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Archive for the tag “tories”

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Poverty… Why?

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.

Cost Cutting Dave

So, David Cameron, leader of the Tories and likely to be our next Prime Minister (God help us all) promises that he will cut Minister’s salaries by 5%, take the subsidy off the Commons restaurant and reduce the cost of government cars. After all, as he put it:- “If there is something that really annoys people it’s seeing politicians swanning around in chauffeur driven cars like they’re the Royal Family.”

Good point Dave so how about having a close look at that Royal Family and the estimated cost of £183 million per year that they cost us? If, as you say, leaders should lead by example then unelected leaders should set an even greater example don’t you think?

A Conservative King

The Princes Trust set up by Prince Charles presumably to raise his profile and give him something to do whilst waiting for his mother to slip off the throne and drift peacefully away into a gold plated heaven has also been fund raising for the Tory’s.

imagesYes, according to an investigation by The Mail on Sunday, The Trust arranged a joint fund raising event in the House of Commons no less, the other beneficiary being ‘Women2Win’ which aims to increase the number of Tory women MP’s at the next election. Twenty guests were apparently willing to cough up £1675 each to meet Margaret Thatcher. Now if freethinkeruk had that kind of spare cash he might be tempted to go along, provided he could throw green custard at the old witch but not just to meet her. Anyway, back to the plot. For a charity to make political donations is illegal, so now that Charlie’s trust has been found out the money will have to be repaid but that still leaves the question of a king wannabe who is supposed to be apolitical, funding one party. In addition it is against the rules of Parliament to hold party fundraising in the Palace of Westminster. Still, if you are a monarch in waiting you probably think you’re above such silly rules and laws.

New Benefits Plan

The Government is to bring in new rules and systems for people on unemployment or disability benefits. The Tories have already offered their support which is not surprising as it is the kind of plan that the Tories would come up with rather than what we should expect from a Labour Government.

As with all these types of plan it seems reasonable on the face of it. If after a reasonable amount of time you won’t or can’t find work then you will be made to do community work in order to continue receiving the benefit. The work will be such things as cleaning graffiti off walls, litter picking etc. This will of course go towards decreasing the availability ‘real’ jobs and I can’t see for example, an unemployed I.T. consultant or ex company director doing this work, it will be the ‘ordinary’ people. The clever ones will work their way onto the proposed higher level of benefit for those not expected to be able to find work for one reason or another.

Some people of course do get into a rut of not working and they need encouragement. The trouble is, as usual, the problem is looked at from the wrong perspective. It is not that benefits are too high but that the incentive to work is too low. The minimum wage is not sufficient for the average person to have a decent lifestyle by today’s standard and couple this with the obscene salaries and bonuses paid to those at the higher end of the pay scale it’s not hard to see where the problem lies. The shift of wealth from those who have little, to those who already have much has increased exponentially for decades and even more so under the present government.

Oh by the way, this whole idea, endorsed by the Government, comes from David Freud, an investment banker!

The other part of this proposed plan is to force drug addicts onto rehabilitation programmes or they too will have their benefits stopped. Ask any psychologist or anyone with knowledge of the mind and they will confirm that you can’t force people into rahab. they must want it or it just doesn’t work. Given that the majority of crimes are committed to pay for drugs then stopping benefits will obviously increase crime. Politicians never seem to think anything through.

It is easy of course to make a show of clamping down on those unorganised, voiceless and powerless members of our society who need help rather than to tackle the inequalities, the wealthy tax cheats, those who send their money to tax havens and who can afford accountants to ensure that they contribute as little as possible to the common good. Margaret Thatcher stills rules, simply changed her name to Gordon Brown.

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