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Not Apathetic

Tell the world why you're not voting - don't let your silence go unheard

They're not voting because...

I'm a white, middle aged professional...

I'm a white, middle aged professional male who isn't gay, blind, deaf, disabled, unemployed, rich or a criminal.

None of the parties want to do a damn thing for me, so why should I bother voting for them.

I sincerely wish there was a 'none of those wankers' box on the voting slip so that I could register my disgust with politicains, in general.

written 18th Apr 2005

Responses

Paul replies: Have you ever considered that the sheer act of voting, of taking part in the country's make-up, might have a little more to do with what the government's going to do for you personally? That is, you're part of society - whether you like it or not - and you can, for instance, vote on issues that affect other, more disadvantaged, people. This means, of course, that you have to stop thinking and behaving so selfishly and narrow-mindedly and perhaps get an injection of compassion and, more importantly, intelligence.

And you have the nerve to call politicians 'wankers'? Priceless!

written 18th Apr 2005

Alan Howlett replies: I am a wannabe politician, standing for County Council for Labour in Chilwell and Toton.

I understand your point but local and national government policy does indeed affect you, eg:
1. Public Transport, whether it's London's "Red Zone" or the plans to put a Tram route into Chilwell and Toton,
2. Health Policy, such as easy access and limited waiting lists, so you can get healed promptly so you can return to your nice job,
3. Schools now get alot more money, so if you have kids it will be easier for them to get the buildings, equipment, teachers and decent school meals that they lacked for so long under the Conservatives,
4. Childcase initiatives like "SureStart" mean that little kids are getting a good start to life- and US experience is that every 1$ spent on this kind of childcare saves 7$ from the life-costs (eg unemployment benefit and prison costs) of that individual. Not only won't your windows be smashed but the would-be vandal is more likely to get a job and pay taxes!
5. Taxation is obviously set by government.

As a wannabe-politician I am saddened at being branded a "wanker" like the others. One of the problems is that all politicians face difficulties with resolving real issues. Even under Labour there are problems with getting enough money to spend on worthwhile projects!

I would also like to ask you a different question: If you were elected to public office, or indeed if you were given the powers of a dictator over the UK, could you do a better job... or would you in turn have people abusing you because you didn't solve all the UK's problems?

written 18th Apr 2005

Matt replies: If you read the Tory manifesto you should find it is aimed at people just like you, or at least contains many policies that should benefit you. I'm pretty surprised you are not voting for them...

written 18th Apr 2005

jon replies: I'm sorry, but I think you two respondees are missing the point of the original posting - not to say your points are not valid in their own right.

The orginal poster appeared to be stating that every party is trying to win votes from minorities, whether it be the minority who think immigration should be stopped to the single mothers that labout are targeting with their glossy mag.

The point is that if you are NOT in the target group, the parties really couldn't care less about you - if you are white, middle class, straight, have both legs, can see properly, have a decent pension.... then they basically say "well there's no point in trying to sell outselves to you, so we won't bother"...

The real down side of course is that a large chunk of the population thinks that they are being ignored, and can't be bothered to vote... so the party that promised the most to the largest group of minorities wins the prize... and those that were ignored wonder why!.

To the prospective councillor, may I say that you would be councillor to ALL the members of your ward, not just the ones that benefit from schemes and policies, and those that pay for them need to feel that you are their councillor too....

End of rant!

written 18th Apr 2005

Paul replies: There's no point missed - I understand perfectly what he's saying. It's the same tedious, ill-informed, blinkered crap you hear in the run up to any election.

What you say, Jon, is this: "The point is that if you are NOT in the target group, the parties really couldn't care less about you - if you are white, middle class, straight, have both legs, can see properly, have a decent pension.... then they basically say "well there's no point in trying to sell outselves to you, so we won't bother"..."

