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!
Figures just out report unemployment has risen to the end of November by 49,000 to 2.5million. The number of 16-24 year olds out of work is at the highest level since records began. These figures are just the beginning with the effects of the VAT rise and public sector redundancies yet to come to fruition along with reductions in benefits and pensions.
The current bunch of boys playing at government with their half baked, half thought out ideas appear at first glance to just be idiots but I’m beginning to wonder. The Torys have always liked to have high unemployment as it tends to keep wages at low levels thus creating more wealth for their business compatriots. Changes planned for the Health Service will eventually cost far more than the suggested £3bn but will virtually privatise the NHS with vast profits going to you know who. Education will be similar.
Of course, paying off the necessary debt that the country has, at such a reckless rate will undoubtedly mean that come the next election, in about four years time, there will be quite a bit of cash sloshing around in the nation’s coffers so that ‘the boys’ will feel happy to bribe the electorate with gifts from on high. The expectation being that voters will reward them with re-election. As the public so quickly forgot the eleven out of thirteen years under Labour, of vast improvement in public services and exceptional improvement in living standards it wouldn’t surprise me if the ruse worked.
It’s a funny twisted world of politics we have to survive in isn’t it? Baroness Warsi the Chair of the Tory Party and herself a Muslim (no bias here then) has said that the coalition “does God” unlike the Labour Party. She said that ‘Labour acted as if faith was confined to “oddities, foreigners and minorities’.
Hmm! Interesting! Let’s have a closer look. There’s quite a few ‘odd’ faiths around, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons spring easily to mind. ‘Foreigners’ and their offspring make up a large proportion of the Eastern faiths along with Catholics from Eastern Europe. Figures also show that less than 10% of our population regularly attend a church, mosque, synagogue etc so that is definitely a ‘minority’. QED
Tony Blair despite being as close to a war criminal as you can get without being convicted, is a ‘devout’ Christian and a convert to Roman Catholicism. On the other hand David Cameron said his faith “is a bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns, it sort of comes and goes”. Nick Clegg is an atheist.
One can’t help but wonder if the coalition ‘does God’ because the ‘Big Society’ will require unpaid volunteers and the religions are always keen to get involved as a way of peddling their beliefs.
Tonight is the last night of the ‘Proms’ the British series of concerts held in the Albert Hall. The ‘highlight’ of the evening for most, is, for me, a sickening spectacle of nationalistic fervour with a rendition of ‘Rule Britannia’ including the phrase ‘Britons never, never, never, shall be slaves’.
The sad truth of course, is that Britons are well and truly slaves; slaves to their capitalist masters. Britons are now working longer than our Middle Ages forebears, most are trapped with large mortgages around their necks, too afraid to offer more than token resistance to the high stress lifestyle imposed upon them.
It can be argued that they have simply allowed this to happen seduced by clever political and consumerist marketing and this would be true but let us not underestimate the powerful forces that have been at work over the past few decades. I am though hopeful that the impending full frontal attack on the hopes and dreams of Britons by this current consortium of a power hungry and greedy government will bring the people to their senses and they will demand a different and a better way to organise society. I believe or should I say, I hope, they will take back the power that has been usurped and is rightfully theirs, that they will reorganise through the Trade Unions, that they will demonstrate and rebuild a Labour Party that is truly a party of the people once again.
This is my ‘hopes and dreams’ and I will allow no government to take that from me.
Why don’t they ever learn? Politicians I mean and the answer, I suspect, is that they have little or no commonsense and worse still they think that the ordinary voter doesn’t either.
Take the three main contenders for leadership of the Labour Party; all are white, male, in their 40’s, all read Philosophy, politics and economics and all of ’em did it at Oxford. I don’t know precisely but Cameron and Clegg did similar. I would like to suggest that all politicians must have a degree in commonsense but unfortunately I don’t think that commonsense can be taught, it’s something innate but develops through adversity which is something few politicians experience much of. Those that do rarely seem to rise to positions of power and perhaps why this should be so is a future topic.
The latest nonsense from Osborne and Cameron that they will ‘consult’ with the public over where cuts should be made. The public have commonsense to know that they will have no impact at all on what the government has already decided and the same goes for Labour’s ‘Great Debate’. Those in power though do not have the commonsense to see that the public sees straight through them.
Commonsense decrees that if the Soviet Union with hundreds of thousands of troops and little concern for delicacy could not defeat the Taliban then we wont so why do they continue to try at such vast human and financial cost.
Commonsense says that if we are bristling with nuclear missiles we can’t expect other nations not to want some to defend themselves against us. Commonsense says that if we get rid of them we will aid global nuclear disarmament and save ourselves hundreds of billions of Pounds into the bargain.
Commonsense says that if we stop waging war somewhere in the World, as we have done for hundreds of years, we will save more money and have less or no enemies and more friends.
If hospitals ‘under perform’ against some target and get fined for it then they will have less money for patients. Commonsense? I don’t think so.
Governments say that the top earners need huge salaries and massive bonuses as an incentive to work hard but that the rank and file can have a wage freeze or a cut to help the economy. Any commonsense there?
Commonsense said that Cameron is a much stronger character than Clegg and that if they struck a deal then big Dave would eventually walk all over Clegg and the Lib/Dems would suffer in the long run but he still went ahead. (time will tell if I’m right on that one)
I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture. What we need is a degree of commonsense but not a Degree in commonsense.
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.
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?
A report out recently shows that the gap between the richest in Britain and the poorest has widened. I can’t say that it surprised me. In the usual and expected politician double speak Gordon Brown said “The report illustrates starkly that despite a levelling-off of inequality in the last decade we still have much further to go.” No Gordon, it didn’t say a ‘levelling off’ it said ‘widened’. We have indeed got further to go, in fact we actually need to make a start.
Those that know me often say that I lay the blame for almost all of the ills in this country at the feet of Margaret Thatcher, including this severe winter. Well, she did waste the windfall of North Sea oil and closed down 300 years supply of coal but that’s another story. What Thatcher did, very cleverly, was to break the strength of the Trade Unions and at the same time make the working population believe that this was a good thing. She then set about selling off most of our publicly owned assets such as our gas (remember ‘Tell Sid?), electricity, water and railways. She knew perfectly well that shares would largely end up with the financial institutions but fooled many into believing that they were ‘part of a share holding democracy’. Above all she put the notion of individualism, get what you can for yourself and the devil take the hindmost into the national psyche. In 1997 the nation with a collective sigh of relief elected New Labour with most not realising that Tony Blair was but a toned down Thatcher with a smiling face. The result being that the inequality gap has widened still further.
The Labour Party was originally brought into being by the Trade Unions to fight for the rights of it’s members and to bring about a more equal and fair society and forced through enormous benefits, the National Health Service being just one example. The (New) Labour Party of today has morphed into just another wing of the capitalist system that lies at the root of all our ills. The budget of yesterday, despite the crying need to balance the books, made it easier to buy a house and saddle the working population with a life long mortgage around their necks and thus restricting their ability to dissent. In addition this reliance on house prices ever increasing, played a large part in the recent economic crash and yet the Chancellor encourages more of the same.
So is it ‘Time for Change’ and bring back the Tories? Definitely not, New Labour is still the lessor of the evils but an evil non-the-less and although it’s perhaps worth voting for Lib Dems where they have a chance, real change will only come about when the people accept the hardest thing of all and realise that they have been duped for several generations and rise up with one voice and demand a new way.