I’m not going to tell anyone how to vote, but I did want to set out my thinking and talk a little about the issues that matter to me. For those that don’t know we have a General Election here in the UK this week, and a hung Parliament is expected. We may get a new Socialist PM next week, or the incumbent Conservative PM, David Cameron may cling on. In both cases the polls show it’s unlikely either party will command a majority in Parliament and will be reliant on other parties for support.
We Should Be Self-Governing
PM Miliband will not change this. PM Cameron says he’ll offer a referendum, but a) I don’t trust him to deliver and b) he’ll campaign and throw his weight behind staying in.
I’m not after a referendum as an end result, I want out of the EU.
For more, see almost the entirety of my original blog for my depth of feeling on the matter. It’s still my #1 issue.
The Country Is Not a Nice Place To Live
I am not sure if it is the polarity of Socialist over-bearing programs at the one extreme, and then complete self-sufficiency at another but English and British people are in large measure impolite and uncivil. Strange considering our reputations. I had the benefit of living in Galway for 4 years where people are pathologically courteous, polite and friendly.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
I was in Banbury this week, a beautiful leafy Oxfordshire town, or so it seemed driving around. I am going to use Banbury to illustrate some wider points. We stopped for tea in the town centre mid-afternoon, in one direction we could see stately buildings, iconic, beautiful architecture. In the other direction was a dilapidated run-down town precinct, with plenty of unused (shop) units, a pair of drunken middle aged women with haggard faces harassed passers-by for money to carry on their bender. An overweight women with Pat Butcher earrings (plenty of them too) sat outside Greggs on her motor scooter as, a man who appeared to be a fellow unemployed local emerged with their order. She was clearly so well provided for that walking was a burden she no longer needed to burden herself with. Not many of the shops looked interesting or inviting, I recall some charity shops, nothing much from the modern high-street in retail.
When we arrived home we re-googled Banbury and sure enough after getting past page one of returns, in the comments sections there are plenty of people bemoaning the current state of the town, the frequent arson attacks on local shops, the rampant drug-use which was also obvious to us looking at some of the locals between their fixes of heroin or crack (or whatever was aging their hardened faces and eroding their gums and teeth).
Banbury is, or should be safe Tory territory, but how have leafy towns become almost ghettoised dens of crime and sin? Where are the teachers, the police and council? Is this a failure of individuals, professionals, institutions or all of the above? These people have fallen into despair, but how can they ever turn it around? They need jobs and opportunities, plus the gumption to get out there and grasp the nettle. It’s hard to imagine the more raged element I witnessed getting themselves up early, working hard and bringing in a wage. If the welfare and some light assault brings in the same or more, and they get to smoke their beloved crack all day, why bother?.. There’s been that ever-so-predictable recent influx of Eastern Europeans who are willing to do the jobs they can’t or won’t.
Anyway, here’s one of the locals with some of the headlines:
There’s plenty more out there on the t’internet, should you be so inclined to look.
If you doubt me/them, be my guest and visit for yourself, but if you’re tempted to go for more than a cuppa, maybe don’t stay HERE.
What could either Miliband or Cameron actually do for a place like Banbury now?
Moving away from Banbury, there’s this (click if you need to embiggen further):
What a horrific and brutal act.
How is it, this is in the letters page and not the main news? When did the UK become numb to horrific abuses?
They really are the tip of the iceberg… Let’s not forget ‘Uncle Jimmy’
Are you outraged?
Do you feel you shouldn’t be outraged for some reason?
Why is that?
On the flip side, this made the news:
Read the whole thing HERE.
The lad did good.
I am not knocking him. But when did a young man walking an old man home become so uncommon that it warranted national news attention, plus a round of applause from his school chums?
Regardless of your political views on whether it should happen or not with immigration, I would think we can agree, broadly on this point I am going to make
If the number of people living in Britain goes up, then the number and availability of housing also needs to go up.
I’m not correlating precisely, and it’s clear more and more people are cramming themselves into smaller and smaller living units, and parking has long been an automatic provision with housing in the UK (unlike so many other more rationally minded places).
