They're not voting because...
- To be honest, I may yet vote, but I ...
To be honest, I may yet vote, but I really can't decide who for. Most likely, I'll spoil my paper rather than just not turn out. I tend to the left, but am hugely disappointed in New Labour. They have 'gone native' within the old boy network that is British government now that the status quo works for them - so much for electoral reform, proper engagement in the E.U., membership of the Euro, renationalisation of the railways, strong lead on the environment etc. etc. None of the vision the promised - and that is without Iraq...When we ask questions, we just get the same old p.r. blandishments as from all the previous lots...
As a teacher, I also feel strongly that N.L. has lost sight of a sensible education policy in favour of bland numerical targets, which we teachers are then ever more pressurised into meeting, despite their arbitrary pointlessness. Oh, and they reneged on much of their original proposals for an enhanced pay structure, without rescinding the teachers' side of the deal, and then raised our retirement age just to add insult to injury. I suggest they try teaching modern kids 5 hours a day (plus all the supervision) when THEY are 65...
I voted Lib. Dem in the past, but even they are going soft on the issues that matter to me. I believe strongly in British integration in Europe. I questioned a Lib. Dem. candidate the other day, and he told me that even they have gone quiet about Europe as "there are no votes in it"...which has just about blown any inclination I had to vote for them anyway, even without their other weaknesses.
I can barely even bring myself to discuss the Tories. Suffice it to say that I cannot believe how any honourable people can bring themselves to be so hypocritical as to criticise the present state of things after the havoc they wrought on this country during their last administrations. Railway privatisation is a sufficient example - and as for (immigrant) Howard's xenophobia...
What is more, I live in a Conservative ward in a Labour-controlled constituency, so no Lib-Dem chances there, yet I don't want to vote tactically. We have no movement towards a continental-style system of proportional representation in this country (despite the promises), so my vote will just be wasted. I am left with no sense that my vote will carry any value at all, since under a winner takes all system, it is only the people who vote for the winner who get any 'say'. New Labour predictably scrapped any ideas of going p.r. after they won. Gross hypocracy!
I see a country where the inadquacies of the system are glaring, where society is ever more polarised, and where quality of life/environment and essential investment in the infrastructure are being sacrificed at the altar of profit for the big companies. In comparison with our neighbours in Europe, this country has no idea how to run a civilised social democratic society. When I write to my representatives, I just receive the usual old policy answers back. I believe strongly in doing one's civic duty, and have always voted in EVERY election in the past; apathetic is the last thing I am, but why should I vote for any of the present suspects when none of them represents my views closely enough, and have no intention of doing so?
We need a proportional system; while not perfect, it does create scope for wider representation of legitimate views, and a proper system of consensual not confrontational government.written 10th Apr 2005
Gavin replies: That all seems pretty reasonable, but are big businesses really so terrible? I'm sure they do try and get things there own way, the same as most other groups, but they tend to employ a very large number of people and are ultimately the lifeblood of Britain. They have to employ thousands of people just to cope with the mountains of paperwork that is required to meet the regulations that are continually churned out to protect us all from ourselves. While they have to be kept in check, businesses surely aren't the enemy.written 10th Apr 2005
Gavin replies: D'oh! "Their" own way, I mean..!written 11th Apr 2005
polymath replies: Well of course, some people would idnetify you as part of the problem, not part of the solution. You say you are a school teacher, but you can't spell the word "hypocrisy".
Then you want our sympathy for the terrible fate which may await you, of having to teach kids for 5 hours a day until you're 65. Well, boo-hoo. Try working in an engineering factory 8 hours a day, or digging up potatoes in the pouring rain 8 hours a day.
For a lot of people less fortunate than yourself, the Labour government has at least introduced a national minimum wage and via the EU has started working towards a maximum number of hours in the working week. I think you should stop whining and count your blessings.written 12th Apr 2005