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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Life After the General Election





I promised to post a political blog post this week.  Although I do have my own views, I want my blog to be positive so this post isn't going to attack the beliefs of others.  I am far from being an expert on politics and I would never claim to be anything else.  I can however tell you what the general election results mean for me, and I can give reasons why I agree or disagree with what I have heard so far.  

I'm not the type of person who shouts about her voting preferences as I usually keep these private.  I will say that although I would most likely be better off under a Conservative rule, however I didn't vote for them.  The reason being is because I feel that a lot of their policies disadvantage others and I can't be the person that voted in favour.  The disabled, job seekers, the elderly are all discriminated against due to the cutting of benefits and I also worry about the Human Rights act being scrapped and the NHS being privatised.  They are however proposing up to 30 hours free childcare for working families of 3 and 4 year olds, which would be a huge benefit to me and would mean I could work full time and earn more money.  Disabled benefits are being cut including a benefit that helps people travel into work in London, which means we are going to see more disabled out of work.  Excluding people from society can lead to further problems later in my experience.  I feel that the 'real' people seeking jobs are discriminated against.  How can a person on such a small amount of money even afford to attend an interview? How are they supposed to apply for a job if they can't afford an income, postage stamps, paper?  What about interview clothes?  It's mad that we expect them to apply for jobs with so little resources.  If the winter fuel payments are cut, we could see an increase in fuel poverty for the elderly too.  So many worries about so many policies!  I didn't vote Conservative because I care!

I didn't vote UKIP.  I feel like a lot of people voted UKIP because they didn't understand their policies.  I think people heard 'immigration' and 'referredum on Europe' and stopped paying attention to what Europe is about.  I'm not going to deny that immigration is an issue that needs to be sorted out, but a lot of people come to this country to work or because they need help. It does need sorting out and more robust policies should be in place, however being racist and just looking after yourself isn't the answer.  It's the same with the referendum on Europe, does anyone have any idea of the implications in relation to trade for example, if we aren't Europe?  I suggest before the referendum you have a look at the pro's and con's.  I didn't vote UKIP because I want fairness and equality!

I suppose what I am trying to say here, is that in order for your vote to count, don't just make a decision to rebel against the norm', read the policies and make sure you are voting for what appeals to your best interests.  

 A party that I was impressed with this year was the Green Party.  I liked how they pushed education and I thought that leader, Natalie, raised excellent points regarding austerity in the debate.  Education is important for both myself personally, and my children.  

I felt some of Labours policies were more 'friendly' for someone who is working class, not on a lot of money and has a family, like me, however, I am not sure that they did a good job of getting the message across as I am still not a hundred percent sure of what they were offering which was worrying.  I know there was going to be a mansion tax, they were scrapping bedroom tax, and they promised to save the NHS from privatisation.  I wasn't wholly sure on how this would be subsidised and there seemed to be more emphasis on what other parties were doing that was 'bad'.  More positive campaigning needed here! 

Whoever you voted for, the Conservatives got into power, and I know that there are going to be tough times over the next five years.  There would be tough times no matter who got into power, it's just the different parties decide when and where to take money from, and how to spend it.  I was disappointed by result as I actually thought we would have another hung parliament.  I do think that the Liberal Democrats having powers protected us from certain policies that the Conservatives' will now be able to enforce as they have free reign.  

I was also disappointed that only 56% of people in my constituent actually turned up to vote.  The town's results could have been so different if they had, and I don't understand why they would rebuke their right to vote when their voice is important for their own home town.

There has been a lot of protesting in relation to politics, and I don't know if anyone seen the so-called riot on youtube, but the recordings showed it quite differently to how it was portrayed in the newspapers which I found worrying, due to the underhand tactics used to paint a bad picture of these protesters.  I an trying to approach this objectively so I have to take a step back from these things as there are two sides to every story, so it is possible that both sides are true to a certain extent.  Clearly there is a lot of passion about these results!  

I am trying to take a positive outlook on politics because I don't want to be defined by who I believe in and who is in power.  I am going to make my own judgement and if I see something immoral or wrong, I am going to stand up and voice my opinion.  I am far from privileged but I take the outlook that it could be worse and I want to do my part for society.  If anything the election has made me realise that action is needed.  The hardship of others seems to be something that is on my mind, and I am going to think carefully about what I can do to contribute to a better society.  

I already donate something to the food bank trolleys in the supermarket, but I do get my shopping delivered sometimes, and some weeks I go to cheaper supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, who don't have a food bank trolley.  As one of my contributions to society, I am now pledging to buy something for the food bank every time I shopping.  Even if the donation trolley isn't available, I will save some items and drop these into the food bank myself.  Even if I am low on cash, I will buy something sensible to donate because there is always someone less fortunate.

What do you think of food banks?  What other things could I do to contribute more to society?  Maybe you are suffering some sort of hardship as a result of policies previous or current, and you would like to note this?  

I don't really want to get into a political argument as I believe everyone has their own views and beliefs.  I don't know enough about all politics and I have only started paying more interest in it over the last couple of months or so.  I ask you to please be respectful of my thoughts and if you disagree, or I have missed something or got something wrong (which is perfectly possible), feel free to comment.  Although, I do feel at this present time that I am more interested in finding out about how we can improve and develop our own society in light of this.

Thank you for reading my long post this evening, and with that, I draw to a close.  

Janet 


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