows such claims are unfounded and their job isn’t rigorously enough enforced.
The thing is these loans do not take account of fluctuating circumstances of economic activity in the country, allowing an extension and lower payments at such times and actually saddle the taxpayer with ever burgeoning hidden debts. This Tory initiative was continued by the subsequent Labour Government under Tony Blair and again by David Cameron under the Tories.
Also, take into account how quickly A&E units across London were being closed by the Tories as, it was argued, there wasn’t the demand for them, when they assumed office in 2010. Five years later the headlines scream of a “crisis in the NHS, A&E units being unable to cope with the numbers of people being admitted”. The convenient scapegoats are EU immigrants. The ill-educated have been led by the nose by the likes of UKIP and Tories who have jumped on the bandwagon of blaming someone else when the problem has been engineered by successive governments over the last 20 years.
There’s an overwhelming opinion among people in the UK that Trident is the biggest waste of money ever. It’s about 30 years out of date, we can’t afford it, couldn’t use it even if we tried, so what’s the point??
I wouldn’t trust Ed Millibland one inch. I remember a speech he made a couple of years ago at a trade union rally when he said he would have to make some “tough decisions about cuts” and unfortunately that only means one thing here, more cuts to public services. So no, I won’t be voting for him.
Even the Greens, who are making great inroads need to wake up on one particular issue, the minimum wage. They’re pledging £10 per hour min wage by 2020. Considering many companies now ONLY pay min wage which is then topped up by benefits from the government, is an insult. The minimum wage has now become the target wage that many companies pay as its the least they can get away with paying anyone for work.
If anyone in politics is serious about making the minimum wage a living wage so that it truly makes a difference to people’s lives, raise it to £17.50 per hour. This would ensure that people could actually live on the money they earn without top ups from the government. The myth of those on benefits here just being shirkers who can’t be bothered to work has well and truly been busted. The truth about many companies & corporations being complete crooks has been revealed.
If making a profit means exploiting people’s vulnerabilities to your advantage, then the whole notion of profit needs to be re-thought,
It really is time to try something different and keep our NHS safe. Lobby the Greens, Scottish Nationalists and Plaid Cymru who are also standing for parliament to make such representations at EU and national levels.