Posted on April 9, 2015
One of the most startling things that I have heard during the election campaign is how many people don’t really know who they will vote for in May.
The problem the opposition (Labour) will have to face is that floating voters tend to get scared when push comes to shove and ultimately, they opt for whomever Rupert Murdoch, The Mail, The Express or The Telegraph tells them to vote for. Fear will be used as a powerful tool as history shows us.
Tragically, the media play a ludicrously major role in dictating the outcome of election campaigns and those on the left, even the centre left of politics, are left pretty much isolated, with only The Mirror, The Guardian and the Sunday Observer fighting a lonely battle against an establishment that is headed up by Murdoch (Sky, The Sun, The Times) and the perennially detestable Paul Dacre (The Mail).
Of course, politics has become more American in recent years, with TV debates, flag waving and small children stood rigid with fear at the prospect of being kissed by Cameron or Milliband. Image and highly polished Thespian performance become more and more critical to the outcome. Tony Blair, who turned out to be a fake, was an oratory and Thespian master whilst Gordon Brown was naively genuine but had about as much public appeal as Fred West.
With Cameron and Milliband, it is difficult to decipher who is worse, so confusion reigns in the middle ground of politics which is so vital to the outcome of the election. I find Cameron to be a podgy faced buffoon who knows nothing about the common man and is merely, as a member of the aristocracy, there to represent the establishment and attempt to convince the masses that they should be grateful for the level subservience that is allowed to them.
However, when you have Rupert Murdoch and supposed maverick men of the people like Jeremy Clarkson on your side, it is a huge opportunity via mass media, to embarrass and bully into submission anyone who is left of centre in their thinking. To admit that you have socialist or liberal principles is bordering on a crime in the right-wing media and no sooner would you have your head above the parapet, a barrage of loony lefty and Marxist accusations would come raining down on you.
However, in a world of image, Labour appear to have scored a spectacular own goal by electing Ed Milliband rather than his far more media savvy brother David, in what must have caused a family rift to end all family rifts. When I read about Ed Milliband and his ideologies I like him, but when I see him on centre stage, he performs with all the confidence of one of my children when they were forced in to playing the part of a cactus in a school nativity play.
The thing about Red Ed, is that, personally, I can’t help but feel that he stitched his brother up like a kipper and it definitely affects my judgement of him, even if it shouldn’t. Also, when he recently tried to look strong and said “Am I tough enough…Hell yeah” I could hardly imagine Vladimir Putin running to hills in fear of this new and powerful commander of the world stage. I want him to be good, I really do, but he is no Dennis Skinner or Tony Benn.
Conservatism meanwhile, is disintegrating as more and more people are seeing it as a delusional ideology that is filled with nostalgia that revolves around bunting, sun kissed trout streams, village cricket, the defeating of the evil Hun, and grateful acceptance of subservience as seen in fanciful period dramas such as Downton Abbey. Downton Abbey should really start with “This is a propaganda filled drama based on fanciful nostalgia, on behalf of the Conservative Party.”
Downton Abbey is a Classical Example of Delusional Nostalgia
Harking back to a wonderful past is a very British tradition and like no other nation we are addicted to the kind of nostalgia that the likes of Churchill and Thatcher latched on to with gusto during glorious flag waving victories in Europe and the Falkland Islands that were backed up by a promise of a return to a golden age.
Churchill exploited this deluded nostalgia brilliantly in WWII, inspiring the masses with promises of a return to a golden era when victory was achieved. However, by the end of the war, Britain was bankrupt, living on scraps and beholden to the Americans who had rescued us from certain defeat and could now use Britain as a prime location for an airstrip. For all his good intentions, Churchill could not deliver a new golden age, firstly, because the money treasury was empty and secondly, because there was no golden age to return to.
