Turkey’s Voting For Christmas

Many people will have views about how the result of the 2019 General Election came about. Pundits will be trawling over Boris Johnson’s successful campaign, and the failure of Jeremy Corbyn’s and Jo Swinson’s failure to make headway against a fractured governing party in a time of real crisis.

People have had doubts about Jeremy Corbyn from day one of his leadership of the Labour party. His past affiliations to groups have been regurgitated so many times in the press and on social media over these last years, you can’t help thinking that the establishment really didn’t want him to win. 

Let’s take one of the accusations about Corbyn head on. At the time he was talking to Sinn Fein in Ireland in front of the camera, Margaret Thatcher’s government were doing exactly the same thing behind closed doors. So, why was he different to Her Majesty’s Government in his attitude and actions to the Northern Irish issue?

Put simply, the press and right-wing commentators have colluded in scuppering the chance of any left-wing leader of the Labour party ever getting elected. I remember Michael Foot being lambasted and lied about in the early eighties very clearly. And following him, Neil Kinnock never stood a chance despite the Tory’s going through hell and high water in power. Not until Labour elected a more right-wing leader in Tony Blair, did the press and powers that-be take note.

Corbyn’s flim-flamery over the subject of the day cost him dearly. Wanting another referendum, but not saying which side of the argument he would stand, allowed his critics to attack him daily. How he thought that policy would bring in Leavers and Remainers, I’ve no idea.

Jo Swinson’s attempt at all-out remain failed dismally, although they did increase their share of the vote. That doesn’t always help in a First-Past-the-Post-Election. Swinson herself lost her seat in Scotland.

The SNP have gained massively in Scotland. A second independence referendum will be called for, and given no matter what the Tory leader says, in the coming years. And the break-up of the Union is most definitely on the cards, especially with Johnson negotiating a Withdrawal Agreement that effectively separates Northern Ireland from the rest of the Union.

I have written about the Tory’s nine years in power elsewhere and about Johnson’s failings. But in saying these things and writing them down in this blog, I can’t help thinking that the Turkeys have voted for Christmas. Clearly, the UK public have voted for more of the following:

These are just a few things that I can illustrate. There are more. The promise of getting Brexit done shouldn’t have been enough for the Tory’s to regain power and dump Labour to its worst performance since 1935.

If it was the Brexit confirmation election, and only time will tell on that one, then the British electorate have a lot of confidence in one issue to correct the ills of this country. I wish them luck!

This post was originally written & posted: 13 Dec 2019

Let’s Do Something For The Many

The 2019 General Election, the one Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he never wanted but pushed for relentlessly since his elevation to the highest office, is shaping up to be the most divisive and broken in living memory. I don’t think it need take an Oxford Don to work out why. But more of that later…

So, in this election, the 36th after my first punt at choosing this country’s Prime Minister, I find myself with a massive dilemma. That’s because the question I have always asked myself, ‘who do I want to lead this country into the future?’ has changed to, ‘who do I NOT want on the leavers of power for the next five years?’

Experience has always told me where my bread is buttered, and with who. I can tell you this time is no different. And that is still the case with the elephant of Brexit running amok outside the proverbial room.

In today’s world of reckless division, my starting point has to be the governing party. Do I still want them to remain in Downing Street? What have they done in the nine years since moving in? Have they improved the lives of all the people of this country and beyond since winning power? Have they had time to make the improvements they promised? 

The overwhelming answer to these questions has to be a big fat ‘no’. I can list some of the reasons below:

  • Shelter recommend the building of 3.1m new social homes to meet demand. A demand this Party has had no intention of achieving.
  • That lack of availability in social housing obviously increases homelessness. Between 2013 and 2017 homeless people dying on the streets has more than doubled. That is a frightening statistic for the 5th richest country in the world by GDP.
  • Food bank parcels are on the increase. In 2009/10, as this Party came to power, 41,000 food packs were distributed. By 2016/17, 1.2 million packs were given out. That is a massive increase and something to be ashamed of. 
  • In employment, some 66% of people languishing on zero-hour contracts want more hours and security in employment. That’s not a lot to ask for.
  • What about health? The NHS has been under fire for many years. Targets for treating cancer patients after GP referrals haven’t been met for five years. We now have the worst waiting times, over four hours, in A&E since 2004.
  • According to the Independent, some 17,000 people died while waiting for essential benefits. It’s inconceivable that any government could preside over a more unresponsive or uncaring system of benefit payments.
  • Police numbers are important to the electorate because they use that as a sign of how safe they feel on the streets. Since the present party came to power in 2010 there has been a cut of some 19,000 police officers. Not exactly the party of law & order, I would suggest.
  • What about defence? People who obsess about whether the leader of this country would press the nuclear button to annihilate millions forget that the army has systematically fallen in numbers for years. Ironically, they’re generally the very same people who call for the re-introduction of National Service, and the same people who never had to square-bash the parade ground for a day in their life.
  • These people need to get a grip. Come the day, they will be dead! Finished, just like the Norwegian Blue in the famous Monty Python sketch. Nuclear weapons are not for protection, a deterrent or any such thing. They are a phallic example of the ruling elite’s strength and position. Nothing more, nothing less!

During the years of austerity One Nation Conservatism has been well and truly killed off! This ruling party has succeeded in dividing the country for generations. Principally, their strategy in holding the referendum in 2016, their lack of strategy in dealing with the fall-out of a Leave result, and their continued divisive examples of Leave perpetuate the uncertainty of the stable future we desire for our children and grandchildren. Bland statements like ‘Get Brexit Done’ don’t cut it. Boris Johnson has been regurgitating that one since his arrival at Number 10 and he still hasn’t got it done. And that’s a failure he and his party own alone.

The fawning over of Trump, the man who gets his world view from Fox News and cannot avoid the spectre of impeachment in his own country, is an absolute scandal. The man would sell his own grandmother to get a deal for the Good Ol’ US of A. Britain and its needs would be well down the pecking order.

In saying all the above, I would not presume to tell you how to vote. That is for you and your conscience to live with. I also know the non-dom press barons have been helping you along with that for some time anyway. Their vilification of other leaders has been one of the most depressing parts of modern reporting. I would advise you to look at other reports and seek out the truth before deciding that he or she is this or that, though. Believe me! Reading beyond the headlines is worth it.

But taking the things listed above into consideration and the sense of entitlement this Prime Minister and his cohorts seem to possess, I cannot with all honesty advocate a vote for them.

My cross will land in a different box because I want this country to regain a sense of togetherness, where we can all live with dignity and with the security of a state that cares for everyone. I want us to be able to hold our heads up and say that we did our best for all, not just the favoured few. This governing party has done as much for the few that it can. It’s high time we had a government that does something for the many. Show me the Party that does that, and I’ll show you where my cross will land.

This post was originally written & uploaded: 1 Dec 2019