Well, so what? Is the original poster five-years-old? Does diddums feel ignored? He should get a grip and stop being so wilfully petulant about the fact that, yes, he may well feel that the parties aren't talking directly to him. But that's because there are people out there - whether gay, disabled, in a minority, or whatever - who need more help, more consideration. And the parties, by stating that these people will get better assistance or whatever, are appealing to both the disadvantaged people themselves *and* to other people who think that doing that is a very good thing - i.e. decent, unselfish types who accept that there's a bigger society out there. If the original poster was a responsible, compassionate grown-up, he'd understand that and vote accordingly.

written 18th Apr 2005

Gavin replies: Face it, if you're doing OK, such as our original poster, the parties are going to adjust their policies to take more money from you to give to some minority group. Perhaps that is the way it should be, but if that is the case, you're voting for the party who will take your money and give it to your choice of minority. If you don't mind who your money goes to help (assuming that everyone who needs help is a reasonable candidate for assistance in some way), then there is little point in voting. Hopefully, people who do have strong views on where your money should be heading will place their votes and decide for you.

There is nothing childish or selfish in realising your position in society (if there is such a thing). It would be reasonable for the parties to make some attempt to improve the lives of those people who are providing the funding for all these needy groups. The Tories do indeed show some sense in this area with their stance on crime, etc (OK, take my taxes, but can I keep my car and other belongings?).

Society is supposed to be about give and take. It seems unreasonable to criticise the attitude of those who give the most and take the least. Just because they do not need to scrounge from society (legitimately or otherwise) does not mean they should be ignored.

written 18th Apr 2005

Ali replies: Paul, I don't believe the parties are 'talking directly' to ANYONE. What they're doing is 'targetting the message' which isn't the same thing at all.

written 18th Apr 2005

Paul replies: Your last paragraph gives you away: "Society is supposed to be about give and take. It seems unreasonable to criticise the attitude of those who give the most and take the least. Just because they do not need to scrounge from society (legitimately or otherwise) does not mean they should be ignored."

I would suggest that 'give' has nothing to do with it in the original poster's case. I bet if he had the choice, he'd prefer not to 'give' anything to anyone - least of all the minorities he chose to mention. He 'gives' only because he has to - this is not something he should be congratulated or rewarded for. Paying your taxes (or rather, having them taken from you) is just another part of belonging to a wider society.

And your use of the word 'scrounge', I'm afraid, tells us all we need to know about where your sympathies/allegiances lie.

written 18th Apr 2005

Paul replies: Ali - I looked for the bit where I said that the parties were talking directly to anyone but couldn't find it. However, I did find reference to me suggesting that that was what the original poster was worried about - i.e. that they weren't talking directly to him. Which, ahem, isn't the same thing at all....

written 18th Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Jon has hit the nail on the head. For general information, I'm 41 years old. I work something like 48 hours a week to pay a huge mortgage on a tiny 3 bed semi and feed and clothe my family. Commuting costs me 1800 a year. I have no debts apart from the mortgage, yet cannot afford to save anything for the future.

What sickens me is the way the labour and lib-dem parties seem to be happy to let people like me work our bollocks off for bugger all in the way of a decent standard of living while giving cash out hand-over-fist to any waster who cannot be bothered to get off his fat arse and do a decent day's work.

Matt, yep, I would vote Conservative if I thought that they would actually deliver on what they promise..

And no, I don't apologise for my earlier description of politicians, when ONE of them demonstrates that he/she isn't a self serving, lying crook I'll start considering it.

Paul, After 23 years of working my bollocks off and getting nowhere, is it any wonder I'm feeling less than compasionate for those that get things given to them on a plate ( thats both the spongers and the silver spoon brigade).

written 18th Apr 2005

diplomatt replies: If you're situation is that simple look at something that affects you - you're always going to have to pay more or less tax under the various regimes - even if the wider issues feel irrelevant, surely how much of your wage is taken from you every month matters? fi you think they are all appalling vote for the one which offers to take the least of your money!

if you don't vote there does seem little point in complaining unless you find other means of political activism to try and improve your situation.

written 18th Apr 2005

Barbara replies: Having considered both sides of this argument I would agree with the original poster. All politicians are self serving crooks, just read the court files. The majority are lawyers - why? I also suspect that freemasonry is running the country whoever you vote for.

written 18th Apr 2005

Paul replies: Who are these people who get 'things given to them on a plate'? And even if you could identify them, how much do you think you're personally contributing to their upkeep? You know that it's probably not much at all. Relatively speaking. And besides, those people who do get 'things given to them on a plate' are probably much more deserving than you give them credit for.

