activist, animal welfare, austerity, BBC, Carers, Conservatives, cuts, debate, disability, disabled, disabled people, election, Farage, Fox hunting, Iain Duncan Smith, IDS, ILF, Labour, leaked welfare cuts, manifesto, politicians, politics, The Guardian, Tories, UKIP
So it begins. Each time I swear I will hibernate or retreat to a cave to swear, and fume and howl.
Politics is banned in my home, particularly the TV ‘debates’ (more like sweaty mass-debates fnar fnar). There’s a saying: ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’ – which means for plebs like me: ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’ Much overused but I don’t care. Every time I hear a politician open their mouth, I’m in a time-machine of dreary rhetoric, promises made to be broken; the robotic banality of party leaders who are so enamoured of the media circus that they come across as not just squeaky clean but less than human, and when stripped down to their nasty bones, I suggest there’s very little that defines a difference between them.
Maybe they should have a fart debate – cue obvious joke about hot air.
The detestable Farage with his mock ordinary chap persona sickens me but the one positive glint – if we can call it that – is that he is memorable in his obnoxiousness. I hiss when he looms unexpectedly onto my TV, an emotional response not evoked by anyone else other than perhaps Iain Duncan Shit, who I am convinced is a robot, one that has certainly had his emotion chip removed.
I urge everyone to look at manifestos and pledges, even if for a laugh. It’s all so tiresome, though I must suppose that UKIP are going for the animal welfare vote by saying they will ban the live export of animals. Mind you, