Thursday, 7 May 2015

An Election Message

Well, the day has finally arrived and those of us without a postal vote must brave the weather and do our duty in some draughty community hall or other.

I suppose it's partly to do with my age, but I would never countenance not voting, particularly given the long struggle it took to gain enfranchisement, so it's good to see even Russell Brand has changed his view on this, albeit a bit late in the day for those who failed to register in time. 

Despite what the politicians might say, including David Cameron, every vote doesn't count because many people live in very safe seats where legend has it even pigs with rosettes could get elected and the votes are weighed, not counted. But I firmly believe it's still our civic responsibility to turn out, because it's right.   

Our 'first past the post' system is crap and will never deliver a result remotely close to the true wishes of the people, but I think we must still vote in order to ensure our politicians never get the idea that we're apathetic about what goes on in our name. Actually I think many of us are angry about politicians and politics, but feel completely unable to influence things. 

For over 30 years I've acted as a Polling Station Presiding Officer and routinely have to try and answer complaints from voters who typically say, 'No one's been round' or 'I've had no leaflets' as if it's my fault. I bite my tongue of course and politely say it's up to the candidates, but I really want to say 'it's a safe seat and they don't give a toss'. 

Sadly, only Nigel Farage has consistently highlighted the need to ditch this long-outmoded electoral system that only ever suited a two-party state and disenfranchises the majority. Lets hope we can put the case for change once more, only this time get the Liberal Democrats to support a fair and understandable alternative.  

Regular readers will know that I was a keen advocate of spoiling the ballot paper during the ridiculous charade of electing Police and Crime Commissioners. This tactic would be much preferable in my view if citizens really can't bring themselves to endorse any of the current crop of politicians, or parties.  

It will come as no great surprise that this blog will not be endorsing the Tories, or more accurately the 'nasty party' and in my view the Liberal Democrats must be punished for having actively supported the TR omnishambles and demise of an honourable public service and profession. 

As I live in England, certain electoral options are not open to me and as much as I would welcome electoral reform and a referendum on membership of the EU, I really can't bring myself to support UKIP. I always vote Green in European elections, safe in the knowledge that every vote does count under Proportional Representation, but a general election is different and I really do want to ensure I do my bit to keep a Tory out. Hence I will be joining the many hundreds of thousands of voters forced into voting tactically because of our crap voting system. 

Lets hope and pray we will soon be delivered of a more enlightened and compassionate government than the one we've had to endure over this past five long years. I'll sign off with two messages that particularly resonate with me:-   




27 comments:

  1. Don't agree mate Labour are still a Neoliberal party singed up to privatising the state. Miliband maybe a little left of Blair but not that much. We need a socialist alternative and that means voting TUSC or Left Unity. Left Unity are allied with Podermos and Syriza. Labour was killed off by Blair and Brown.
    I'm at the count today looking for a move of socialists in my Ward and town.

    Jim I respect you but you need to get radical and so does NAPO. We are fighting a "Class War" but the Tories and the rich are fighting the best. We the ordinary people have not got our act together yet. The rich and the vile are drubbing us given that millions of working people will vote for them and their own impoverishment. We are conditioned to do so like we are conditioned to think that CBT programmes work when there is no evidence. It's all spin and propaganda mate

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    1. Sorry mate, I disagree. There is a place for direct action, but not for tokenism in this electoral system. the system is designed to ignore you my friend. General elections are for pragmatic decisions, not the idealism we have all at some time aspired to. Radical changes for equality are driven by single issue activism and influence over a listening government. I believe Labour is now ready to listen, and above all I want the Tories out.

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  2. Sort of off topic, but I've been following this quite closely.
    It's been heart warming seeing the amount of support this protest has attracted from the general public, food being slung up over the balcony or pulled in wit a bucket an rope. People have been arrested for providing supplies- some of them in good looking suits, and this weekend some fundraising events are taking place in their support.
    It's been said that they can't stay in the building because it's not fit for habitation, yet the authorities wouldn't bat an eyelid if they were all sleeping in doorways.
    They've said recently that in the event of an attempted forced eviction they will lock themselves in the banks huge vault!
    Maybe there needs to be an awful lot more acts of protest and civil disobedience before the polititions start paying attention again.
    Hope the Toxic Tories are ousted today.

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/love-activists---what-happens-9194770

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    1. That protest has actually been endorsed by the Green Party.

      Liverpool’s Green party said that the action being taken by the protesters was “entirely appropriate” at a time when people were being “pushed to the brink by the failed austerity policies of the last five years."

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  3. Best we can hope for today is a rainbow coalition with faeries & unicorns & pots of gold. Another five years of a Tory freeze-out will finish this country off.

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    1. Red & yellow & pink & green - that should do it.

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  4. You can hope and pray all you want for a more enlightened and compassionate govt, if it happened it would be the first in my lifetime. Like you I'm stuck in england so cant vote for what I really want. Some people look at what's happening in scotland as an electorate losing their mond- I disagree: we're wakening up and realising we DO have an alternative. Anybodu who wants insight into the growing gulf between the two polities cod do words than check out sites like Bella Caledonia and Wings over Scotland.