What annoys you is that you have to pay taxes. But then we all do. Your money goes towards funding all kinds of things - some of them worthy and good, some of them not so worthy and good.

If you choose to live somewhere that means you have to spend 1800 a year on commuting then, really, that's your problem. Isn't it? Or are we supposed to think that you deserve some kind of tax break or special treatment to fund your commuting habit?

You sound to me like a man who's jaded, a little worn out and probably in the thick of some kind of mid-life crisis. In that sense, you're not unusual. The trick to coping with it is to not turn into a frothing-at-the-mouth Mail reader.

written 18th Apr 2005

Barbara replies: Paul, you don't live in the same world as me. I run my own company, work 7 days a week for about 60 hours, get paid 12,000 and paid 125,000 in taxes last year not including my employees taxes. My next door neighbours are both disabled, asthma apparently, although this does not affect their ability to socialise. They got 30,000 benefits plus a grant for 12,000, drive a new car, have computers and sky TV. So who do you think is getting my money?

written 18th Apr 2005

Paul replies: Barbara - I don't think you know anything about your next-door neighbours and their finances. You're just a mean-spirited curtain twitcher who's filling in the blanks.

And I hate it when people turn big discussions about big, wide issues, into 'me and my own personal experience' and then use it to inform everything else they talk about.

Freemasons? Are you serious?

written 18th Apr 2005

Barbara replies: Paul, you did ask 'who are these people'. Wish I spent enough time at home to be a curtain twitcher!

written 18th Apr 2005

Jay replies: There is an argument that the white heterosexual is now a minority. Perhaps the various parties would do well to recognise this and target us. We tried to set up a "white heterosexual male" society at University but were turned down on the basis that it was homophobic, racist and sexist. This works on the assumption that using these terms is automatically "against" anyone who is not part of the group. Funny how I couldn't join the women's committee though, or the lesbian, gay & bisexual committee.

written 18th Apr 2005

diplomatt replies: sorry barbara, its not really good enough to justify not voting as 'they're all crooks'. power corrupts, true, but an intelligent electorate who could absorb coherent arguments over soundbytes is the only thing which will make our politicians an better.

Lawyers are generally very good at arguing, its what they do, and that's much of politics, putting forward your own opinions and being able to go through someone elses argument with a fine tooth comb.

if you're only earning 12,000 you may like to know you can earn 15k doing less hours per week in an asda warehouse

written 18th Apr 2005

Mary replies: Paul says
But that's because there are people out there - whether gay, disabled, in a minority, or whatever - who need more help, more consideration. And the parties, by stating that these people will get better assistance or whatever, are appealing to both the disadvantaged people themselves *and* to other people who think that doing that is a very good thing - i.e. decent, unselfish types who accept that there's a bigger society out there.

Paul - there is a bigger society out there but the simple act of separating and targeting any minority has a detrimental effect on that society. Treat every individual fairly (not necessarily equally) and individuals like the original poster won't have anything to complain about. There's also a difference between genuine need and opportunistic I'm a minority - give me something.

written 18th Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Paul,
I have to pay the commuting cost because its cheaper than moving closer to my work.

Or should I say bollocks to it, jack in my job and become a sponger and live off others' charity for a while?

I don't do this because I DO have a certain pride and DO regard paying my own way in society as being the right thing to do.

