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Archive for the category “elections”

General Election 2019 and Brexit

I wasn’t in practice as a psychoanalyst for many years without picking up a sense also of the collective public mind and so I believe that labour, in it’s campaign, is making a similar mistake to that of the remain campaign in the EU referendum.

When launching Labour’s manifesto Jeremy Corbyn gave it the right introduction in that it was a message of hope for the future, a plan for a better, safer, more caring and kinder times ahead. Apart from that though their campaign has been largely negative in that they have, at time of writing, concentrated on how terrible it would be if Boris Johnson’s Tory Party was re-elected for a further five years. The list of horrors awaiting us has been endlessly trotted out and of course this is largely correct. Now for the ‘but’ which is that human beings are programmed to be positive, it is what made our specie successful, to see dangers not necessarily to be avoided but to be overcome, a challenge. Additionally when the dangers are being continually thrust upon them by a serious faced old man, even though he is right, there is a natural tendency to avoid accepting them because that requires action of some kind not least the action of thought. Contrast that with a genial, laughing, bumbling twit who enjoys being mocked while stuck on a zip wire, who says don’t worry, everything will be alright, it’s all a load of scare mongering, follow me and we’ll ‘get it done’. He doesn’t even have to specify what he will ‘get done’ it’s easy for a lot of people to be content to leave it all with him and save themselves the necessity of thinking, even though they know that in reality he is lying to them.

The same error of negativity was made by the remain campaign in the EU referendum. The focus was almost entirely on the likely disasters that would arise if we gave up our membership of the biggest trading bloc on the planet and based on peaceful co-operation and whilst likely to be entirely true, was counteracted by a deceivingly positive campaign by the leavers led by Farage. His laughing face beaming out from behind a pint glass of beer and a cloud of fag smoke created a vision of anti establishment even though a part of it. The consummate salesman he wove a vision of the future based on a mental image of our ‘glorious’ past that we never had.

Is it too late? Probably but like the rest of humanity I am programmed by evolution to cling to hope.

My Letters to May & Corbyn

I recently sent the following letters to the Prime Minister May and leader of the opposition Corbyn.

Theresa May MP

10 Downing Street

Westminster

London

SW1A 2AA

Dear Theresa May

I do believe that you would like to do more to help our NHS and not to make a real time cut to our less fortunate citizen’s benefits but that you are constrained by the forthcoming financial disaster that is called Brexit.

You will know, better than me, that when Brexit happens you will go down in history as the Prime Minister who lead us into the abyss, you are between a rock and a hard place. Never mind the loss of the benefits of membership of the EU the sheer cost of leaving and the loss of jobs and investment will see us reduced to an insignificant little island.

It seems to me there is a way out but it requires bravery and leadership and yes, risk but history shows us the great Statesmen had the courage to take a risk after careful planning of course. So how about make a statement in the Commons and in a national broadcast that as negotiations have progressed and more information has come to light that you believe leaving the EU is a wrong act for the UK and as our Prime Minister you advise against continuation. Consequently you will instigate a referendum on the final deal with the option to remain members. If the opinion is still for leaving (unlikely as the tide is turning in favour of staying in) then we leave democratically but democracy requires the right for minds to change, or we’d never have need of a general election.

I believe you would save the nation from itself, assure a positive place in history for yourself and we can call it a win-win. Yes the party knives would be out for you but let’s be honest they will be out for you eventually anyway, they always are for any P.M.

                                       **************************************

Jeremy Corbyn

House of Commons

London

SW1A 0AA

Dear Jeremy

For the first time in my (long) life I joined a political party, the Labour Party, when you were campaigning to become leader and I can see nothing better than you in No 10.

I want to live long enough to see your policies put into action and our lovely country becoming what it should be, prosperous, peace making and caring for all. I’m sure you realise that this will be impossible if we leave the European Union into which we have invested so much and I don’t mean money. I mean the strong bonds, the mutually beneficial laws, many, if not most, that we helped to formulate. The rapidly escalating financial costs involved in leaving will leave us skint for decades to come and reduce us to an insignificant poverty stricken little island.

The first duty of government is to protect the people and I believe that includes protecting them from their own stupidity if necessary. We desperately need a leader to arise to say stop! I appreciate you need to choose the right time to be that leader but the tide is turning, realisation is slowly sinking in and the cry for a second referendum on the deal will get louder or at the very least for MP’s to have a free vote on it including the option to remain members.

When I leave this life I want to know that my children and grandchildren will enjoy the human and workers rights that I have had, be free to work, study and live in other EU countries and enjoy the peace that the EU has helped to keep along with concern for the environment. Like you I’ve campaigned for decades for CND, Oxfam, stop various wars etc. and the only real success has been gay rights. Stopping the disaster that is Brexit is my last campaign that I hope you’ll help to win.

