Tag Archives: labour

UKIP’s Rise

Much political time as passed since the Local Elections which saw UKIP’s power and following truly illuminated. The response Farage has culminated over such a short period highlights a number of concerns within British society. However, the way in which the three main parties have chosen to combat the rise of Farage is, in my opinion, completely misguided. 

Farage has inspired a debate regarding the future of Britain’s position in the European Union; however, this is more a cultural debate, rather than a policy-based debate. That meaning, the three main parties, or perhaps primarily Labour and Conservatives, are choosing to address this through the typical political way: a debate leading to a decision on a referendum. However, what UKIP highlights is a major anxiety which undercuts British society; Farage is looking at culture, rather than politics – to which most people are seemingly apathetic. Of course, the irony of this is that as a political party, UKIP would most likely be completely disastrous – one only has to observe the £120bn black-hole within their budget policies

There is a fear within society that jobs are being threatened by mass immigration. Not only jobs, but general freedom: of speech, of appearance, etc. Indeed, much of these fears may be myth, and jobs are threatened by bleak economic outlook rather than mass immigration. Nonetheless it seems innate human nature that the individual has to quantify the unquantifiable: this inexpressible and misguided hate has to be directed and attributed to something or someone, and usually that is the minority. As a consequence, parties like UKIP and BNP see a rise in votes because they offer short-term solutions, or speak for the “common man” when, in fact, the short-term is just papers over the cracks. 

Digression aside, Farage and his party have the right idea. They address the core and the centre of the issue; they do, in fact, voice the concerns of the common man, whereas the major parties voice the concerns of the actual economic and political outlook. As horrible and shallow as this may seem, government has diplomatic relationships to maintain whilst also public confidence and support. Yet, the diplomatic relations is what keeps the high streets booming and the job market sufficient. That is the harsh reality. UKIP, however, ignore the diplomatic aspect and say what people want to hear. 

I personally see Farage as a opportunist, feeding on the fears of modernity and change, rather than offering any remedy to the political, social and cultural ills. Whether they will continue to rise into 2015 will be interesting the track. Much alike the 2010 election, they will replace the Liberal Democrats: the wild-card party who really think they will offer a new change only soon to disillusion the voters. 

K Independence Party former leader Nigel Farage talks to friends at his local pub in Downe, Kent

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Thatcher: Legacy and Legend; divisive in life and death.

First, allow me to assert that I make no intention on “bashing” the death of Thatcher. I merely wish to analyse, from my personal opinion, her role as a minister and a formidable leader. 

Indeed, she was a formidable leader. She redefined the political spectrum, and consequently the United Kingdom. She transformed us from an industrial power to a financial power house. Dubbed as a modernisation, the rate at which she transformed Britain was such that it aggravated a winter of discontent and the epoch of misery for many working class families and communities. Her role within the Conservative party was seen as an attack on the livelihood of a huge number of individuals across the north of England. She attacked the little that remained for the working classes and whoever makes an attempt on a man’s life, on a man’s liberty, on a man’s honour, inspires in us a feeling of horror analogous in every way to that which the believer experiences when his idol is profaned. 

I would argue that Thatcher’s legacy denounced Unionism and Communitarianism, forcing Britain into crass commercialisation which reduced society to nothing more than a vast apparatus of “purchase” and “exchange” on credit and debt, disguised as liberty and individualism. She made it exceedingly clear that within her society communal life is, in fact, impossible without the role and existence of interests superior to those of the individual. 

Commendations can be made upon her determination, conviction, and the role and importance for women who felt disillusioned or disenfranchised in 1980’s Britain, but as it has been made clear by Glenda Jackson this view may be somewhat distorted by an increasingly flattering press. Yes, she was a formidable leader due to the vast array of changes she made and the sheer extent of them; an excellent orator who is undoubtedly skilled in public addresses, but nonetheless an individual whose policies destroyed communities. 

However, in regards to those who have celebrated her death without the knowledge of her true impact and rather relies on hearsay may be wildly misinformed. The controversies of yesterday only give superficial expression to a more profound disagreement, and an opinion which is far more divided over a question of principle rather than a question of fact. One must hear the arguments which have been exchanged on both sides in order to reach a justified and well-judged evaluation. 

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George Osborne: Disabled Parking

I rarely show support for the Tory party as I am a Labour supporter (not New Labour. Labour.) However, I find the recent “scandal” of Osborne parking in a disabled bay somewhat pedantic, tedious, and puerile. Indeed, it comes at a dreadful time after he has just made substantial cuts to the welfare system – and has gone on to criticise it more after the Phillpotts incident – but it detracts away from any real issues at hand. It’s a mistake and one we have probably all made. Rather than criticising the fact he’s parked in a disabled bay, let’s criticise his ineffective policies; let’s criticise Iain Duncan Smith for being … well. 

You only have to take a look at the papers which are reporting the incident, and the level of “journalism” which follows it to see that this isn’t a scandal at all, and that there are much bigger things to be concerned about. It’s a cheap assault and one which lacks any substance or dignity. 

