johnny of the Well

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Last Active 12-24-15 9:05 pm
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UK Politics

Anyone from the UK (or beyond) care about the upcoming election? Here are some rof my thoughts (phrased rsomewhat expediently), let me hear yours.
OK Computer

Conservatives: Up until now, I have been in favour of the Conservatives austerity-based
approach to economic recovery, but George Osborne?s promise to cut public spending back to
levels that pre-date the NHS is a bit much for me to stomach ? sure, the economy as a whole
will be in a strong place by the end of the next government, but I think such cuts are
somewhat excessive. My major con against the Tories is the growth of UK poverty, something
that I don?t trust the principle of trickle-down economics under maintained GDP growth to
rectify. I am not as concerned about the decline of the NHS, firstly because of promises of
extra funding that have already made, and also because these people are sufficiently self-
aware to recognise that their credibility depends upon keeping it afloat.
But at the end of the day, they have set us well on the way to economic recovery and I think
that this recovery should be fully realised in the most cohesive way possible, which means
biting the bullet in regards to cuts and poverty; the Conservative proposition is not a pleasant
one, but it is viable and with a clear sense of direction, and the latter is something I cannot
say for either Labour or the Lib Dems (with UKIP and the Greens it becomes an issue in
One of the biggest pros on the Tories? side is their EU policy: I believe that the country needs
to bring the EU issue to a head sooner rather than later and the Tories? promise of attempted
renegotiation and then a referendum if there are still issues seems like the best deal we?re
going to get from any party (for the unsure, Labour, the Greens and the Lib Dems will remain
in the EU unconditionally and UKIP will obviously pull out as quickly as they can).
2 Jane's Addiction
Nothing's Shocking

Labour: I?m going to give early props for (the image they present of a) significant social
conscience; the country could use their focus on health care and the lower classes. However, I
don?t trust them to fulfil this without putting us back into economic regression and leaving us
back where we were at the end of the Brown years. Labour has proclaimed an excessive focus
on tax as a means of sustaining the economy; mansion tax will fail to bring in enough funds
even to come close to matching NHS spending alone. The tax on bankers? benefits is an
interesting idea, I find it hard to treat this as anything beyond na?ve; I don?t think anyone
could accurately predict how much would come from it.
As for the abolition of the House of Lords, about which I feel somewhat indifferent in itself, I
can imagine the elected Second Chamber that would replace it increasing political stasis and
rendering the system even more bureaucratic, not to mention simply becoming another stage
for the petty conflicting bitchiness that has come to define the House of Commons, but maybe
that's just my cynicism. Ed Miliband is, as goes without saying, a ridiculous figure and quite
unsuitable to represent the country. On the bright side, the more seats Labour win, the less
we have to worry about a SNP presence in Westminster.
3The Cure

UKIP: Not much to say here; they make a lot of valid points about the EU and immigration;
although a concrete figure is not forthcoming, the BBC has estimated that up to 50% of all
British legislation originates in Brussels, immigration does provide a strain on public services
and allows for exploitation of benefits in their current form. Now, I am in favour of
immigration in a controlled, constructive manner that benefits both the immigrant and the
state, so when I heard Nigel Farage suggest that in being able to reject unskilled European
immigrants, we would be able to admit more eligible immigrants from the rest of the world,
whom EU legislation would otherwise make us turn down in favour of Europeans, I almost
smiled. Would I therefore consider voting UKIP? Absolutely not ? this is idealism that will
almost certainly not be successfully realised and probably manifest itself in a xenophobic
policy of isolationism. I think that Farage and most UKIP politicians are often misunderstood,
but that does not stop them from appealing to the nastier, more intolerant side of our society.
UKIP are economically armed with Conservative policy but lacking in the credibility that
ensures the voter that they will deliver on it. On the plus side, I would like to see Farage in
Westminster ? he has a healthy way of keeping other parties on their toes and holding a firm
line against excessive pluralism. In short, UKIP are an unreliable party but Farage is a potent
equalising force and a strong advocate against political stasis.
4Enter Shikari
The Mindsweep

Liberal Democrats: The coalition has not been good for the Lib Dems; Nick Clegg has shown
himself to be so inconsistent that I find it hard to pin any firm identity on the party, and I?ve
come to see him as the face of bland, spineless modern politics. I don?t believe that the Lib
Dems are a particularly accurate translation of liberal ideology and their failure to support
their own policies (*cough* tuition fees *cough*) has rendered them untrustworthy. Many of
their policies are offered more reliably by over parties (tightening English language checks for
immigrants and stricter border control = Conservatives/UKIP, various ecological policies =
Greens etc.) There?s some nice material in increased free childcare and a proposed Digital Bill
of Rights, which might finally make the internet somewhat sensible, but those aren?t exactly
gamechanging policies. In a stagnant political environment, the Liberals somehow manage to
stand for even less than everyone else.
A Night at the Opera

Greens: At first, I couldn?t help but concur with popular opinion insofar as the Greens
represent a socially conscious party that offers ?real change?. However, on closer inspection
the party is composed of idealistic, insubstantial drivel that is best consigned to the most
secluded of dream palaces. The Citizens? Income is a nice idea, but economically ridiculous;
despite replacing unemployment benefits, being prepared to pay an entire adult population
(admittedly below an as-yet-unspecified level of income) over ?70 per week is absurd.
Phasing out all factory/battery farming in favour in free-range is a beautiful idea but I can?t
see it feeding a whole country sustainably or affordably. Their policy of limiting secondary
school numbers to 700 is counter-productive and will cause more harm than good for well-
established institutions of significantly higher numbers.
It?s nice that the Greens have given people something to hope for, but their appeal ends there.
Under their government, we would enjoy a few years of social inequality in rapid decline
before a very unpleasant crash. UKIP?s brand of idealism is predominantly dangerous for
others, rather than ourselves, but the Greens are just as bad, if not worse, in reverse.
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