They're not voting because...
- Neither rich nor poor, I get next to...
Neither rich nor poor, I get next to nothing from the present Government. I work full-time and make a two hour commute each day in order to earn my wage and what does the Government do? It stiffs me with the outrage tax on fuel. Child care for my one child, three and a half days a week in creche, cost me over £450.00 a month. My family and myself - a working mother - are completely overlooked, our views and needs ignored. None of the major parties do anything to make me think that life under their direction would make any difference to us whatsoever.
I don't trust, respect or believe ANY of the poiticians. I'm completely disillusioned and disheartened and not one party has done or said anything to make me think otherwise. It crushes me to think that I literally have no options other than to spoil my paper come Election Day.written 13th Apr 2005
Al replies: You've just told us your neither rich nor poor, why should the government be helping you to get rich??!! And wow your a working mother, clearly your working because your job pays enough for you to work and have someone else look after your child and you still find something to complain about!
Cheers up you misserable sod!written 14th Apr 2005
SW replies: You do have an option; stay home and don't bother.written 14th Apr 2005
Herb replies: Neither rich nor poor compared with who? A middle income earner in the UK is fantastically wealthy compared with most of the world's population.written 14th Apr 2005
Bri replies: How do we work out if someone is neither rich nor poor?
I earn enough to pay my rent and eat with the occassional treat like a bootle of wine or a take away. I would consider myself to be financially not well off but not poor.
Poor is the man on the street living in a box with not one dime to his name.
Rich? Is that buy whatever you like without worrying about it? Now how do we find the middle of either being neither of the above?
PS: I consider myself to be emotionally well off :-Pwritten 14th Apr 2005
Michael replies: I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but you aren't the sole resident of this country. Would it be so hard for you to look beyond your front door and cosy life and vote for a party who wants to make this country of 60 million people a better place for ALL. Think about someone who doesn't have a job to pay for creche, or car to commute and spoil the earth in. Or someone who doesn't have a house to commute to because ridiculous shortage of affordable housing has left them homeless and desperate. Maybe you could cast a vote for them as they wont get one.written 14th Apr 2005
SW replies: Why won't they get a vote? And are you seriously trying to tell us that you cast your vote with the rest of the country in mind, instead of thinking (as 99.9% recurring of the population do) about the issues which affect you personally?!written 14th Apr 2005
Al replies: You have to have an address to register to vote, if your homeless then by definition you don't have an address.
The point is that if your socially responsible you do think about the needs of others and if you have a good job and can afford to send your child to someone else to look after him/her, and it must be a good job because the benefits available are very generous, then you should be looking to help people less fortunate.written 14th Apr 2005
monkeynuts replies: You get next to nothing from the present Government?written 14th Apr 2005
Have you been to the doctor's at all, or to hospital?
At some point your child will go to school and be educated, at no direct cost to you.
I'll grant you that the present government didn't make all this happen, but you can't take for granted that any future government will preserve your right to free health care, or your child's right to a free education.
I'm amazed at how many people whine about how it's pointless to vote in General or local elections, how their social group is under-represented in policy decisions and so forth.
The whole point about having an open, democratic system of government is that you can get as involved as you want to. If you want better representation for people like you, run for a position in local government, push your agenda that way. Otherwise, spend some time working out which of the main parties is most likely to preserve or improve your way of life, vote for them and stop moaning.
SW replies: Al: no offence but bollox! You show me one person who goes into the polling station to cast his/her vote based on consideration of other people, and I'll show you a liar. People just don't do that. They vote for what's best for themselves - you only have to look at the majority of the comments.written 14th Apr 2005
T replies: Al: At what point did I ask for someone to "make me rich"? I earn enough to give me a little more than my childcare costs and as such, *that's* why I continue to work. As SW said, I could sit on my arse and be a full-time mother to my son - something I would love to be able to afford to do, incidentally - and only be slightly worse off, but I won't because I believe that I should *earn* what I receive. I'd love for more children, but I couldn't even begin to afford duel childcare costs.