Thatcher tried it all over again in the late 70’s and 80’s, fighting wars in Ireland and the Falklands along with a civil war in the mining towns, demanding aggressive patriotism as she did so. It worked for a while with defeat over Argentina and its tin pot general, evoking attempts at victory celebrations to rival VE Day. However, as was with the case with Churchill, because her dreams were of a return to a golden age that never existed, it all melted away in to the poll tax riots and as with Churchill, her mental state deteriorated with it before her own party turned on her.
You see, there was no golden age unless you were lucky enough to be an aristocrat, so the Tories are always chasing something that only exists in paintings and period dramas. Churchill was delusional and then severely depressed when he realised it could not be achieved and Thatcher was delusional and severely depressed when she realised she couldn’t be Churchill. They were both chasing a dream that could never be reality because it never happened. During their perceived golden era, most common men were dead before they were 45, either through war or disease. It was a miserable existence.
As much as he is deluded by nostalgia, Cameron kind of accepts that there can’t be a return to something that never existed and that is why he has relaxed laws on things such as gay marriage in a bid to be seen as progressive. However, by doing so, he has lost support in his right wing ranks and sits in a bit of no-man’s land in his own party. In fact, if it wasn’t for the perceived weakness of Ed Milliband, Cameron would be dead and buried by now and the Tory Party would be in chaos.
To keep the status quo, even if he is progressive, Cameron has no choice but to pander to his friends and relatives in the financial sector, as it is they who pump in huge donations to the party in exchange for a Knighthood or another chunk of the healthcare industry. However, they alone won’t win him over an increasingly sceptical public that has never in history, had so much access to political information and wrong-doing via the internet and campaign groups such as Change.Org and 38 degrees.
This is why we have seen an emergence of fringe parties such as UKIP and the SNP. People are seeking alternatives, even if in the case of UKIP, they are potentially sinister ones who are appealing to disillusioned voters by playing the fear game on immigration. This is the most powerful tool in politics that has been used to dramatic effect in the last century and is apparently, despite appalling consequences, on the rise again.
“It’s all the foreigners fault; they steal our jobs and disrespect our homeland.”
As an example of this being utter bullshit, I attempted to stay in a pub B&B on Friday as my sister was staying there and I hadn’t seen her for a while. For the first time in a while, the chap I asked for a room was English and not Eastern European.
I was told that there were rooms for £95.00 but there was no heating and that because he had endured a long day, we could not have another drink as residents. This guy had no idea what the wine was apart from its colour and I could only imagine that if we had parted with £95.00 for bed and breakfast, he would have spent the morning stuffing sausages in the toaster and frying eggs in coffee percolator as we shivered to death in the background.
British people are crap when it comes to working for a minimum wage in exchange for customer service, so give me a Polish person any day. Also, if we pull out of the EU and ban Europeans from coming here, what we will do about the 2.2 million Brits living in EU countries if they are sent back here? Make them work in Starbucks I suppose? Migration is a two way thing and it wasn’t so long ago that British construction workers flocked to Germany to work when Britain was in recession.
“British people, coming over here, stealing our jobs…”
During the alleged golden era that conservative ideologist’s dream of, there was no minimum wage, no employment rights and no NHS to curtail a staggering level of infant mortality and increase life expectancy at a stroke. The masses were told to know their place and were talked in to facing certain death in the trenches, not to make better lives for themselves but to maintain a better life for those at the top of the food chain who happily used civilians as territorial cannon fodder.
Don’t believe the bullshit on Downton Abbey, the serfs, on the whole were treated appallingly by their masters and 90% of the British population had their lives enhanced by the social changes brought in by the Labour party in the late 40’s.
However, the main reason I will never vote conservative in the modern era, is not because what happened in the past as that has gone. It is the sell-off in return for huge donations and Knighthoods, of care services to individuals who have no other intention other than to get rich out of it. It is an industry that is worth billions and every company that has bought sections of it has strong links to the front bench; it is the most self-serving policy witnessed in modern politics and not one person in this country ticked a yes box to allow it to happen.
Surely, we, as a nation, are big enough not to vote for a party who sells the nation’s health to their mates in exchange for a donation and a Knighthood?