Your last reply to Babara has, however, confirmed my suspicion that you are, IMHO, nothing more than a troll, hence your opinion is of no value as you are just posting replies that you believe will evoke the strongest reaction.

written 18th Apr 2005

mehkri replies: barbara: did you forget a zero after or in between 12000/- or else my sympathies are with you as if your company paid 125,000 taxes (not including NICs) the profit must be quite a bundle or you do not have the right tax advisers. My sympathies again to you.

written 18th Apr 2005

Mj replies: Minority groups are just that - minorities. But it's the majority that elects the government. If the majority, which includes a considerable amount of middle aged white men, were to act and vote entirely to their own benefit, the minority voters would be almost completely unrepresented.

A good citizen should vote not just for who is best for them, but best for their constituency and country. This means deciding on what is best for everyone, minority and majority alike.

More amusing than Paul's incisive comments is the fact that an overwhelming majority of the government, parliament and judiciary are "white, middle aged professional male[s] who [aren't] gay, blind, deaf, disabled, unemployed, rich or a criminal." It's a credit to democracy that you feel unrepresented!

written 18th Apr 2005

Chris replies: Original poster - I agree with every word you say - don't let the other buggers grind you down.

Paul - I would suggest you get out a bit more and find out what is realy going on. Unless, of course, you are one of the 'underprivileged minorities' and fear losing your easy life.

Personally, I believe that it is up to all of us to help the GENUINLY disabled and the old, but I draw the line at throwing any money at any group that supports ethnic minorities purely because it now seems PC to do so. Are these people deemed to be unable to do an honest day's work like the rest of us?

Any party that could provide an equitable, honest government would get my vote, but alas, that seems a long way off yet.

p.s.
I will be casting my vote on 5 May, as I believe everyone should

written 18th Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Jay, you are spot on.

You could add Honest to 'White heterosexual male' as crooks seem to get more out of society that honest working men.

written 18th Apr 2005

Louise replies: If you are a white, middle-aged, professional with no disabilities, etc, why are you expecting politicians to do anything for you? Can't you see how many people there are out there who need help? Which you clearly don't?

For those of us who live in a society, rather than as individuals (ie, basically all of us), surely we owe that society some help for the weakest. I too am middle-aged, and middle class, in my case I have no children, no dependents of any kind, have never been ill or needed any social security of any kind - basically I have had a blessed life (so far), but that does not mean I do not care about people less lucky. Indeed if you look at it in a selfish way (which generally I hope I do not) then I depend upon 'weaker' members of society being looked after - so that they are not so desparate as to mug me as I walk home, or to break into my beloved home. Also as a matter of conscience, I find it hard to fully enjoy my life if I know there are people suffering through no fault of their own. I am happy to give time, energy and money (yes - that means paying more tax) to support those people.

Look around you and have some humanity.

written 18th Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Actually, all of the postings by the 'bleeding heart' liberals has made up my mind. I Think I'll go and vote Conservative, after all.

Paul's rantings almost made me want to vote BNP :O

written 18th Apr 2005

Mj replies: Crass comments like yours, TheOriginalPoster, give a whole new meaning to "Stupid White Men".

You don't have to be a "bleeding heart liberal" to have compassion for those less fortunate than yourself.

written 18th Apr 2005

mehkri replies: I am middle-aged, non-white, working 60 hours a week, supporting family and if I go by all what has been said above, a un-privilaged minority as I do not take benefits. Or is it so? actually people like me are majority in this country - both whites and non-whites. So for few who mis-use the social security system, do not get disheartened. As for voting, I will not vote, as I do not agree with most of the policies of three major parties and the little said about UKIP BNP Respect etc the better.

written 18th Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Oh, I've had enough.

Too many fluffy bunny huggers around here, positively emetic.

written 18th Apr 2005

Mj replies:
TheOriginalPoster, I would absolutely love to tell you what to do with fluffy bunnies, but I would be reported for abuse and the comment deleted.