Michael: A car to "spoil the earth"? Is that seriously your argument here? Since neither the present nor predecessing Government seem to do nothing but inflate the costs and overcrowd our current commuting routes and public transport, your point is utterly pointless and kind of amusing. I only get a bus from my house once a goddamn hour.
Monkeynuts: As you said, nothing you stated came from the present Government so your point is meaningless here but I accept your points, Herb, Bri - I was making comparatives to this within this country.written 14th Apr 2005
Jeffrey replies: A bus once an hour is good enough to get you to work and back. Or are you suggesting that it is completely unreasonable to suggest you wait for the bus for 40 minutes.
A better argument to your favour, would be that thanks to the price increases its actually cheaper to buy a car and polute the earth than it is to use public transport.
I'd ask to rather than to spoil your vote to vote Lib Dem. Thats just because I think it would be hilarious to see the party that can't win actually get somewhere :D (in all seriousness I agree with their policies too)written 14th Apr 2005
SW replies: Jeffrey: While I take your point about the cost of public transport, I do think it is unreasonable to ask someone to wait 40 minutes for a bus or train - especially if you work 12 hour shifts as I do. And even more especially given the reliability of public transport; 40 minutes would very quickly become an hour then 80 minutes. However, if public transport was the ONLY form of transport then one would have no choice. As we all know, this isn't likely to happen unless and until oil runs out.written 14th Apr 2005
F replies: To monkeynuts:
I'm that one person who does vote a party with consideration to what they'll do for other people! Not all of us are selfish capatalist idiots who only care for our own well being and would happily enter into the slave trade for a quick buck if it were still legal. And I most certainly am not a liar. Take comfort in the fact there are people who care for others well being and will stand for the rights they believe those people have.
For example I believe in free care for the elderly, I'm 24 and not likely to be needing that anytime soon. And it'll be a slice of the tax that I pay that'll contribute towards such a thing. Maybe I should start thinking just about my own selfish needs like you, how about we get rid of all the schools now I've had my education it'll mean less people in the generations below me to take on my job too. Sometimes the best thing you can do to help yourself is to help someone else first.written 14th Apr 2005
Gavin replies: I know mothers who get to spend 24x7 with their kids. It's great - they can be their all the time. They have busy, happy lives, generally. How do they manage this? Well, we pay for it. If I have kids one day, I'll have to spend 40 odd hours a week away from them to pay for other people to spend as much time as they like with their kids.
Yes, we have to look out for those who are truely poor and those who have fallen on hard times. There are groups who derserve the help they receive. But when hard working mothers have to pay for it and seem to get so little in return, it's not suprising they're pissed off. Wanting to look after your own family is the primary duty of any parent.
The public transport system in this country is a joke. I'd happily torch my cars if I could get where I wanted, when I wanted. That's possible in some cities, but it'll never be an option all over Britain - we have too many nooks and crannies. Most of the buses around here run practically empty. That's hardly good for the environment.
And the Lib Dems want to pick on another minority group who already contribute more than anyone - the wealthy. Most people who earn over £100k contribute massively to the wealth of others. It's an unrealistic policy, anyway - creative accountancy will see the numbers of £100k+ earners dwindle away in no time.written 14th Apr 2005
Gavin replies: I cannot believe I used the wrong "there", there...written 14th Apr 2005
Al replies: T: you stated that you are neither rich nor poor, I'd define this as getting by reasonably well. If your getting by and you still want the government to give you more then your asking them to make you rich. You already getting by on what you have but you want more. Do you see where I'm coming from with this? What do you want the government to do for you, you don't want them to give you benifits for looking after your own child.
And why is looking after you own child a less important job than going to work???