We have seen an influx of foreign labour from within the EU, who are prepared to work longer hours for less money. Well done to them for seizing an opportunity at a better life. However their presence and sheer stubborn insistence to work hard and do a good job is depressing salaries, all salaries. The Eastern Europeans aren’t just bricklayers and plumbers, they’re accountants, administrators and managers too.
The UK has failed miserably to acknowledge the awesome draw it had on the poor of the world. It has instead patted itself on the back, and shouted down as Racist any suggestion that simply opening the door was enough. It is still failing to grasp the need for more housing. Real proper houses, not flats and studio’s built in former car parks and squeezed into brownfield sites. We need houses, and plenty of them. I’ll not touch social integration here, there’s not enough time.
For me, I am a professional male earning (through my own hard work and sheer desire to get on) approaching twice the national average wage, and yet my desire to find an affordable house in which to safely base my family, in and is one that cannot be realised in the modern UK. I’m a hard worker who plays by the rules and works 20 hour days when needed. I studied, pay my taxes and try to do my civic duty. Recent governments of all coloured rosettes have let a generation of people down by ignoring this issue.
The Tories failing to help, and I mean really help, people like me on housing and with our basic B & C1-2 aspirations is going to cost them. Though they don’t seem to realise or care either way.
It would be by sheer accident if we got Prime Minister Miliband and anything at all positive happened to the economy.
The Tories have been mind-bogglingly ignorant in recent years on a number of points, but would be better than Labour & Lib-Dems in this area for sure.
Their stance on tax avoidance sounds positive and something positive to campaign on; but most tax avoidance is perfectly legal under UK and international law that was written to allow it, so stop bleating on about it. It’s like smoking and petrol, I saw to the government if you don’t like it, outlaw it! Go on, I’ll wait.
I just want to keep on going to work (for my American owned & operated) company. If the economy is good here it will be more likely I can continue to do this. Maybe one day I’ll be earning six figures, maybe then I can buy a 3 bedroom house.
I could keep going but I have a full time job and it’s getting late.
I’m voting UKIP.
I don’t think I could ever bring myself to vote Socialist, and as the Liberal Democrats seem not to understand and live up to virtues Liberal & Democratic they’d be a waste of my vote too.
The Tories abandoned me years ago, and haven’t said, done nor pledged anything [credible] that makes me think I should consider voting for them.
I’m voting UKIP not as a protest, but because they are the party who most closely represent my values and assessment of what’s wrong with the country. A doctor is best served in identifying what is wrong with their patient, before administering medicine or attempting surgery and on that measure I think UKIP come closest to pin-pointing the areas where we need real change. They do so to the Ire of the political establishment and to Auntie which is both amusing and frustrating in equal measure.
Nigel Farage will not be Prime Minister come Friday, though I hope he does at least become MP for Thanet South.
I don’t believe that people who want to vote UKIP will be best served by tactical voting. UKIP need every vote they can get, it could be the difference between coming 2nd, 3rd or 4th which may well inform how precious resources are allocated and targeted in future elections, and if a Queens Speech can’t be passed in a few months’ time, that next election could be this year.
Tories will tell me that a vote for UKIP is a vote for Ed Miliband. It’s not, and it puerile to suggest so.
UKIP votes are not your votes. My vote is my vote.
PM Miliband would be worse than PM Cameron, it’s like deciding whether it’s more preferable to have one disease over another in terms of me, with my issues measuring or weighing up benefits. Neither will extract use from the EU, neither has any comprehension of how messed up we’ve assisted the Middle East and North Africa to become, and as such will probably make matters worse there. Cameron might be better on the economy but the country is going downhill and I don’t think there’s been much grey matter expended by either that will actually fix anything.
I do have some sympathy for people who want to vote UKIP in marginal. If you dislike the chasing candidate or party and fear more them getting in I can see why you might hold your nose and vote.
I just don’t personally think LIB/LAB/CON offers us anything to fix a Banbury, or will stop brutal assaults or make the UK a nicer place to live. All I see is more division, more dissent and more rule from abroad – i.e. decisions make further and further away from those they affect.
On a Slightly Different Note I’ll Segway to…
I am reviving a tradition and because I have some vacation days to burn I’ve booked Thursday & Friday off, so I’m gonna see how late I can sit up and watch the results roll in.
Does that make me a geek?