This is going to be one of those grumpy old men rants I’m afraid. Those of you of a nervous disposition should look away now!
C and I were bemoaning the lack of political choice this weekend with a General Election looming. We had watched a fly on the wall following Barack Obama through his journey to be chosen as the Democratic candidate and then through the election as President. It seemed to us that the whole American system was a lot more open and offered much more choice than we have here in Ol’ Blighty. In the USA you can choose between different flavours within the same party. For example, you can choose between Obama or Clinton’s flavour of Democratic values. Admittedly this can degenerate into the cult of personality but in the British political world which seems devoid both of values or personality, it seemed like a refreshing change.
Despite the occasional tactical vote for the Lib Dems, I have been a life-long Labour voter. But, gloomy Gordon Brown is testing my patience. It isn’t clear to me what Labour stands for any more. Labour seems to have moved so far from the left, and the Conservatives so far from the right, that the middle ground, offering the electorate little if any choice and disenfranchising a whole generation through boredom.
I am looking forward to the leaders debate that has been instigated by Sky News. I am hoping that this will expose the weak and reveal some passion and truth. However, very few politicians seem to be willing to give an honest answer to a question for fear of straying from the party line. You would think with the economy as it is, the war in Afghanistan, the state of our schools and hospitals, and, crime and the break down of society, that someone would be willing to grab the bull by the horns. That said, I would appoint Vince Cable as Chancellor in the blink of an eye!
For me, one issue that should have more of an airing is the Benefit Culture that seems to be dragging us all down. The political response to the state of our economy and the huge financial deficit seems to be to tax the hard-working middle classes more. Why punish those of us who have jobs, who have worked hard for all that they have, and who are responsible by investion in pensions, insurance and the like?
Now, I don’t mind paying my way or, indeed, making a contribution to help the disadvantaged, the old, the sick. But, I do mind paying more just for the Government to give it away to that underclass that spoils this once great nation. The great unwashed, uneducated, anti-social wasters. You only have to watch Jeremy Kyle. There are estates all over this country with generations that have never worked a day in their lives. They spend their days drinking, watching TV, smoking pot, making babies, sleeping with their best friend’s girlfriend or their own sister, beating on each other, and stealing from people to fund their addictions. They see their benefits as their right and laugh at the taxpayers who go to work to keep them in the lap of relative luxury, Sky TV and X-Box heaven.
Why is there not a single politician in this country who will stand up and say we should take benefits away from people who are clearly unwilling to work? Why can we not make the giving of benefits conditional upon these people doing work in the community? They should be made to clear ditches, clean graffiti, man soup kitchens, paint hospitals. Anything to get them off their fat, lazy, anti-social arses.
It makes my blood boil.