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  5. FROM TWITTER:

    "CourtNewsUK ‏@CourtNewsUK

    Judge: 'Where's defendant?'

    Barrister: 'Err, he says as he's innocent and doesn't wish to go to prison, he won't be coming to court today'

    https://twitter.com/CourtNewsUK/status/596255005901987840 "

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  6. FROM TWITTER: -

    " Owen JonesVerified account
    ‏@OwenJones84

    “But my vote doesn’t matter in a safe seat.”

    The Tories will point to the national vote to try and stay in power.

    So it really really does!

    https://twitter.com/OwenJones84/status/596213018532421632 "


    ALSO: -

    " Billy Bragg Verified account

    ‏@billybragg

    For the first time I can recall, the share of the national vote will play a crucial role in what happens next,

    so no vote is wasted.

    https://twitter.com/billybragg/status/596248555028873216 "

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  7. Interesting development. As Sodexo' s CRCs get rid of 70% of their Band 5 SPOs, Seetec' s Kent, Surrey and Sussex CRC is recruiting SPOs at Band 6.

    http://jobs.theguardian.com/job/6085096/senior-probation-officers-band-6/

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  8. Friend of Man in the pub7 May 2015 at 16:24

    My friend spends far too much time in pubs in London...and he has big ears and he let slip that he's heard that Sodexo is looking to do 'deals' with the likes of those winning bidders who won connurbations and not huge great green grassed shires were their operating model falls apart....he says that they never wanted shire counties and now see them as a bloody great albatross round their corporate necks...man in the pub says that all the 'that there London talk' is about how they can ditch the big counties ...quick.....watch some underhand deals being done whilst the rest of the country watches the election and stand by for announcements about 'wonderful new innovative partnerships'.....you thought they'd been quiet...not a bit of it....a heady dose of realism has hirt them hard with lots of talk about duplicitous government....surely not....

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    1. You friend in the pub is so helpful, can he help with any further information about dodgy deals.

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    2. did you see the other day that unpaid work bods are being taxied to projects because of the van situation. I cant be exactly certain but i'm quite confident it would've involved a 40mile round trip - not cheap but better than sending them home and getting the potential bad publicity.

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  9. I HAD NOT SEEN THIS BEFORE TODAY: -

    " Catch22 to deliver new offender resettlement services

    Working with a range of partners to transform the lives of offenders, Catch22 will be delivering services in 15 prisons across the country.

    06 May 2015

    Changing people’s lives and reducing re-offending is the day-to-day business of Catch22’s Justice Directorate. Today, Catch22 can announce that we will be working with hundreds more offenders to transform their lives.

    http://www.catch-22.org.uk/news/catch22-to-deliver-new-offender-resettlement-services/ "

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  10. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. How anyone can vote for the main 3 parties and endorse the damage that all 3 have done (or won't change if in power) to not just Probation and the CJS, but the whole country, I'll never know. Day after day, people write on this blog how they can't take any more shit but will dutifully go into their pens on election day and vote for more of the same. Suck it up, if you keep voting for the big 3, you deserve to.

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    1. I voted for Arthur Daley, a Sod Everything Party candidate. This is the party who believe we all have our price. I'm looking forward to the stuffed brown envelope I was promised. Geezer.

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    2. Which is exactly why I didn't. When will the nation realise they don't have to choose from the top 3 alone. Especially now, as those lower in the polls will have to agree to join one of the top 3 if a majority is to be achieved.

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  11. I voted but really didn't know who to vote for, I hope the party that gets in will have an effect where I don't have to watch a grown man crying in probation as he hadn't eaten anything for a week, had a disability and had been sanctioned because he couldn't go to an interview due to his mobility scooter having a flat and not having the money to repair it intime. It really upset me today and all we could offer was a food voucher... makes me so sad.

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  12. 18:52

    The only way to change the rotten situation you report is to get political, If you don't we will all be on food vouchers. I'm saying this in a nice way I not berating you, its a request for the good of all.

    Papa

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  13. If the exit polls are right, we're fucked.... all together now !!
    "Always look on the bright side of life, tee dee tee de de de de de"......

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  14. Exit polls are disturbing & astonishing, but are ONLY exit polls. Young voters may be a factor - apparently over 250,000 registered to vote since March. As previously commented here, perhaps we need to look to Scotland for inspiration?

    I dearly & sincerely hope the exit polls are utter bollocks. The prospect of five more years of the Eton Trifles brings tears to my eyes and leaves me very, very, very sad.

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  15. If nothing else, LibDems are being punished for their duplicity. Pity the electorate haven't chosen to punish the vile Tories, but presumably many feel there's been no credible alternative.

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    1. LibDems, Labour & UKIP seem to be folding as first Essex result declared -why do people not understand the danger of the Conservatives - it will be very grim if results carry on on this scale for the rest of the results

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  16. Simon Hughes has lost his seat

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  17. Fuck! Five more years In the Night Garden with Iggle Piggle in the chair.

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  18. Can't quite believe whats going on! Doomed, we're all doomed!

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  19. Time to dust off the pitchforks I afraid. Blair may return in some guise to save us.

    papa

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