Tuesday, 6 April 2010


So the election has finally been announced as the 6th of May. In future, I would suggest that various media outlets contact me on these matters. The polling card that's been in my kitchen for the past week was a tiny clue to when the election was going to be held... Had I known this was actually news, I'd have phoned the Guardian or something.

I'm now just praying the Tories don't get in. I'm not entirely sure I can cope with entering the world of work and the start of a New Blue Empire in the same month. It's just all too depressing. I may take the opportunity to emigrate. Yes, Labour have done a lot of shitty things, but they have also:

* Legalised gay marriage
* Repealed Section 28
* Introduced minimum wage
* Equalised the age of consent
* Banned fox hunting
* Sorted out the majority of problems surrounding Northern Ireland

Though the less said about top-up fees, the better.

Keeping Labour means keeping the BBC. I love the BBC, if the Tories break that as well, I will actually cry. Labour may not be brilliant, but they're better than Cameron and his horrible friends, who'll just sell everything off to the highest bidder.

Not that it particularly matters who I vote for, as in Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour has over 50% of the vote. I don't think that'll be toppled any time soon. Obviously, I'll still be voting, but it's a tad demoralising that whatever I choose won't really make any overall difference.


  1. This is where I think the Americans actually have one over on us. They can vote for their local representative, but then they can vote for who they want to run the country.

    For years my area has voted Labour because our local MP knows the area, she knows what the people want, and she's done a pretty good job. Only voting for her was voting for Tony and none of us want that. Le sigh.

    (Of course now our wonderful Labour MP has stuck her foot in it and is supporting a redevelopment project that NO ONE in this area wants, so I think she's going, going, gone...)

    It would be nice if we could vote for who's right for our area, but then vote for who's right for the country. Because they are not always the same thing.

    Conservatives are going to screw up education to the point where I'm going to have less time to teach because I'm going to be doing the million other things that they want me to do, dealing with classes full of kids who either want to learn or want to ruin it for everyone else. We won't have the schools, the equipment, or the means to do our jobs - but then we'll get yelled at when for some strange reason kids aren't passing their English GCSE...

    Go figure.

    I do love how the Tories are blaming Labour for this recession. We seem to have 'come out' of this one a lot quicker than we did the other, and remind me... who was in power then?

    Oh yeah. That's right...


  2. Well, I suppose different things matter to different people. For me, Labour are the people who:

    1) Have sponsored a move towards a police state with legislation that enables you to be locked up without trial simply by virtue of being suspected of a particular offence.

    2) Lied (and I use the term advisedly) to get the country to participate in a palpably illegal war.

    3) Destroyed the economy. And I don't mean failing to spot the banking crisis, because few people actually did. Rather I mean engaging in reckless government borrowing even at boom time in the economic cycle AND trying to hide the fact.

    Of course they have done some good things as well. But I think the acid test of any administration is whether they leave the country better than they found it. For my money the Labour Government most emphatically have not.

  3. I agree that Labour have done some shitty things too - but the Tories would probably have done exactly the same. They supported the Iraq war; they certainly have no qualms about pissing about with other people's money.

    However, they wouldn't have done things such as improve the rights of the millions of LGBT people living in this country. They wanted it to remain illegal for schools to even admit homosexuality exists.

  4. Sadly there's no such thing as a perfect political party. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's an oxymoron. ;o)

    It is all about balance because you will never please everyone all the time. A stand up comic said once that people are objecting to the full body scans because people will see an outline of their genitalia. If the choice is someone getting a fuzzy view of my breasts, or being blown up in the air, I'll whip my top off. But then that's me.

    Labour had the unenviable position of being in power over 9/11 and 7/7. They could have been prevented had the people responsible just been stopped and searched. They could have been stopped had the police had this almighty almost civil liberty depriving stop and search powers. But people were scared and so they had to act.

    And I use the term "people" to define the masses. As some TV show said : a person is smart, people tend to be dumb and panic.

    Personally I want a government that is doing the best it can for the masses : that's all walks of life. If I have to pay a bit more tax in my £21k+ (minimum) job, but someone who earns less than half that can now afford food and rent? OK, I'll deal. Oh I'll complain a little but then I just won't buy that bottle of wine this weekend.

    All it takes is for one 9/11 or 7/7 to be prevented by the police powers and I'll think it was worth it. Others disagree but then that's them.

    If there was one party that fitted everyone they'd always be in power. We have to choose what is right for us at any given time. They're a bit like insurance companies; full of deals and offers, flashy ads to tell us of the benefits... But what are the premiums? the excess? our liabilities?

  5. I am not sure that I agree regarding police powers.

    How could 9/11 or 7/7 have been prevented by use of these powers? It is not as if the perpetrators were in custody but had to be released as there was insufficient evidence to charge them. No: the first we heard of them was when they stepped out from obscurity to kill.

    I think that the Government has "talked up" the security threat to this country to justify more draconian powers, because by doing that it gives more power to itself. We now have a situation where "terrorist" legislation is used to arrest peaceful protesters against the arms trade and a 90 year old man who heckled Tony Blair at Labour conference. Those are not the laws of a peaceful liberal democracy; they are the laws either of a nation at war, or of an authoritarian regime.

    I think Brackers is probably right to say that the position of LGBT people is better under Labour than it would have been under the Tories. I suspect, however, that the people who should get the credit for that are courageous campaigners such as Peter Tatchell and others who have brought a massive shift in society's perception of these minorities.

    I also fear that I respectfully disagree with Boro Girl's belief that the recession is over. Yes, the immediate financial meltdown is over, but the nation is now truly eye-watering sums of money. The interest on that debt can only be repaid by either (a) producing more as a nation, (b) cutting expenses or (c) allowing sterling to plummet in value so that the debt (in sterling terms) reduces. Solution (a) is difficult since it would involve GDP being sustainably above what it was even at the height of the economic boom. Solution (c) is to invite high inflation and a return to the 1970s. Solution (b) really is the only one and I don't understand there to be any serious disagreement on this. The only question is which government is going to implement it more effectively.

    Finally - how refreshing to have a grown-up debate on things like this. I am a pretty unabashed economic conservative and social liberal, but when I have posted views on other blogs, I have been called a variety of names, raging from stupid to being a lover of terrorists.