Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “Tory Party”

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeze Alive and Well

Interesting start to the day; I was just doing a little research into David Cameron and came across a nice aerial view of his home in Oxfordshire  valued at around £800,000 and then his London home  at around £1.5million bought with a tax payer funded mortgage of £375,000. In addition he owns a £2.7million pound house in Notting Hill that he rents out for £6000 per month. I was reminded that he is also a slightly distant cousin to the Queen and his father was a wealthy stockbroker.

I linked this sarcastically on my Face Book Wall to “We’re all in this together”! This initiated a selection of humorous remarks such as ‘poor man, he’s not even got a tennis court or swimming pool’. Within minutes The Daily Mail published an item showing that a Tory donor and boss of one of the largest lobbying company’s in the UK, Lord Chadlington, had purchased property and land adjacent to Cameron’s and had sold some of this land to enhance Cameron’s. The Prime Minister did not register this transaction in the MP’s Register of interests claiming that as he paid more than the market rate for the land there was no profit involved. Maybe not at the present moment but as Cameron extends his estate it certainly will in the not so distant future. Nest feathering continues apace.

The sleeze and cronyism goes on while the masses can only write humour on Facebook.

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.

A Man With A Plan

David Cameron gave his speech to the party faithful yesterday and although it was a pretty downbeat message it also sent a shiver down my spine. Aligning himself with Margaret Thatcher he sees himself in her shoes (tight fit?) over social change as she was over economic change.

Rembering as I do, the horrors and destruction that Thatcher wrought among our nation, it strikes almost terror in my heart even thinking what she, in the guise of Cameron, could do to the social fabric of our society. He said that he was ‘a man with a plan, but what plan? Precious little detail emerged apart from the obvious Tory tax cuts for corporations and inheritance tax along with a two year freeze, in some instances, on council taxes, which can only lead to more cuts in services. Stung by Gordon Brown as a ‘novice’ it was indeed as a novice he appeared.

Although I am disillusioned somewhat by Gordon Brown and New Labour, yesterdays speech served to make me realise what the alternative would be and in that light G.B. & N.L. don’t seem so bad.

Lock ‘Em Up

Here we go again, the old and familiar Tory cry of ‘lock them up.’ This time it’s David Cameron saying that anyone over the age of 16 caught carrying a knife should be given a prison sentence. Under ‘New’ Labour too the prison population has steadily increased, so no new thinking anywhere.

We already imprison a higher percentage of our population than any other country apart from the USA. It’s about time someone in power thought to themselves this isn’t working. It’s no good the political parties vying with each other over how many people they can lock up and say that while they are inside they can’t commit a crime. It is indeed true of course but eventually they are released and emerge back into society having had an intensive course in criminality from experts.

We don’t need more prisons, we need to get out of prison those have mental health problems and those who are in there for generally pathetic cases such as non payment of fines out of disgustingly low incomes. There must be greatly increased resources in the prisons to educate and reform the inmates before release. Huge numbers of prisoners are there for usually multiple but petty offences related to drug addiction and imprisonment will not make any difference to the vast majority. I shall write more on this subject another time.

The media also has a part to play and resist going along with a public perception, fuelled by politicians that more and more of our citizens should be ‘locked up.’ Imprisonment is not a deterrent and the punishment part of a sentence is actually the first three months, after which inmates merely become used to the routine and institutionalised. Unless the remaining time includes education, training and rehabilitation it is a complete waste of the money spent on incarceration.

Thank You Nye

Happy 60th Birthday to the NHS. Without this man, Aneurin Bevan, a ‘real’ Labour Party MP and Minister, our National Health Service would not have come into being. He fought the powers of privilege and self interest to bring health care, free at the point of delivery to every man, woman and child in our country. Happily for us all he was the right man, in the right place, at the right time with courage in abundance.

The powers of privilege and self interest are not defeated they are simply more devious and some are within ‘New’ Labour as well as of course the Tory Party. Nye Bevan fought for us to bring us the NHS and it now falls to all of us to fight for it’s continuing survival. We must ensure that no further privatisation takes place and to reverse those that have. Nye had a Socialist vision and showed that it can work. Thank you Nye.

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