Best regards

Resist

A couple of weeks ago a 94 year old German man was found guilty of ‘assisting’ in the murder of thousands at Auschwitz. He was an 18 year old soldier clerk and if he had refused to do his job he would have been shot and someone else appointed.
 
The time to resist is not when you have to choose between life and death but when the dark forces of right wing racism, xenophobia, greed and hatred are on the rise. When a man (or woman), in this case Jeremy Corbyn, show the way that a better nation, a better way and a better future is possible then the least we should do is to support him even more so when many would pull him down, They may say it is ‘Realpolitik’ we need someone else in order to get elected, someone like Tony Blair perhaps, that resulted in millions dying and many millions more lives ruined.
 
It’s risky, of course it is, and he and we may lose an election but terrible though that would be it is far better to have taken a stand, to say ‘No! Up with this I will not put’!
 
You can resist the darkness in little ways by refusing to buy or read xenophobic papers like the Sun and The Daily Mail or Express and email the editors to say you wont. If you see a UKIP/BNP/Britain First stall in your town you can, if you have the courage to, confront them, politely with a smile looking for the humanity that is somewhere inside them.
 
Sometime in the future you will then be able to look your children in their face and say “I did all that I could, as soon as I could.”

Open Letter to Older Voters

As an ‘older voter’ myself I feel qualified to write this open letter to my contemporaries many of whom, it seems, tend to become more right wing and vote Tory in elections. Why this should be is somewhat puzzling and the purpose of this missive.

Older people it is generally recognised tend to be more set in their ways but political leanings fly in the face of this generalisation. Could it be that as life expectancy diminishes resistance to change increases along with a desire for security as represented by continuity, money and assets? If so and I can think of no other reason, this is illusory.

People of my generation, those born in the 40’s 50’s and early 60’s were indeed very fortunate in that during their early and middle years they had security of housing, they bought houses or were more or less assured of a Council house for life. They had good ongoing health care from the newly formed NHS, good and free education up to and beyond a university degree and perhaps most importantly, employment was all but guaranteed as soon as ceasing formal education. For those who trod the craft or trade route apprenticeships were long, meaningful, detailed and effective training with a long experienced time served craftsman leading to a worthwhile and life long well paid career.

In the early 1980s under Tory Prime Minister Thatcher, the big con trick of the Right to Buy Scheme was started, not because she thought it would be ‘nice’ but because of the ideology that people with a mortgage are de facto in debt, heavily in debt and that means over a 25 plus year period they will be handing over a huge amount of their earnings to Tory friends, the bankers. In addition people whose home may be at risk if they fail to make the repayments become servile and compliant and unless pushed to the limit will not go on strike for better pay or conditions; in fact will even accept a cut in income without much dissent. As more and more of the social housing was sold off, much of it incidentally ending up in the hands of Tory landlords, an obvious shortage of homes was created leading to ever increasing house prices that is unabated to this day.

Much has been written about housing, including some of my blogs here, so I wont go deeper into it except that the dash for home ownership resulted in and was encouraged by not only the Tories but also the Blair government, a slight feeling of superiority by owners over renters. It was interesting at the time to see some of my friends who had voted Labour all their life until getting a mortgage, almost overnight becoming Tories. Little did they know that they would be working harder, longer, for less and that it would eventually require two of them to work to pay the one debt. Mortgages today can now stretch beyond a lifetime into the next generation; the transfer of wealth from ordinary people to the rich elite gathers pace.

No one likes to be proved wrong or admit to being duped and so it is natural for most to close their minds to even that possibility, to cling to that superior feeling that brings comfort which by default means a resistance to change. This is how older voters come to be more right wing and how they come to vote for a Tory government and their ‘austerity’ that only applies to the working and middle classes but not them.

Wait a minute though my older voting friends! Most of you will have children and grandchildren perhaps even great grandchildren, what of them?  Perhaps you are thinking you can leave them your house albeit split between however many offspring you have, less tax and fees etc. so they’ll still need a mortgage and a big one with prices increasing way above inflation. The same people that made you pay roughly twice the sale price for your home will happily do the same for your descendants. These same people also want the destruction of our NHS for their profit, do you want your descendants to have to pay for private health care or go without and do you want them to be denied the education they would like on the grounds of cost? Of course you don’t but to ensure their safety you have to admit to yourself, no one else, that you were duped and make the changes necessary in the polling booth.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Dummies Guide to the UK Political Parties and How to Use Your Vote

Quick Dummies Guide to the UK Political Parties and How to Use Your Vote

Conservative. The party of and for big business and people of wealth. It’s objective is to channel as much wealth as possible from the nation as a whole to themselves which in turn means controlling the people and the systems as much as is possible. Traditionally their leaders have come from a few elite families and have bred into them the belief that they are the chosen few who know best and have closed minds to any alternatives that might detract from their prime objective which, as I said, is to increase their wealth.