The fact is you know looking afer your own child and maaking sure that they're brought up properly would be much harder than going out to work.written 14th Apr 2005
Gavin replies: That's just downright unreasonable, Al. Most people want to pay their own way. Sure, most parents could get away with quitting work and living off everyone else, but reasonable people who can get decent work tend to want to be fair about it. Also, staying home with the kids means a break from work that could be a significant knock to a career, requiring a number of years to get back to the same position.
It would be very easy for everyone to quite work and look after their kids 24/7, but then there wouldn't be enough taxes to go around to cover the people who cannot earn for some reason.
The parents who work hard for themselves, their kids and for society deserve a little spare money here and there. There's no reason why it should all be syphoned off to pay for other people to have an easy life.
Looking after your own child is not less important than work, but work pays and unless you're lucky enough to have a single high earner in the household or you're selfish enough to scrounge, you have to work, at least sometimes.written 14th Apr 2005
monkeynuts replies: F: I think you mixed up my comment with one from SW :-)written 15th Apr 2005
Al replies: I'm perfectly happy with the taxes that I pay going to people who choose to look after their kids. Perfectly reasonable.
Kids need their mum or dad, it's not a new idea!written 15th Apr 2005
Michael replies: It's a fact not an opinion, Gavin, that that the rich pay less as a proportion of their income thatn the poor. Call me a socialist dinosaur (albeit a fairly sprightly 21 year old dinosaur)but thats simply wrong.
as for voting selfishly, well im another of those who believe the good of the community should come first and if that means sacrafice on my part i'd be more than willing.written 15th Apr 2005
Al replies: I must have misunderstood the income tax system completely.written 15th Apr 2005
F replies: Monkeynuts: Please accept my apologies for the mistake, cheers.written 15th Apr 2005
Colin Williams replies: Al, he didn't mention income tax specifically.
Income tax is a progressive tax, that is; the more you earn, the more you pay. Taxes like VAT, which are effectively levied at a flat rate, disproportionately hurt the poor as they have to pay the same proportion of their outgoings as an average or above-average earner.
I find it ironic that the Conservative party, while screaming about Labour tax rises, are the ones who levied VAT on fuel, and increased the rate to 17.5% (after earlier raising it to 15%).
"In 1979, the UK had a Zero Rate, a Basic Rate of 12.5 per cent charged on "luxury" items and a reduced rate of 8 per cent charged on most other goods and services. When the Conservatives came to power that year, Chancellor Geoffrey Howe increased both of these to a single rate of 15 per cent, to partially offset the impact of large cuts to the Basic and Higher Rates of Income Tax. This was portrayed as a deliberate move aimed at shifting the burden of taxation from earnings to consumption. "written 15th Apr 2005
JM replies: Seems to me most posters have been far too harsh on the "working mother." Talk about battered wife!
I personally find it heartening that someone from what the editor of the Daily Mail loves to call "middle England" can end up - through sheer exasperation - at what seems to me such an admirably radical position.
It proves that you don't need to be in a tepee to see through the tosh.written 16th Apr 2005
Gavin replies: What is so important about the proportion of your income? Yes, there are "poor people" who are poor for a legitimate reason and in some ways it is unreasonable that they should suffer. But generally, you get money from working. There is luck involved and some of us are blessed with more intelligence and a better educational background, but as a general rule you get money from working. Frequently, the people with more money have it because they have consistently worked harder and put more effort into planning their lives.
I do not see that there is anything inherently "wrong" with those who work the hardest being allowed to keep some of their money. If the deserving poor have too little to live at reasonable standard on, that is not fair. But if there is no advantage to working hard, then we may as well just do whatever we can to work as little as possible. In a capitalist society, a natural hierarchy tends to develop. It's a good system, because people's natural desire to better themselves generates income for society generally. It is a problem, however, when taxation is such that the advantages of personal success are eroded in a misguided attempt to "even out" society - something that can result in it being an advantage or at least a very viable alternative to NOT work.written 18th Apr 2005
Alan replies: Colin: Thanks for the explanation, makes sense now.
