So we have just over 6 months to go to the next election and already I feel a well of blackness consuming me. We have a set of politicians who, lets not be too blunt about this, are useless. It really doesn’t matter what part they are standing for.
Every day I read the morning papers and try and form a balanced view of what is happening in the world and everyday I find I cannot believe what is being done or said on my behalf. Since the beginning of the month I have been told that whilst the country has a huge deficit we can still afford the well off to pay less towards its reduction and the poor to pay a whole lot more. It would seem that when it comes to being in it together some of our brethren are in it more than others.
We are also told that more money than ever will be pored into the NHS as if that will fix anything. We are also told that the latest NHS reforms were botched but that the senior people in the Government regret this and they should have done something about it but they left it to one trusted man to sort things out – so really it was all his fault not theirs.
We are also told that someone who can’t be bothered to clearly set out his policies in his major speech because he wanted to look cool and make his speech without notes, and thus forgetting a huge chunk of the speech about the economy and deficit reduction, will be a great Prime Minister. We are also told that any party who can get around 34% of the popular vote has the right to run the country on the back of constitutional anomalies.
We are also told that we should leave our main trading block and make our way in the world without any idea of how we are going to manage our relations with that trading block other than, “Well Switzerland manages so, because we are much bigger country, there would be no problems…” We are also told that the country is being over run by Johnny foreigner who is coming over here taking all our jobs and at the same time enjoying the good life on the back of all our over generous welfare system which, of course they are supporting through their taxes, both direct and indirect.
We are told that either the welfare system is over generous or not generous enough. That it should face major cuts or that it is supporting the people that it should. Neither seem to address the fact that the welfare system is a classic case of mission creep and that the road to hell is paved with good intentions – which is much the same description of the NHS.
We are told in Scotland that whilst one party lost the referendum on leaving the UK they actually won it morally so they intend to act as if they did win. This upside down world is reinforced by the whole political machine in London trying to use the stupid straight jacket they gave themselves when they panicked and thought they might loose the union as a point scoring exercise in the sure knowledge that by the time the election come around in May the finer points of the West Lothian question will be lost in the mud slinging on each side and so nothing will change.
We are now told that we should be bombing ISIS whilst at the same time bombing to support the good rebells in Syria when not too long ago anyone who was against the Syrian regime was our friend. ISIS is against the current Syrian regime. In fact it gets worse than that we are told that the great British bombing effort in Iraq is actually doing something other than making us look silly. Just how many millions of pounds did it cost to blow up one Toyota Land Cruiser? This is the same argument that insists that the two aircraft carriers being built in Scotland at the moment make sense militarily. We must be able to project power as if we are something other than a rich European power with no real military power when compared to the Americans or China.
We are told that mavericks are the way forward. So it’s Boris this and Nigel that when both are two sides of the same coin. This would seem to be a reaction to the bland leaders we have at the moment who are more interested in looking cool and ‘normal’ if normal means being privately educated with an Oxbridge degree and spend your whole life working in the powdered salons of political parties of London. The world outside the M25 is somewhere one has to visit to get elected but after that, well you know.
We are told that Ebola is a real risk and that the Government is on the case and will do everything to prevent the disease coming to these shores. Then after some bad press in the scandal sheets they panic and we have ‘health checks’ at Heathrow and Gatwick airport that appear to be less than useless in identifying whether some one has the virus. But this is election season and the Government must show that they are doing something, anything. Suddenly the caring Thatcher years seems so far away – remember the AIDS/HIV campaign which, whilst I’m sure had many faults, seems to have worked far better than what is on offer at the moment.
And finally we are told that our votes count when in fact each party is actually only interested in the 100 or so marginals that will decide the next elections. If you don’t happen to live in one of these seats then you can expect to be ignored. Well actually that was the situation up until this autumn when all of a sudden both of the main parties realised that with the rise of UKIP and the screwing of Scotland with their party games have got them into a situation whereby many more seats are marginal and no one really knows which way to turn. So our bland no hopers are thrashing around trying to come up with eye catching policies that have little or no chance of being put into place because the whole thing just doesn’t added up anymore.
So depressing isn’t it? Well yes but also no. Despite all of the stupidity shown by our political masters we are living longer and have more fulfilled lives. We have not faced any Great War for generations and when compared to some of the real threats of the past this all seems to be arguing of the number of angels on a pinhead. In fact most of my country men and women actually don’t even notice what may or may not be happening at the National or International level as they are more concerned how City or United are going to do at the weekend. We will endure and we will go on after all England is probably the longest surviving nation in the whole of Europe, who’s boundaries haven’t really changed much for over 1000 years. As the social scientists say….
Continuity and Change.