I am 37 years old. The first time I voted, I put Tony Blair into number 10. The second time I voted, it was for lib Dem and I feel I am to blame for gifting us with a coalition nobody wanted. The weight and legacy of; War crimes, “spin”, student tuition fees, commercialisation of the NHS, austerity, job losses ,5 wars ,MP expenses fraud ,soaring poverty and homelessness, rampant tax evasion, financial meltdown, and the degradation of civil liberties all lie heavy on my shoulders. I want to vote, how can I?
I don’t have faith in the leader of the party nearest to my taste ,but I trust my local candidate, where does that leave me? No one party represents the scope of my views. Everyone keeps banging on about “immigration “like I’m stuck in the 40’s but everyone loves that line because it means they can over look the fact that as Bill Clinton said “it’s the economy Stupid”. If everything was peachy and everyone had a job and wealth , they wouldn’t care about who was coming into the country. When job and wealth resources are scarce, its only natural to feel everybody else is taking it and you cant.
“Omni-shambles” was one of the more printable words mouthed by Malcom Tucker and it perfectly sums up the political system in the UK. I wouldn’t mind but if half the promises made by politicians actually came to fruition, we might then be living in a country where I might just be able to stomach the politics. But as it stands, politicians are free to announce wildly overambitious vote winners, with no real motivation to make them happen. Its easy. I have half a mind to run for parliament on a ticket of “No Austerity- fuck you, Europe and jobs for everyone”- oh hang on Greece already did that, its going to be brilliant to see how that works out for them. Credit Defaults stay with you for 6 years- let’s see if Greece can get a mortgage, bet Experian are laughing their ass off.
As a solution, we could make manifesto’s legally binding but that would just limit the vision of the parties. It wouldn’t work alone. I have another solution to work along-side that, its not original and is often discussed but the two together could really clamp down on the rogue direction our political Elite have progressed down. State funding the political campaigns of all parties and capping campaign spending, will help level the playing field and reduce big business influence on political parties. The single biggest reason why we are in this mess, is because all major parties are compelled into Faustian pacts with the city and wall street who have clear ulterior motives of financial gain. Currently the big 4 have no other choice in order to fund their path to election victory. There always comes a time when the lobbyist from the banks come to collect or when The ministers best school friend now working for BP, whispers in the chancellors ear across the banqueting table. Parliament will never ever agree to anything that damages their own interests or threatens their hold on their power. Even if its for the good of the country, such is the selfish paradox we are shackled to in 2015.
Make no mistake, the political institution is corrupt to the core. How can we clamp down on tax evasion when the chancellors own friends create the schemes with which to evade tax ( Accountants KPMG and Price Waterhouse Cooper) and offer future financial reward, post politics to the chancellor? It is so entrenched and brazen it’s no longer noticed. “Cash for questions “ and “cash for “influence” is still rife and only the sloppy get caught. And the whole idea that “lobbying” in its current form is allowed at all demonstrates this. It is a club that by its nature looks after itself who’s motives are solely based around keeping hold of power and getting rich anyway they can. Something happens when politicians get elected and walk through the door of the commons. A credible, well intentioned person of moral integrity turns into a self interested leach intent on taking it all it can for the rest of its life. What politician in their right mind would agree to a 9% pay rise when all their other colleagues in the public sector who arguably do more worthy jobs, have been restricted to 1% for the last 5 years? They are simply sticking up the middle finger to the masses who voted them in. It doesn’t matter that the move was proposed by a committee appointed to oversee standards, that Committee is also made up of MP’s and is in no-way independent. The Prime Minister of course, was tokenistic and vocal against the proposals at the time of the announcement , but surprise , surprise , this was 12 months ago and he has since been silent while doing nothing to stop it. He was right in assuming the majority of people would forget about it. Again, up goes the middle finger to the masses.
I say “masses” but that brings me back to where I started and a reluctance to vote…. How can I? I don’t blame people for not voting anymore, partly because of the reasons laid out here. It’s no surprise that all parties only talk about solving the housing crisis, tax evasion, poverty and austerity close to election. They’ve known all along, how to solve this issues but fail to do anything about them until it is time to sack them. If this isn’t the epitome of cynical self interest, I don’t know what is.
I’m not Russell Brand. Everybody needs to vote. To change the political system you have to be part of it, record low turn outs have brought the coalition into effect. We all need to go out and vote for the candidates we believe in not for our traditional leanings – Upper class/corporate- tories, Public sector and unions- labour, hippies- lib Dem. But seek out the candidate that speaks to you and ignore their colours. Elections are won at constituent level you’re not voting for David Cameron unless you live in the Cotswolds, but your local MP, look at them all, do your homework, pick one and put an x next to the name. Let the public in large put the government in power. Don’t try and do it yourself. Lets roll the dice everyone and see what happens. If everyone voted for the person , not the party we might all be a bit better off.
As like Pete Townsend said “meet the new Boss, Same as the Old boss”