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Redefinition of the British Political System

I think it’s hard to really define our country as a democracy any more due to the nature of parliament. Although we see parties under the banner of Labour, Conservative, or Liberal Democrats, they’re essentially one amalgamation of common beliefs, those being: we’re a predominantly financial country that trades not in material goods, but relies wholly on a strong (or currently weak) financial center i.e. London.

Indeed, when the City was performing well, Blair hailed its performance and was a bulwark for the City. Now, however, we attack them and are willing to bludgeon the bankers that lost all our money – when it was the years of deregulation that allowed such a thing to happen. I am a strong supporter of Labour but I’m also a strong supporter of holding those accountable for allowing such disasters to happen – of course I blame the Conservative government, too, for becoming extremely reliant on and tied to the American economy and its financial sector. It’s a long-winded argument. 

Nonetheless, and perhaps too late on the matter, after the degradation of Britain’s AAA rating, Milliband (and Labour) had countless opportunities to land attacks on Osborne for his austerity plans and the route he’s taken so far. But, in typical Milliband style, instead of taking the opportunity to berate him with abuse and demand answers for reasons we’ve lost the AAA rating, Labour offered nothing and instead squabbled among themselves and offered no coherent alternative for what is happening. Ed Balls predicted that something along the lines of this car crash would happen and if he had stuck to that script then Labour would have had a clear stance in Parliament, but instead they remain ambiguous. The Tories, however, have made their stance perfectly clear which is to stick to the current austerity plan or cut harder and faster. Perhaps an approach similar to World War Two needs to be adopted which encourages an increase in demand and an answer to heavy unemployment. On the contrary, nobody is going to listen to Labour because they hit the poor end of 13 years of governing. 

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A Letter to Kenneth Clarke, MP

Dear Sir,
I write before you under no malice or aggression; but rather out of an injustice caused to me as of 20th July, 2012. I cannot give greater proof of the high opinion I have of your candour and post as Ministry of Justice, than by the liberty I am to take by offering you advice upon a subject which you have so just a claim to act for yourself. I know you to have a love for justice, law and order and I, too, share this desire to live in a community in which shares the same views as yourself; however, upon an incident in which my motorbike was stolen, I was faced harshly with the truths of our community; perhaps, in some sense, my own naivety deceived me into believing that we live in a society in which the law and justice is respected by one-another. Apparently, your Right Honourable Gentleman, this is not the case.
You must forgive me for the way I have introduced myself and have possibly been elusive in the purport of my writing and who, in fact, I am. As you will know, the British Youth Council recently ran local elections for a local Member of Youth Parliament. My name is Joseph Williams and I was lucky enough to be chosen by my constituents of a similar age to fill this post. It is something I respect so much so, that it surpasses my power of expression – as I’m sure you’re aware of given your current position. However, those very same constituents who chose me to represent them; those constituents whom claim to lack a voice in the community which chose me to articulate for the inarticulate; those very same constituents which claim they receive a bad press for theft et al. have chosen to none other than stab me in the larynx by stealing from me.
I propose, after this malignant act, that a reformation is to take place on the current Criminal Justice Act, 2001. In Saudi Arabia, Syria and, now the old Libya (after the removal of the corrupt tyrant Gadaffi), the punishment for theft is to be:
• Branding
• Limb amputation
• Capital punishment
Now, alike your respectful self, I believe these punishments to be extremely radical. However, this style of justice system has been proven to work. If we take a look at statistics1, the total number of recorded automobile thefts in the UK (2002) was 348, 169 as opposed to Saudi Arabia’s 18, 717. These recordings have led me to believe that the current justice system in Saudi Arabia is proving much more effectual than our current system. Granted, of course, we have to take into consideration the greater number of automobiles the UK has, but when we compare that to the surface area and population of Saudi Arabia, a country rich in oil, it begins to balance out the figures.
I do not call upon you to make drastic adjustments to the bill, and I understand the timescale which often encumbers any progress; but I believe it to be within the best interest of those of which that still support you and I, and those of which I still wish to speak on behalf of within my constituency. Permit me to assure you, Sir, I believe you to be a venerable man and I fear that you will think this address impertinent; yet, I still seek your approbation and request you seek the virtue in the reasons I write such a letter. Believe me, your Right Honourable Gentleman, I merit your utmost attention and regard on these matters which I present unto you. However, I feel after such an act of betrayal – not merely betrayal to me and everything on which I stand for but lest we forget the betrayal to yourself for everything you try to serve and protect yours and my own constituents with – a change of some sort must be made. Therefore, I plead you forgive me for, what may appear to be, impudence and vow that it is the mode of the letter, rather than the tone which actually undercuts my true word. I eagerly await a reply on your opinions and views and:
I am, Sir,
Your most humble and obedient servant,
Joseph Williams, MYP

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Don’t worry. Keep your head up. It’ll be okay.