Go watch American Psycho or something, you're obviously just a heartless yuppie.

written 18th Apr 2005

Paul replies: First of all, I've no idea what a 'troll' is - presumably someone intent on a wind-up? If that's the case, then that's not me.

Secondly, Original Poster, my posts weren't 'rants' at all. It's just that you don't agree with what I've said. Which is sort of fair enough I suppose. But you shouldn't paint my well-written, witty and considered responses as rants simply because we disagree.

But more than that - what we have on here is a load of right-wingers venting. And that's all you are.

Be sure of one thing - the Tories won't get in. Thankfully. And there'll always be people in society you don't like or approve of. Which means you'll always have something to bang on about in that half thought out, so-called 'commonsense' way that your type always fall back on. Which is precisely why you're not really worth engaging with.

Original Poster - you are sad, bitter old man who will remain so until the day you get a bit of a heart, a bit of empathy. As for your last post... your smiley face disclaimer won't wash. Vote BNP and have done with it. You know you want to.

written 18th Apr 2005

Ian replies: If Original Poster gets nothing back for his tax pounds, presumably his kids don't go to school and nor did he, he and his family don't use medical services for religious reasons, he buries his rubbish in his back garden, is part of a private militia who take it in turns to enforce laws and defend against invasion so that the state doesn't have to do that, etc. etc.

What did the Romans ever do for us?

written 18th Apr 2005

Phil replies: Ian, that "return on tax" (school, health, social system) is achieved in other nations with considerable less expense and wastage (read: less of a tax burden).

More importantly, I know of no other nation that allows people like Ken Livingstone to levvy new taxation on Londoners without even the slightest bit of oversight - the fact that he has to massage statistics for it (e.g. the West London tram project) is a giveaway that he's not as far away from New Labour as he pretends. Same methods, same stealth taxation, same absence of ethics and accountability.

As for defending the nation I would suggest you explore who is actually doing the cutbacks, and it might further be worth examining who elevated the threat level in the first place.

With respect to minorities, there is a fine line between supporting those in need and allowing abuse of the same system because it's not politically correct to talk about it. At the moment the balance is wrong, and pussy-footing around the issue and throwing more committees at it until the election has passed won't solve the problem but will waste even more money.

Until personal accountability returns instead of using consultants to take the blame the problems will not go away, they will get worse through inaction. If the developments at the Home Office passport service are any guide, more Labour appears to be more waste, less efficiency and more people employed by the state to give press interviews with excuses. As a simple guide to the real impact of that trend, someone employed by the state is someone who is not contributing to UK's GDP.

Does that mean Conservative? Not sure. They did build the economic basis in from which Gordon was benefiting (his luck appears to be running out) but are not terribly good at fostering a society (same pilfering approach to resources as Labour - Richard Branson was right there).

Maybe Lib Dem deserves a chance, simply because we've tried the alternatives. It can't possibly get any worse.

written 18th Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Paul Wrote
"First of all, I've no idea what a 'troll' is - presumably someone intent on a wind-up? If that's the case, then that's not me."

If you don't understand the language of the Internet you'd better stick to ranting on the Guardian letter page

"Secondly, Original Poster, my posts weren't 'rants' at all. It's just that you don't agree with what I've said. Which is sort of fair enough I suppose. But you shouldn't paint my well-written, witty and considered responses as rants simply because we disagree."

They certainly read as though they WERE rants.

"But more than that - what we have on here is a load of right-wingers venting. And that's all you are."

I wasn't aware, apart from guessing that you are a troll, that I'd used any personal insults directly at you (unless you are a politician) yet you feel the need to result to direct personal insults yourself.
Resorting to crude insults hardly counts as "well-written, witty and considered responses"

"Be sure of one thing - the Tories won't get in. Thankfully. And there'll always be people in society you don't like or approve of. Which means you'll always have something to bang on about in that half thought out, so-called 'commonsense' way that your type always fall back on. Which is precisely why you're not really worth engaging with."

Oh, look, more insults.. You had the cheek to liken me to a child, yet, here again, you resort to name calling. Do you really think it impresses anyone?

