Listening to the leaders debates again on UTube and other sources has made me think away from the tired old stereotypes we’re being fed, vote for the red/blue team we’ll do things differently (I’m glad they can spell that, but I doubt they understand what it means). Several things stand out for me.
- We’re being told the same old story that if we work hard, we’re honest, pay our taxes, “do the right thing” we’ll be taken care of. The trouble is what are we working for? Whether you’re in a salaried job, on zero hours contracts, part time work, we’re all working bloody hard just to stay afloat. Unless you’re working for yourself (which means you directly benefit from your own labours) or doing a job that benefits society in some way (teaching, medicine, social care, producing goods or services other people want/need) you’re only working to benefit the rich. The reason why in the UK the Tories and UKIP are so keen to decimate the social infrastructure is because it takes wealth away from them and their rich sponsors. It doesn’t benefit them in any way.
- The elephant in the room is that all the political parties, apart from the trade union-backed parties such as TCSU and to a greater extent, Labour, are being funded by big donors, wealthy, rich business people, the same people who don’t pay tax to the UK treasury, employ people on zero hours contracts and on minimum wage (lower if they can get away with it). The idea that we live in a democracy is the biggest lie there is. The party that gets in has already been chosen, the media are trying to steer people in the direction of an overall majority for the tories (as usual). Question is, will we follow again as we’ve done previously, or will we decide on something else?
- For longer than I can remember, there has been a choice between 2 or 3 parties, the smaller party being squeezed into the background. In recent years new parties championing issues ordinary people feel are important have arisen. Some have fallen by the wayside as they are just single issue parties, others are local parties and therefore limit themselves to local issues, such as Plaid Cymru (Welsh Party). Now they are gaining a greater voice as people realise there is no real choice between right and left wing, they are each as extreme as the other, both are the same parties wearing different colours. Will we vote Labour (red) or Tory (blue)? The eternal Punch & Judy show. In the vernacular, two cheeks of the same arse.
Here in the UK we have had tactical voting where you vote for the least disliked party in order to keep the party you really dislike out. Trouble is, it doesn’t always work like that, you get the results you hadn’t bargained for. The way forward from this is to vote for who you think would best represent your interests. If there is a possibility that an extremist party would get in, then you vote for the party who would mitigate or cushion the worst aspects of that extremist party’s policies.
It looks as though the UK election will produce another coalition and, as a nation we have to consider which party would mitigate the worst effects of whoever is the main party. Whichever party gets in red or blue for sure I will be voting Green. I think they have credible policies that will counter either red or blue party worst excesses and would benefit ordinary working people the most. That’s what would get up the noses of the rich most of all, the fact that ordinary people were being benefitted rather than them.
The current political situation was most eloquently expressed by Marine Le Pen of the French National Party in a recent interview when she said “the choice is not about left or right, the choice is about corporatist or nationalist”. Do we want to go down the road of certain South American countries where corporates have the ultimate say over what happens to whom, where people are just numbers, a necessary nuisance nothing more; or do we go down the road of improving the lives of those we live within our own communities? The dignity of being able to provide for yourself & your family, a good education, decent housing, proper sanitation, sustainable power sources? These are the real choices facing us at present.
The ideal manner of governance would be for each area to elect its own representative (MP) to represent them in parliament and for voters to be consulted in weekly (or even daily if events allow) referenda which can be conducted quite easily through the internet. For those MPs to remember they work for the voters not their rich sponsors. However at present this is the system we have and we have to work within it to our own advantage. That is the reality of the situation.