Apparently so, anyway. This is what Labour’s new policy seems to be, it doesn’t have too much to it. What Labour have suggested is “remain optimistic”, which is pretty obvious considering it probably couldn’t get that much worse. What Milliband should have probably said was “We’re close to rock bottom, really. It could get a little bit bumpier, double dip, few recessionary measures handled by that Etonian and his best mates in their ‘light-handed manner’, EU issues, but nothing we’ve not had to deal with; three more years to go and we might just get me to sort things out”.

Oh, Eddie, how I love your charismatic approach to serious issues. I myself am a strong Labour supporter. I do, in fact, hope at the General Election of 2015 that Milliband finds his voice and does something great and pulls a trick out of the bag, or at least Cameron to gets into a limousine and calls someone from Bradford a peasant (I can dream!). At the same time, I also hope good ol’ Eddie stops being such a tool and starts working things out properly. I hope he realises his manifesto isn’t that great, Ball’s and His ideas are on par with Cameron’s and Osborne’s and he can continue to slate Cameron as much as he likes but until he finds some sort of better alternative I suggest he does what the rest of us are having to do and deal with it.

Being completely honest, I can already predict some extent of the speech. It’ll go along the lines of Him saying we need to help the squeezed middle class and encourage public spending. He’ll target the public sector and defend them to his death bed because, after all, he’s a socialist (in the New Labour sense) and that’s what we do. Sadly, however, he’ll fall into the “tax and spend” trap which never really solves anything. Cameron tried encouraging public spending earlier last year and it really didn’t do much for the economy.

What I suggest is he edges on the debt relief side of things (providing Cameron doesn’t already use this). It was around the ’80’s when a lot of money was given to Sudan and over the years after changing interest rates, the debt rose to £678 million. Sudan have asked for debt relief, now if Britain essentially say “okay, you don’t owe us it, providing this contributes towards the target of spending 0.7 per cent of the national income”. That could effectively help Britain “cancel out” some of our debt and get us on track for targets.

We’ll see what 2012 has to offer for us, but I suspect internationally it’s going to be rather interesting.

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Clegg’s Open Society.

Clegg on society

Clegg is attempting to do what Cameron failed with to do with the Big Society - with a different name, of course.

Due to Clegg lacking the ability to think for himself, he’s decided to target what annoyed every citizen of Britain by talking about the “Big Society”, except, of course, with a different name. Below is a ‘transcript’ of his speech at the annual Demos Lecture.

“Let me begin by thanking the Demos and the Open Society Foundation for inviting me to speak here today – I’m glad somebody wants to listen to me, it’s a lot different in parliament. The good thing about getting somebody who doesn’t speak that often is we try our best. It’s like having sex with an overweight lady – not that I’d know anything about that!

The values of the open society: the same thing that Cameron said about the Big Society. I don’t quite remember all of them but I think it has something to do with social mobility and pluralism. And, of course, reflecting on the past events that recently occurred due to the recent cuts.

Time’s are extremely difficult at the moment. The economic situation of not just Britain but the world as a whole usually leads to one thing – separatism, populism and an “us versus them” mentality (I say that because I can’t think of anything more intelligent to say). However, a great thing to come out of the general election was me, due to me being liberal. I have no idea why, but that’s what it says here.

Liberals are good. Apparently, anyway. It’s not just because we’re complete pushovers, or because we make numerous u-turns constantly, it’s because we unite the country in a common hatred against our ridiculous policies. The far right boast of elitism, the far left boast of education and the NHS, we boast of saying “hey! That’s a great idea, lets do it! Nevermind, back to the way we were!” and, of course, lying, but what party doesn’t do that!?

However, when times are difficult, we have to remain optimistic – I mean, christ, the bloody policies aren’t working and we haven’t got any money so we may as well rely on what’s free! Not only must we rely on optimism, though, we must work together; as one; as a United Kingdom. Don’t worry, we can forget about it once we’re back on stable ground. We can all go back to hating each other and stop pretending, but for now, let’s just be okay with each other.

People change politics. They change the way things are done. Public opinion can completely disintegrate an idea that took months to establish within seconds. If we work as a union, as a true public, we can get things done, because otherwise no politician is going to do it, all we want is a brand new moat and another flat in Kensington.

If we’re an open society, a society that accepts all ideas and works as one to reach a common goal, we can be out of this mess in no time. We can be voting Liberals and everything will go back to 1900. Oh, those were the days. The Raj, lots of money, everything was swimming – besides, of course, that bloody Kaiser who wanted lots of our land.

Hitler talked of an open society, probably. Being a socialist he loved people – obviously not all of them, but nevermind. He got Germany back on track and made it a strong superpower – that is before he plunged it into massive amounts of debt and ruin.

Societies work better when we work together. I know I’m stating the obvious but I’m not actually that bright so I couldn’t think of anything to say.

Anywho, vote Liberal and have a wondeful night.”

He actually made no reference to Nazi Germany in the official speech but there’s nothing like comedic license.

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