"Original Poster - you are sad, bitter old man who will remain so until the day you get a bit of a heart, a bit of empathy. As for your last post... your smiley face disclaimer won't wash. Vote BNP and have done with it. You know you want to."

More personal insults, then. No, I'm an angry middle aged man who has worked hard all of his life but still struggles to pay the bills each month. I'm bitter, yes. But after years of being an honest citizen and being dumped on because I'm one of the silent majority, I've finally had enough. I have voted in every election up until now ( Lib-Dem, if you must know) but I have finally had enough. I am going to vote Conservative and you, Paul, were the one that convinced me that that is the right course of action.

Paul, you are a very poor canvasser for the Lablair party. Your insulting manner and rhetoric convinced me that, even though I disagree with much of the Conservative manifesto , (probably many of the same areas you too dislike, Paul) I'm still going to vote for them as the 'least bad option'

written 19th Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Ian Wrote:
If Original Poster gets nothing back for his tax pounds, presumably his kids don't go to school and nor did he, he and his family don't use medical services for religious reasons, he buries his rubbish in his back garden, is part of a private militia who take it in turns to enforce laws and defend against invasion so that the state doesn't have to do that, etc. etc.

Yes, Ian, I do use hospitals, send my kids to school and get my rubbish collected by the local authority.That won't change whoever I vote for. I thought that was the purpose of this forum, to convince people who don't want to vote for any party to do so.

If, instead of resorting to insulting rhetoric, you, Paul, et al had tried to convince me of the real benefits of voting Labour or Lib-Dem, I might have done so, but no, like most small minded liberals you had to resort to insulting anyone you does not follow your mantra.

So, even though I dislike much of what Howard stands for, I'm going to vote Conservative because you have convinced me that the other options are worse

My private militia, however, will soon be paying you a visit ;-)

written 19th Apr 2005

Paul replies: It's amazing how delicate and sensitive you've become, Original Poster. And how quick you are to take umbrage at what was - at best - a few mild (and thoroughly deserved) barbs from me and others. From your first post I assumed that you were quite a robust character, easily able to withstand a few digs. So a few digs is what you got. I'd hardly describe them as personal insults. But then that's me.

What's worse though is you claiming that as a result of what I and a few others said, you're now voting Tory. Give me a break. If that's all it takes for you to commit your vote to that shower of cretins, then you must be astonishingly weak-willed. And petty. But you're not any of those things are you? You were always going to vote Tory. It's just that you thought you'd come on here and, as I said earlier, vent your right-wing nonsense and bait the liberals.

But go ahead - vote Tory. A fat lot of good it'll do you.

written 19th Apr 2005

MAdness replies: Original Poster - you are sad, bitter old man who will remain so until the day you get a bit of a heart, a bit of empathy.

How can you say that isn't a personal remark? Honestly. And just because he doesn't vote your way, Paul, doesn't mean you have the right to stereotype him as racist.

Mind you, in this PC day and age, if someone realises that most PM candiates are white, hetrosexual males, there will be hell to pay and everyone who isn't a minority will be killed. And since most of these idiotic disenchanted PC-gone-mentally-challenged people ARE white hetrosexual males, that shows what goes around comes around.

written 19th Apr 2005

Matt B replies: I'm a white male single and p****d off with all these references in the Labour manifesto to "Hard working families". I pay my tax dollars, give regularly to charity and even do voluntary work. I keep fit - relatively - so don't need the NHS, have to go private on Dentist and glasses because the NHS doesn't do anything for these and don't mind paying for someone elses kids to be educated because we'll need them in the future. I even did 15 years in the Government's militia ( I think they call it the TA) because I believe in strong defence. i'm even hetro but don't mind others practicing what they want.

In the '01 census there were 20 million single people so do we count as a minority. I haven't seen anything from any of the other parties aimed at me so I expect they don't want my vote either.