Labour. Would like to be a Socialist Party and clings to the memory of what they once were. Over the last few decades they have been cleverly manipulated by the Conservatives and have now become a shadow of their former self whilst morphing into a well meaning, slightly more caring version of Conservatism. They yearn to be more socialist but fear the power of the conservative media to ridicule them and so water down their policies or even attempt to be more Tory than the Tories.

Lib/Dems. By and large made up of well meaning people with some sensible policies. Due to our voting system their chances of forming the government are virtually nil. This has lead to great and understandable frustration so when the chance came and the Tories offered them a coalition ‘partnership’ the chance of some power was too much and they supped with the Devil. The Conservatives are nothing if not clever and manipulative as the Lib/Dems found to their cost. For the time being at least, they are a spent force and will have regroup and rethink.

UKIP. Mainly a one man party, Nigel Farage. Son of a stockbroker, privately educated with wealthy Conservatives and became a City commodities trader. He makes his pitch getting out of the European Union and panders to readers of red tops in particular. A very good rabble rousing speaker of little substance. UKIP attracts idiots and buffoons as it’s candidates as well as a following from the uninformed and far right nationalists. If one looks at such other policies that they have formulated it is easy to see that they are in fact the very worst face of Conservatism and if they were ever enacted would bring this country to it’s knees.

Green Party. Used to have the reputation of being the home of lefty tree huggers and environmentalists. but over the years has grown steadily into a political party of substance with many councillors spread over the country, several MEPs and so far, one MP in Parliament, Caroline Lucas, who is arguably the most sensible member in that place of intrigue and regarded with much respect. Definitely to the left of the political spectrum but with a much more realistic understanding of how to make business work for the nation as a whole along with an understanding that policy should be made with an eye on the long term future, rather than the short termism that dogs the two main parties.

Your Vote and the General Election.

Unless you belong to the very wealthy elite or believe in paying higher taxes for less services then the Conservatives are not for you and so you must choose from the rest. To not vote at all is an abrogation of responsibility. Should your constituency be a very safe Conservative or Labour one then why not use your vote to give the Green Party a lift. Live in a marginal where it could go Tory or Labour? Well, unless you are in the small group above then Labour is the obvious choice. Or perhaps you live where it’s likely to be either Tory or Lib/Dem? Then remember the Lib/Dems supported the Tories right through this Parliament and so consider voting Green as your protest and who knows, if enough vote with you maybe some more Green MPs to back up Caroline Lucas. Whatever you do don’t vote UKIP!

The Big Oppressive Society

Yesterday in Parliament, David Cameron suggested that even more legal restrictions may be introduced to control our Trade Unions. He favoured the idea that no strike may be called unless at least 50% of the union members cast a vote.

We already have probably the most draconian anti trade union laws in Europe, a fact which ‘New’ Labour , to their shame, did little to balance. The right to withdraw labour in persuit of a just settlement in a dispute is a right that if abolished leads along the path back to serfdom. The benefits, comforts and rights that we enjoy to day in our standard of living have been hard won by thousands of our forebears and we owe it to them and indeed to ourselves and to our children, to stand up to those who seek our domination.

Yes, in the event of strike action we the public may suffer some inconvenience but that is a price worth paying for freedom. The early trade unionists suffered far worse for future generations; abuse, violence, imprisonment and deportation. Are we now so softened by the life improvements that they gave us that we no longer have the guts to stand up to injustice?

Cameron believes that over 50% should exercise their vote in a strike ballot; well, how about applying the same rule to electing MPs. The voter turn-out can be 30% or less in some constituencies and very, very, few are elected with more than 50% of the votes cast. Now there would be a problem!

We Shall See Won’t We

Well, that’s it! The election is over and the Lib/Dems have done some sort of deal with the Torys.  The lust for power must have been overwhelming for both parties involved because the Torys and Lib/Dems are hardly natural bed fellows. Mind you Cameron went to Harrow and Clegg Westminster so I can see them getting on. Both have said they were working together for the good of the nation and if you’ll believe that you’ll believe anything.

So, time for a prediction or two? We’ll be alright for a month or two due to plans set in place by Labour which are now coming into fruition and Cameron gets a feel for power. We can then expect a rise in unemployment as the new government sets about sacking public sector workers in an over eager attempt to reduce the national debt. Most still in employment will be working harder and longer for less (in real terms) and the effectiveness of public services will decrease. Stealth taxes will add to the impoverishment of the population and there will be some civil unrest put down by a larger and even less uncontrolled police force.

The much vaunted referendum on a fairer electoral system will be denied or put in such a form of words as to be almost certainly rejected despite what the Torys may say at present; they are as slippery as eels. Another election will be called within 18 months at which the Lib/Dems will slip back into obscurity taking the blame for Conservative mismanagement.

