Saturday, 17 April 2010

Getting Political

Here in the UK, we're gearing up for the General Election next month where we get the dubious honour of trying to work out which pack of liars we loathe the least to run our country (can you tell I have no faith in our politicians?). There has been plenty going on in this country over the last year that sapped all the belief in the political process I used to have. From the expenses scandal to the Government's inability to stem the flow of chaos resulting from the banking crisis (bankers are still making a fortune in bonuses and there are millions unemployed, what the f?). Basically I'm fed up.
Labour has been in power for the last 13 years and from where I'm sitting, not much has improved. What has personally affected me has been being a member of the most over-tested generation of school children ever, university tuition fees resulting in a mountain of student loan debt I don't anticipate paying off any time soon, and the loss of my job due to the recession. None of those things have been within my power to stop. But they were within the Government's.
I consider myself a politicised person, I believe strongly in democracy, the importance of voting, the role of government to do it's best to run this country, and in fairness. I stayed up all night watching Obama be elected President over the pond, online, desperate to see America change things for the better. Now it's our turn. Unfortunately we don't have Barack, or even a Hillary, instead we have Gordon 'same old, same old' Brown, David 'shiny faced' Cameron or at an outside chance Nick 'the alternative' Clegg.
I watched part of the first ever leadership debate on tv the other night (elections have been around for ages, as has tv, it's taken a while to combine the two). I didn't watch the whole thing because after a while of listening to Brown and Cameron exchange lies, I could feel my blood pressure rise and I was shouting at the tv (poor thing, it's not it's fault), so I turned over and watched Outnumbered (which is hysterical and brilliant, watch it on BBC iplayer) so I could calm down. But what I did see incensed me a lot. Brown has been PM for several years now, Labour has been in power over a decade and the reforms he kept talking about, have never been implemented, the only thing Cameron said that I agreed with was that. They've had plenty of time to reform the House of Commons and the House of Lords, to change things, and they just haven't.
Now I don't like the Conservatives, I don't like their policies, or their ridiculously privileged shadow cabinet, and their absurdly shiny faced leader, he has a face I just want to smack. When he talks I hear "blah, blah, blah, tax the poor, blah, blah, duck houses, blah blah" etc. I don't think I would personally benefit from having them in power.
I did like how Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader, came across. He's been presented as the dark horse of the election, and he was quite funny in the debate. But is funny a good reason to vote for him? His party has positioned itself as the only real alternative to the two parties who, as he said, have been playing pass the parcel with the government for many years. But I'm just not sure who to vote for. There are two more debates to go, and I hope someone raises the issue of higher education funding (it's very important for me!) in one of them. At this rate, I'm going to the polls on May 6th just as confused as I am now. Oh dear!!

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