So why is no one interested in me? I just seem to be a resource to be taxed to death. I don't know of any policies designed to appeal to me or to keep me engaged with the political process.

written 19th Apr 2005

Paul replies: MAdness - Where did I stereotype him as a racist? What are you on about?

written 20th Apr 2005

Abaddon replies: This seems to have gotten off track. The original post was (IMO) an accurate assessment of the fact that there is no equality and that you can get as high a standard of living on benefits as he can get by working a 48 hour week. As the political parties are all talking about what they'll do for the underpriviledged, it's amazing that "hard working families" will only get to look forward to more taxation.

To those stating that we should vote in order to fix this... vote for who? No party out there is interested in our case, only the minorities cases (which they can mould together into a collective for a 'turnout' majority).

written 20th Apr 2005

Stevo replies: "And I hate it when people turn big discussions about big, wide issues, into 'me and my own personal experience' and then use it to inform everything else they talk about."

Yes, how dare people have an opinion based on their own personal circumstances!

written 20th Apr 2005

Cohen replies: Although many people are possibly too quick to be PC, would you rather they weren't, and that it was OK for police to give more attention to black people, and say a few jokes about bummers behind a few people's backs?

Anyway, the government and political parties suppose that these white, straight, middle-class, middle-aged men are already more or less "happy" (not just a tax resource). Are you happy, Original Poster? Don't blame politicians, pursue happiness...

written 20th Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Cohen WroteAnyway, the government and political parties suppose that these white, straight, middle-class, middle-aged men are already more or less "happy"
And, in my case, they'd be 100% wrong. I'm 100% dicked off with having to work my bollocks off just to keep my head above water. I just want to be able to spend a few quid each month on things I want, rather than things I need. Not much, just the odd meal out or takeaway would make me as happy as a pig in shit.

Don't blame politicians, pursue happiness...
Well, If working my nuts off doesn't get me what I want, and the politicians don't give a toss, I guess I'd better turn to crime, then.

And if I get caught, well, I'll just get a slap on the wrist as that is the normal sentence for anything short of aggravated buglary, these days. And I'll get loads of gov't handouts to help me 'go straight'

written 20th Apr 2005

Matt B replies: why can't you blame the politicians. you don't see a poor one of them, good expenses, subsidised travel for them and their families, great pension and fantastic redundancy. sounds like nothing in the real world.

written 20th Apr 2005

Adam replies: Original Poster, the reason you should NOT vote Conservative is simply this:

The Conservatives are staunch believers in capitalism in all things. Although I was, as a child, one of the beneficiaries of their approach during the 80s, I don't think you would be. The simple capitalist view is that (a) assuming you have children, you have been irresponsinble because you don't have enough to pay for them to live (b) your wife / partner should also be working full time (c) you should 'get on your bike' and get a better job. To be honest, 'bleeding heart liberals' would offer you a much better chance than hard nosed capitalists.

To go back to your original point, I'm pretty much with you. Don't vote for any of them. The major parties' policies are based around retaining their votes in safe seats and targetting minorities in marginal seats. You are right, they don't care about you. You're probably in someone's safe seat anyway.

written 21st Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies: Adam:

I live in a Conservative / Lib-Dem marginal. The current encumbant is a Conservative.

I didn't want to vote conservative because of the the reasons you state. I Didn't want to vote Lib-Dem because of their rediculous local income tax plans. This constituency is loaded with 2nd homes and is a retirement haven. So if the Lib-Dems got their way anyone who has a job would be worse off . Not to mention the fact that it would aid Blair in getting back in, and I really have lost all respect for that lying twit.

And that last point, Blair's bare faced lying about WMD ( if you cant trust him to tell the truth when the consequences of his lying is sending men to their deaths, you can't trust him on anything) got me looking into the current MPs record. He actually voted against the Iraq war. So, even though he's a Conservative, he gets my vote for that alone.

written 21st Apr 2005

Adam replies: Sounds fair enough to me. I lived (now in Australia, where voting is compulsory...) in Stoke Newington for several years, where Diane Abbott is the (Labour) MP. Everyone I've spoken to is voting for her purely because she voted against the war, despite being wholly useless in every other way.