Uncertain is whether Labour can learn from it’s mistakes as well as the good things that it did whilst in Government or tear it’s self apart.

Time will tell.

Manifesto You Wont See (Mine)

DEFENCE: We believe that threatening the annihilation of millions of fellow humans is wrong so we are getting rid of all nuclear weapons. This will make us less of a threat and so reduce our risk of attack. We will also save billions of Pounds.

We will have a review of the past few hundred years to see just why we have rampaged around the globe engaging in acts of aggression and stop doing it. Our military services will have only defensive weapons and therefore we will finally pose no threat to any other nation thereby further reducing our risks to near zero.

HOUSING: No further second homes will be allowed and existing ones will pay treble Council Tax until there are no more homeless or sub standard housing. All private property will become State owned on the demise of the current owners. (This will reduce house prices enormously and make them affordable places to live in and not investments for profit)

ENERGY: Rail, Electricity supply, Gas and Water will be re-nationalised.

WAGES & BENEFITS: All State benefits (except unemployment) will be cancelled and in their place the national minimum wage will be raised to a level fit to live on, along with pensions. There will be no unemployment benefit on leaving education until at least two years of employment have been completed. Benefit will be earnt by community service to prevent drifting into benefit dependency. No one will be allowed to earn more than ten times the minimum wage and bonuses will be outlawed. A fair days pay for a fair days work will be the norm.

TRANSPORT: Cities and urban areas with good public transport will be subject to an extra vehicle tax similar to the London congestion charge. Money raised will offset fuel reductions to those in rural areas where personal transport is essential.

DEMOCRACY: A good idea which will be adopted starting with an elected Head of State rather than an unelected monarchy. The second chamber shall also only have elected members. A fair voting system will be adopted where no vote is a wasted vote.

All connections between religion and the State shall be severed and all tax advantages currently applied to churches, mosques etc will end.

CRIME: All drugs will be de-criminalised and available on prescription thereby cutting up to 70% of crime. This will have the added benefit of slashing the prison population which doesn’t work anyway and saving huge sums of money.

The creation of a more fair and equal society would of itself reduce the incidence of crime. The current method of sentencing is ineffective, there being no point in a fixed time inside, therefore custodial terms will be opened ended. That is to say when it is considered the offender is ready to take his/her proper productive place back in society then they are released with adequate support and not before.

EDUCATION: Management costs will be no more than 1% of the budget and teachers will revert to running the schools and colleges. Choice of school will be abolished and all schools will be of an approved standard in all areas. University fees will be abolished but a small lifetime increase in income tax will enable graduates the satisfaction of repaying society for the privilege.

Private education establishments will be abolished by ever increasing taxation.

HEALTH: Management costs as for education. Medical staff taking more responsibility for running hospitals and clinics etc. A State pharmaceutical research facility will be set up and tight controls put on those in the private sector. Drugs which are highly expensive and merely prolong life by months will not be available.

Private health care will be abolished by progressively rising taxes.

LAND: All land will be nationalised without compensation and a rent paid for all private property upon it.

Our Election Humiliation

Well, that’s it, the General Election date is finally to be announced today. The date when we, the electorate, shall decide to whom we will lend our power for the next probable five years. Yes, our power, as citizens in a supposedly free and democratic society.

Before this can happen though our elected Prime Minister must go to Buckingham Palace and ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament in order for the election to take place. It is a national humiliation that the permission, even if somewhat symbolically, of an unelected, undemocratic, Head of State who is only there by virtue of being born into one particular family, should be sort.

If we elect a party with an overall majority then the Government is not effective until the Monarch has given her approval and in the event of a ‘hung Parliament’ again it is the Queen who ‘invites’ one Party to form the Government. In addition it is through the Monarch’s Privy Council that powers that we, the people, did not give to the Prime Minister of the day are wielded. It is time to embrace true democracy and end our humiliation.

Bosses Back Tories – Now There’s a Surprise!

The bosses, all of them on over a £1million salaries, of some of the UK’s big businesses back the Tory plan to cut the increase in National Insurance contributions, calling it a ‘Tax on jobs’.

Well it is a tax on jobs or rather, a tax on each person employed but let us put it in perspective for goodness sake. It amounts in most cases to less than a fiver per week per employee and if a company paying out over £20,000 per worker can’t afford an extra fiver then either that company is in deep doo doo and unlikely to survive anyway or they fear having to cut down on executives bonuses or a tiny reduction in shareholders dividends. Either way it’s no reason to cut this small increase in order to help pay off our national debt and help to maintain our public services.

By the way, these business leaders are probably made up of the same leaders who squealed in 1997 at the very mention of a National Minimum Wage, crying that it was a ‘tax on jobs’ and would bring about the downfall of the whole economy. It didn’t though, did it?

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