Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Eureka! - I've seen the light...

This week I experienced a pivotal moment. The final realisation that none of the leading political parties fit the bill - including my hitherto preferred option, the Labour Party.

I faced a decision - do I withdraw my vote or find an alternative party to back? Certainly, withdrawal of my vote is anathema to me. People fought long and hard for the right to vote and in my book we are doing wrong if we don't exercise that right.

UKIP has always been a no-no for me, and the realisation that the majority of UKIP supporters favour very explicitly socialist ideas (in a major survey, 78% of UKIP supporters responded that they supported outright renationalisation of the UK energy market, and 73% of them supported renationalisation of the rail network) only underlines the futility of following that line! UKIP is essentially a right-wing Tory group - would they implement Socialist ideas? I think not.

So, what was the solution to my dilemma?

As a 70-year-old pensioner who looked very closely at the Green's policies (when it was the Ecology Party) nearly 40 years ago. I was impressed then, but as a life-long socialist who had been inspired by my forefathers in the Socialist movement, I always felt that those issues should be dealt with by the Labour Party.

In the 1990s I even became a ward party chairman for Labour but I was immensely disaffected by their purely Blair-ish attitudes of the time. I left the party and have since returned to my roots in Birmingham.

It has taken me untiil this year to realise I was wrong in expecting Labour to embrace what the Green movement stands for. I became severely disappointed - they are clearly a party (like the Liberals) who have had their time and now something fresh needs to grow in today's world. For the first time I voted for the Greens this year (in the European elections) ... only the second time I have not voted Labour (the previous occasion was a protest vote in favour of the Liberals in the early 80s).

It is the principles and ethos of the Green movement that are the only political relevancy in today's world. I retain a sympathy towards Labour, but their views are entrapped in yesterday's thinking to some extent.

We certainly need a system of politics that is centred on the idea of unity - of the planet, mankind and everything that lives - and their connection to the cosmos. Governmental policies need to derive from that concept.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

It's All Coming Together...

It is three months since my last post, but now we've had a resolution to the 'Scottish question' (thank goodness for that!) it's time to switch to the forthcoming General Election that is only 8 months away.

The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has surprised me in this week's party conference. I was not taken with his election as leader and thought (when he was appointed) that he lacked the force and conviction that I would hope in a leader. But his longer-then-expected speech yesterday seemed to confirm that he has qualities that are different to the norm. I gauge him now as a person who is intellectually very capable and one who has a reasonable view of the bigger picture. I also see him as being a team-man - one who is letting others get on with their share of the work while he confers with them and prompts them down discrete channels. The key word that he espoused yesterday - togetherness - sums him up: he does what he says. The label on the tin matches the contents.

Instead of admiring some of the fine philosophy that Miliband intoned, the media immediately jumped on the shortcomings of the speech. He had forgotten part of his speech, they said, on The Deficit. And that the scripted speech, in any case, said little on the subject. But the reality is that the Labour Party has had a policy to deal with The Deficit since they were voted out of office in 2010. They simply did not - nor do not want - cuts to be as swingeing as they have been under the ConDems. They want a fairer approach to the matter, not an approach that has seen the awful Bedroom Tax and other malevolent modes that the Tories want to impart on the less fortunate.

So why should Miliband have to satiate the media by returning to a discussion about situations we already know about? Instead he chose to paint a picture of a fairer and well-directed future. And one that is greener. Climate Change has to be addressed, and Miliband and his team know that very well.

Miliband (in my opinion) is taking steps in the right direction. There is a great deal of distance still to travel to achieve the ideal society, but let's at least try to get to that state rather than follow the 'me first' direction of the Tories. We need to move to a sustainable economy, and 'me first' tactics will just not work in future. We need to be One Nation (indeed, One World) in our approach - in fact, we need to work "together".

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

What are we here for? It's time we thought about that question.

In the UK, I fear that we are sinking further into deep hypocrisy. We like to give the image that all is fluffy and bright, but much - a lot - of that is only on the surface. At least, that's my view.

And two things occurred yesterday that cause me to revert to this blog. I will come back to them.

Why do I sound like a dischuffed septuagenarian? Probably because I am! I have spent my life believing that mankind will surely morph into something more beneficial both for the sake of its species and for planet Earth, but what I had overlooked was that the attitudes, mechanisms and institutions that exist today to implement the nation's will have not changed enough. And apathy is largely prevalent at election time. As a nation we are asleep. Asleep  .. to real realities. Thanks to the 1980s revolution under Thatcher we are now a self-seeking lot in the main. We are continually thinking of our individual selves rather than thinking about what is best for the majority; for the nation.

What's going on amongst the Scottish Nationalists is a good example of selfishness going rampant. Their arguments are more to do with their dislike about being ruled by Tories from Westminster than anything else. Instead of helping to put together a realistic socialist movement for everyone, they are trying every trick in the book to convince proud Scots that they would be better off without being tacked on to England.

Where is our mutual sense of unity? Has it gone out of the window? What happened to One-Nation Politics?

Last night on our Channel 4 there was the weekly Dispatches programme that this time looked at the very real crisis that is occurring amongst the poorest families. No, the parents were not beer-swilling, fag-puffing, betting office ne'er-do-wells. They were ordinary but intelligent mothers and children trying to eke out a meal ticket on a budget of £1.80 per person per day in some circumstances. And when there was not enough money the mothers gave up food, giving preference to the children. And one or two otherwise intelligent mothers who felt they had to turn to prostitution to try to make life 'better'.

Luckily there are food banks, and they do a roaring trade. Sadly - they are a necessary facility in this day and age. The seventh richest country in the world cannot ensure its children are properly supported - we are slowly turning into a South American despot.

That was one of the upsetting 'things' that occurred. The other 'thing' was that the same day David Cameron announced that we must do all we can to cause schools to accept that they must communicate British Values as his response to the debacle surrounding a number of schools in Birmingham who are alleged to be trying to turn their schools into Islamic extremism.

Mr. Cameron, you cannot ensure the nation's children are being  properly fed and yet you infer that Muslims don't have values that meet your own standards!

One of the major pillars of Islam is giving to charity and ensuring that women and children are well protected. Mr. Cameron, do your policies equate to the ideals of Islam?

Mr. Cameron seems to spend all his time sneering at the Scots and the Muslims. Does he know what resentment he is creating?

I despair. We - as a people, as a nation - need to deeply reconsider what are the important elements that can bind individuals into a balanced and sane society before the matter gets completely out of hand. And, having decided what those values are, do something about implementing them.

We have nearly a year to the 2015 General Election. There's still time.