I received my voters card for the local elections to take place in May, and it got me to thinking about who I am going to vote for.
I am not a member of any political party, never have been. I come from a poor working class background in Scotland and from an industrialised town, and so from that background I should vote Labour!
I joined the Army as a boy soldier at 15 and so was never really interested in politics in the way that some are. I have no idea whether my parents ever voted or who they voted for, if they did. It was never ever discussed in our house. Same with my elder brothers, and my younger brother and sister, no idea.
While in the Army, we got to register and vote, I don't think I ever exercised that right. I wasn't interested. I got a pay rise every year and I muttered and grumbled like everyone else if it was low and when food and accommodation charges were raised at the same time... but I joined the Army to see the world, and I did. And there were some scary times and some accidents, I even got shot on one occasion, crippled in a parachuting incident, fell out of a hovering helicopter, trapped down potholes in flood conditions, sinking canoes miles from shore, crashed vehicles, riots in Ireland, who had time to worry about politics and politicians..... I certainly didn't and I loved it.
Then I came out of the Army. And from looking at the state of the country from afar and through the newspapers, I then became a part of it. Thatcher was in power when I joined civilian life in 1982 and was taking on the Unions. Again I had been in the Army during the 'winter of discontent' and looked on in disgust at what was happening to the country at the hands of Labour and the Unions. It was as a result of that that the Tories , with Maggie Thatcher came to power and shortly after that she started to curb the power of the Unions and that was fine by me having never been a member and seen from the outside what they did I mean who can forget the expose' of previous years about night shift workers sleeping at car plants in the 70's and the strikes and only last year we see that a Union got the hump because 13 workers had been caught sleeping on the job and the management were accused of using underhanded tactics to catch the workers!
My first association with a Union and I can't even remember which one it was, was when I applied for a job with security/courier company. By the time that I did that the Tories had brought in legislation outlawing the 'closed shop' but, the friend who had told me to apply for the vacancy told me that there were two questions on the application asking a) Would I be willing to join a Union and b) if I answered yes to the former question, would you agree to have the Union Subs, (your membership payment fee) deducted directly from your salary.
He told me that if I answered no to either question I wouldn't even get the interview! So, I answered yes on the form, got the job, joined the Union and had the membership fee taken from my salary. And that was my first involvement with a Union and while I had seen what they could achieve from a distance, when it didn't really involve me when I was in the Army, I was now up close and personal to it's slimy underhanded ways, even although they apparently had less power! The local Union rep and his mates had the best and easiest runs, they were paid for full shifts and didn't work them. There was overtime every Saturday on a nice easy run down the A9 to meet another vehicle coming up from Edinburgh and the drivers swapped vehicles, the Union reps two mates got this every week in rotation, no offer to anyone else, no chance of getting a chance at it, so while it was all new to me and the local management seemed scared to say or do anything, after a couple of months I had had enough, told the depot manager, in writing that I was leaving the Union and that they were to no longer take subs from my salary.
I also asked around to see if anyone else who never got the offer of the overtime was interested, and plenty were, so I made up a rota and gave it to the manager. God did that all cause ructions with some Union twat coming up from Edinburgh for a chat, I refused the offer. But that and what I had seen from a distance previously has coloured my feelings on the Unions until this day.
And, of course, it is the Unions who bankroll the Labour Party. Having said that, I have approached every election with a clean slate as it were. I have voted for the local Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem candidates over the years in the various places I have lived depending on how well they have presented themselves to me in the local hustings.....
Over the last 30 years starting with Thatcher, then Blair, really complimentary to each other, Brown, don't make me laugh and now Cameron and Clegg, could be a comedy act if it wasn't so tragic and one of them hadn't lost his scruples in the back garden of No 10 a while back. And lest we forget the 'king in waiting' Ed Milliband, the guy who has made an art form of talking out the side of his face so we really don't know what message he really wants to give us. There isn't a decent one amongst them, there really isn't. Ask yourself, whether you are here in the UK or wherever you are somewhere else in the world reading this, do you trust any of your politicians, I will be surprised if the answer is yes?
Sleazy story after sleazy story keeps appearing, whether it is about MP's and their expenses or Members of the House of Lords being jailed, but then being allowed back in to vote on laws that we have to abide by.
Tax relief for the rich and austerity measures for the poor. VAT increases, Fuel Tax duty increases, Cabinet Ministers telling us, when there is NO POSSIBILITY OF AN IMMEDIATE TANKER DRIVERS STRIKE, to fill up our fuel tanks and jerry cans, causing a run on petrol stations, immediate increases in fuel prices at some petrol stations, and petrol stations running out of supplies, causing a crisis, where none existed. The NHS being sold off to private enterprise, because that's exactly what they have done. Prescription charges rise by 24 pence and of course it is not surprising that the sickest people in our society are the poorest, so it's like another tax hike on them. Police budgets being slashed, courts letting down the innocent while letting off the guilty. A man being jailed for racial abuse on Twitter but no action being taken against police officers for racially abusing a black man. Pensions being reduced in real terms and frozen. Houses being allowed to be built on flood plains. Social housing being ditched in favour of affordable housing that no one can afford. Children leaving school who are illiterate and have no hope for the future, it goes on and on and on.
We are spending billions on wars that we had no right to be involved in, and don't give me that crap about supporting the downtrodden peoples of the countries we have gone to war with, we, and by we I of course mean our politicians, supported the same regimes for years while their leaders killed and tortured the very same people we are now giving 'our' democracy to, yeah right!
We continue to give billions in overseas aid to dictators and countries who spend most of what we give them, on their military to keep their people in check, yet we want to take bus passes of our own pensioners, who are these people trying to kid.
Politicians have really and seriously become a joke in my eyes, not a hold my sides laughing joke, but a sick repellent, taking the piss out of the electorate, joke
Then we have the various Unions demanding, I call it blackmail actually, bonus payments for bus drivers, tube drivers and Tom, Dick and Harry, do do what they are paid to do during the 2012 Olympics and threatening strike ballots, if they don't get the payments they are demanding, and I don't hear the Labour party condoning those. Most of us still lucky enough to have jobs still have to work and put up with the inconvenience that the games are going to bring to London and the surrounding environs but we aren't going to get any extra for it and Unions, like politicians wonder why the general public, in the main, despise them.....
Six million people have withdrawn their party membership from the two main parties between 1992 and 2010, have you? Labour took another kicking and it was a kicking from 'Gorgeous' George Galloway in Bradford during the week, and while they are obviously licking their wounds they clearly aren't that desperate to get back up there and find out what happened as Ed has declared he is not going anywhere near the place for at least a couple of weeks, or was that years!
So here's the thing, who are you going to vote for in the local elections, because from what I can tell, local politicians are just as bad as the national ones. They all promise the you the earth to get your vote, but once in office, they really don't give a damn about the electorate.
Me, I have decided to continue to exercise my right to vote, but only if there is an independent on the ticket. So I won't be able to complain if I don't vote, want a bet. And what a bloody nose you will give to the politicians if you all vote for an independent in your local elections and even at the next governmental elections. If everyone was to do that, I know that it is probably a forlorn hope, but just think about it. Things may become a little chaotic, if the main political parties are left standing on the stage at the end of the vote count, and the independent candidates step up to give their acceptance speech. We will still have civil servants in place to keep things ticking along, as Belgium did recently, and it may well lead to the rise of a class of politician and a political party that actually cares about the electorate instead of all those from all political parties, including Labour who are now nothing but professional politicians and have no experience in anything else but the sleaze that is politics today, nor any real connection with the population.
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