Sunday, 4 June 2017

Time to write, reluctantly, about the election.


Can I bear to write about the election? My first reaction, when her Mayship announced her change of mind and summonsed us to the polls again, was the same as Brenda from Bristol. (For those who haven't met her, you can see her here)

But, whatever the rights and wrongs of yet another poll, we are where we are. So it will be off to the polling station on Thursday, to put my cross on the ballot paper - and then to prop my eyes open until the small hours, to see the first results come through. (I always remind myself the result will be the same if I wait until the morning to find out who has won - but somehow the anticipation of those early results keep me awake long after I should have snuggled under the duvet).

For six weeks we have been drowning in electioneering. At first there appeared to be clear water between the two main parties; as I write this there is barely half a length between them. I've lost track of the leaflets that have plopped onto my mat. To be honest, I've barely glanced at them. It seems to me that most politicians make promises that they can't possibly keep.

So - how to decide which way to vote? 

I was on a local bus on the day her Mayship announced that her party was thinking about withdrawing universal winter fuel allowances for 'wealthy pensioners' (whatever that means). A group of older women on the bus were vociferous in their condemnation of the policy.

'No fuel allowance, no vote,' said one. Nobody challenged her.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the policy, what depressed me most about this comment was the implication that the prime motivation in deciding who to vote for was self-interest. Are we really a nation of egoists?

None of us wants to pay more tax. But surely, when we come to vote, our priorities should rise above, 'What's in it for me?' Even if, like Brenda from Bristol, we might like to scribble on the ballot paper to show our irritation with yet another election, we owe it to our families, to the families down the road, to all the families in villages and towns and cities across the country, to mark our ballot paper in the belief that the party we vote for has the welfare of us all at heart

10 comments:

  1. Well-said, Jo! I'll be holding everything crossed for an outcome that will be good for everyone too. I wish I could vote, but I've been away too long and have lost the right. I wonder these days what value my UK passport has, to be honest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll always make you welcome, Val!

      Delete
  2. If you are selfish, you vote Tory. Twas ever thus. I am crossing my fingers for a 'hung' parliament, so that the greedy people who won 6% of the wealth and intend to keep it that way, and the racists who want to get rid of all the 'immigrants' will be countered. For too long we have been under the jackboots of an increasingly rightwing government, propped up by a rightwing press. Got to change! If the French can do it, so can we!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also hoping it will be 'hung' - and then everyone will have no choice but to pool their ideas and work together. I can't see any other way out of the mess we're in.

      Delete
  3. I've come to the conclusion it's a genetic thing. Tories breed more Tories and they have the empathy gene missing. Altruism is the hallmark of Labour. What I just don't get us how any Tories can profess to be Christian as I understand it. So maybe the other genetic marker is hypocrisy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, but my parents were Tories (well, my father was Tory and my mother kept her own counsel!) - and it was education that made the difference for me!

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your last line sums it up quite nicely. The word "welfare" has become a dirty word (chiefly under the Tories). If someone goes down, I need that person to come back up as soon as possible. In order to do that I will support that person as much as I can. That's not socialism but progressive politics.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, she got a bloody nose, didn't she? :-)

    Gary Younge summed it up quite nicely in the Grun. Hope won.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Some of what she said was sensible - but it was presented so badly. The fuel allowance mattered very much indeed to one old lady I knew, and she is highly intelligent, has all her marbles and thinks extremely carefully about her vote. In fact, she drags herself out to vote even if she doesn't feel up to it, because she knows people died to give her a vote. But she said that same thing, more or less. Because the fuel allowance is highly significant to her, and she didn't like the smugness of those who were preparing to take it away

    I was against the "dementia tax" because it is so unfair to discriminate against people with one illness but not another. Of course something must be done to cope with the coming problem of too many old people - but none of the policies she has been pursuing have done anything about that.The Eu citizens who keep our health service going are being treated abominably, and voting with their feet, care homes and facilities for the vulnerable are being closed all over the place because of the squeeze on local councils, hospitals are overstretched to desperation point. Just who was going to benefit from all her plans?

    ReplyDelete