Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Monday, 12 April 2010

Indecision 2010 - Parliament's Out!

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This election will be the third time I have used my right to vote, the last two being the 2009 European election and the 2008 London Mayor election. This is my first General Election. Whereas the last two elections gave me a sense of excitement, and I have found General Elections pretty thrilling since I was 11 (I had a very deprived childhood), this year I have been feeling the opposite.

Why is this so? It's because I hate the FPTP system. Not just because the polls increasingly suggest that we are heading for a hung parliament led by Labour, even if they don't win the most votes. Liverpool Riverside, the constituency I live at during term time, is one of the safest Labour seats in the country. According to VoterPower.org, a persons vote here is the equivalent of 0.018 votes and the average British voter has 14.29 times more voting power than those living in Liverpool Riverside. Since 1983, over 75% of votes in the constituency have gone to Labour.

However, if I decided to do a postal vote and vote in my family's constituency, the newly created Ruislip-Northwood-Pinner, I'd be voting in a Tory seat as was the case before my constituency changed its name and size from the former seat of Ruislip-Northwood. I couldn't get figures for the current constituency, seeing as it was officially created today, but I do know that the former Ruislip-Northwood had always been blue.

I am aware that under the FPTP system, it is the swing seats that decides on the outcome of elections. Even so, this sytsem has made me feel really apathetic all of a sudden. And I just know that any attempt to reform the voting system will never happen under the Conservatives or Labour; why bite the hand that feeds you?

Friday, 9 April 2010

Indecision 2010 - Soundbites

I know Cameron's calls to establish a "volutnary youth scheme" (something which Labour have pledged in the past) is nothing more than a soundbite to attract any potential and actual Tory voters from the "Bring Back National Service" group. However, if such a scheme is so helpful to my generation and the younger generations, wouldn't the money, time and effort wasted on this half baked youth scheme gimmick would surely be better spent improving our failing education system?

And I apologise to reference Marina Hyde twice in one week, but her article in regards to the leaders wives and how many have annoyingly proclaimed this year to be the "WAG Election" is worth a read.

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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Money Well Spent!

This was originally going to be posted on Monday, but was delayed by Graylings comments on B&Bs banning gay couples and Labours epic fail on the David Cameron/Gene Hunt poster. And because I've been caught up in election fever :D

The absurdity of this "documentary" can be best summed up in this article by Marina Hyde of The Guardian.

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Abdul's in for a nasty shock!

Indecision 2010 - Gene Hunt

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During the weekend, Labour released a new poster featuring David Cameron in the guise of Gene Hunt to remind voters of Tory governance during the 1980s. At first glance, the poster seems to appear to be something of a late Fools, especially as The Guardian reported on Labour's latest range of election posters as an April Fools prank. Alas, the poster is genuine, and was unveiled by the Miliband brothers . The poster is was designed by 25 year-old Quagliozzi, and was the winning entry of a competition Labour held to find a new poster in the election campaign as a way to save money. This poster was the best entry in the competition. Out of a thousand.

The release of this poster could potentially backfire for Labour in that the Tories could gain thousands of more votes. The Tories have taken advantage of the poster by re-releasing it with a diferent slogan. Intending to highlight not just how much damage the Tories did to many parts of the country during the 1980s, but the political incorrectness of society at the time, Labour have gone and used a cult character that is highly popular with the public. Especially one that is considered an unlikely sex symbol. Not only has he gone and referenced a fictional character that is seen as a lovable rouge to fans of Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes, but it also alienates those that do not watch those shows. It gives the impression that there are too many trendy assumptions at work here, that we all follow the 'cool' shows but don't have enough common sense. Those people would be unaware of the references Labour are trying to make in the poster; to them the poster gives the appearance that David Cameron looks cool. Not good, especially when many cultural aspects of the 1980s are currently in vogue.

This poster also highlights the childish name-calling that politicians have always resorted to in order to influence the simple minded. Why give the electorate a clear manifesto covering specific issues, answer questions without blathering like an idiot and be clear about ones ideology and views on the role of Government, when slinging mud at your opponents is much easier? Election campaigns always revolve around ridiculous PR stunts and advertising, as opposed to a serious examination of the current governments record or the main parties' policies.

Also, from a copyright infringement perspective, have Labour gotten permission by the BBC?

Monday, 5 April 2010

Indecision 2010 - The Party for Change?

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Since David Cameron became Conservative leader in 2005, he sought to move the party in a new direction after the party suffered electoral defeats since 1997. After the success of Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008, which focused on the idea of hope and change, the Conservatives have adopted the change mantra as the their own and constantly bleat it out in interviews or at any given opportunity. The decision to adopt progressiveness is as laughable as it is oxymornic, seeing as this is being done by the Conservative Party (its also something I have poked fun at in the past).

If the Conservatives are the party for change, and despite claiming they are "the party of socail mobility", then why is it that the current Shadow Cabinet are dominated by former members of the Bullingdon Club and the richest politicians in Britain?

If the Conservatives are the party for change, then for what reason did they protest against the so-called "death tax" other than to protect the interests of the rich? If Cameron claims that he isn't a Thatcherite and has promised to impose tough regulations on the financial sector, then why is he wooing the City for donations (which account for a third of party funding) and stated in a recent speech to Goldman Sachs, Barclays and other leaders of the world's most powerful banks that the City was in his blood?

If the Conservatives are the party for change, then why is it that many members of the party retain the homophobic attitudes that are typical of the Tories? Although he claims to regret supporting Section 28, why did David Cameron pussy-foot around this and other gay issues in the recent interview with the Gay Times, and is silent over Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling's recent comments on supporting B&Bs banning gay couples?

If the Conservatives are the party for change because they have moved away from the days where they endorsed bigotry and discrimination, then why is it that in the European Parliament, they not long ago aligned themselves with far-right parties? Why did many members of the party recently try to prevent a black candidate from standing in the Tory safe seat of East Surrey?

Despite David Cameron trying (and failing) to give the impression that him and the party are moving towards a more eco-friendly direction and that this was evidence that the party has changed, why is it that the majority of Tory MPs think otherwise? Have environmental issues become the "New Europe"?

The reformed and progressive facade which the Tories have adopted since Cameron came to power has slowly crumbled away these past few weeks. Labour recently released a poster which depicts David Cameron as Gene Hunt, to remind voters of the perils of Tory governance during the 1980s. Although the poster could potentially backfire, and is an insult to Gene Hunt (something which I will draw/write about later in the week), how true is it that the Conservative Party of 2010 really is the same as the Conservative Party of the 1980s?