So, if you don't want to vote for any of them based on their ideology, vote for the guy who opposed sending people to their deaths. If you can't face voting Tory, spoil your paper by writing on it your reasons for not voting. It will be recorded.

Anyway, good luck with the daily grind (ever considered emigrating?!) I remember it well and don't miss it a bit.

written 21st Apr 2005

TheOriginalPoster replies:
Adam Wrote "Anyway, good luck with the daily grind (ever considered emigrating?!) I remember it well and don't miss it a bit."

Dreamed about it, more like. Often fancied the idea of moving to Australia or NZ, trouble is too many responsibilities to older family here. That and the worry that its just "The grass is always greener". Its rather a big step to uproot wife and kids and move, literally, halfway around the world.

What are the opportunities for a software developer and a nurse in Oz?

written 21st Apr 2005

Chasman replies: At the risk of attracting someones ire for being a "right winger venting" or a "bunny hugger"; I'd like to contribute to this fascinating debate. I can see some valid points on both sides but with frustration and anger clouding the issues. I think both sets of participants are painting a black-and-white picture of the argument when the truth is a very imperfect murky grey.

On the one hand I believe I should contribute to pay for shared resources like roads, police, army etc. etc. etc. I also see the logic in providing a safety net for those less well off than me (or for myself if I fall on hard times!). I also see that educating other peoples children (despite having none of my own) is for the greater good on every level higher employment, better health and lower crime to name a few. Paul will no doubt empathise here. However, I also empathise with the people who are sick of hearing family, family, family from all parties when the single and childless appear not to qualify for any consideration at all.

On the other hand I believe people should be positively rewarded for standing on their own two feet and pay as little tax as possible. I can also see problems with the way the benefit system works which cut to the nub of the references to hand outs and scroungers earlier in this thread. Thats not to say we shouldnt have such a system just that it is imperfect. Without going into too much detail I know a number of individuals who maintain comfortable lifestyles on various benefit payments while doing the usual hooky cash jobs to supplement these. The phrase I cant afford to get a job Ill lose my benefits is a bit of a favourite

Is there something of the right about me Paul?

This is the kind of thing which incenses people and simply dismissing them as bitter or right wing doesn't really progress the debate.

So as you can see my politics arent really at either extreme but guessing the bunny huggers will give
me the hardest time as it's so easy to roll down rocks from the moral high ground.

Incidentally it will probably surprise you that I'm going to vote Lib Dem because they are the only people who consistently come up with SOLUTIONS to problems like these instead of playing semantic word games and indulging in mud-slinging, deception and rhetoric.

written 21st Apr 2005

Adam replies: Original Poster;

I understand the whole 'grass is greener' thing. I fell for that. Just a different shade of green over here. I work harder and longer than I did in London, but get compensated by sunshine, beaches and a generally more positive culture. It's not so much what you can afford, it's what's free / provided by the Government. Nice to get something tangible for your tax.

A software developer and, especially, a nurse would be welomed with open arms from what I know.

Incidentally, the online 'how should I vote?' (if they sent out postal votes early enough for people in Australia to reply before the election) sites put me as a pretty much dead-set lib dem. If I could vote, I'd go for them. To be honest, I would never vote for either of the other two, based purely on Labour's culpability for the Iraq debacle and the Tory's insistence on believing in a Britain that stopped existing 50 years ago.

written 22nd Apr 2005

About Not Apathetic

NotApathetic was built so that people who are planning not to vote in the UK General Election on May 5th can tell the world why. We won't try to persuade you that voting is a good or a bad idea - we're just here to record and share your explanations. Whether ideological, practical or other, any reason will do.

A lot of users would like us to mention that if you spoil your ballot paper, it will be counted. So if you want to record a vote for "none of the above", you can.

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