Gavin: See where your coming from there in some respects but in this case I'd rather see mothers being mothers rather than buggering off to work, I'd rather hand-outs where a viable alternative to work for mothers, it's not as if people who look after their own kids are lazy, it's a full time job in it's self and a very important one at that.
If it is possible for our taxes to support women who make this choice then I'm personally happy for my taxes to be spent that way.written 19th Apr 2005
private transport polluter replies: Why don't people use public transport?
2. Usually dirty
Why is this the case?
Oh what a surprise look no further than the scum in our society.
Yep who is it who
1. Vandalise public transportwritten 19th Apr 2005
2. Fills trains/buses with vomit,
take-aways and all manner of other
3. And in turn increase the running
cost to the operator - which is
passed onto us the passenger.
4. Attack people on buses/trains
Harass staff etc etc.....
Matt B replies: Will the Labour/lib Dems etc tell me why their parties haven't reduced the tax burden on those poorer in society or dropped VAT on consumption and cover with tax increases on the rich? giving Tax credits is not the same - you've got to administer the schemes and that costs governments and companies a lot of time and money. also people don't want to tell the state what they spend every penny on; they still have pride.
I remember Gordon and Tony attacking the Tories for not taxing non domiciled individuals 'It is indefensible that a very wealthy few are allowed to work or live in the UK without making a fair contribution to taxation' - shadow budget 1994. what's happened in the last 8 years - nothing, except these people give generously to the Labour party now. If you want a fair system stick to your own promises first.written 20th Apr 2005
Al replies: The Lib Dems haven't done anything to reduce tax burden for poorer people in the country because they aren't in government.
Labour haven't done it because they only make promises to get votes, they aren't bothered about sticking to those promises because not many people follow politics enough to pick up on their lies (they hope).
Or maybe I'm just cynical??written 20th Apr 2005
Matt B replies: someone cynical about politics. heaven forbid such a radical situation.written 20th Apr 2005
Rachel Dorman replies: SW, you said "You show me one person who goes into the polling station to cast his/her vote based on consideration of other people, and I'll show you a liar"
I'd like to mention that my votes are majoritively based on the welfare of the planet and *all* the people and other life forms which inhabit it. I'm not just talking about the environmental concerns, but those which mean future generations will be able to live a happy and healthy life. I care for the future of this country, but also for the future of other countries, as we are only seperated by man-made lines on maps.
Of course I have concerns regarding the issues which affect me personally, and I do consider them when I make my vote, but I wouldn't be selfish enough to compromise other people's welbeing to suit only myself. I'll gladly sacrifice many desirable things if I know I can improve other people's lives in doing so, now and in years to come. If what I think is best for everyone else happens to be what's best for me too, it's just a lucky coincedence. I can't believe you think *everyone* is that selfish that they could never make that kind of choice.
Take this example: I don't eat McDonald's food anymore, ever, but sometimes it would be best for *me personally* to grab a Big Mac, out of convenience, or just because I fancy it. My one little burger probably isn't making a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. But I still choose not to buy their stuff, I put myself out a little bit because I might just have made the tiniest improvements on the welfare of other people. This is the attitude I carry with me to the polling station, and I'm pretty sure there are thousands of others who do the same.
You're really underestimating the human conscience, SW. What are *you* thinking about on the way to the polling station exactly?written 20th Apr 2005
Tiger43 replies: I would just like to say......Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!! Not sure if thats a unique quote of mine or some president of the US.written 21st Apr 2005
Al replies: So we've established that some people are only out for themselves and some people are responsible - not a big suprise.
SW, so which camp does it put you in?written 22nd Apr 2005
Tiger43 replies: To SW...Ask not of persons if they are camp, but whether you are camp. Another famous qoute from a US president.written 22nd Apr 2005
Sany replies: Nice blog!written 17th Sep 2005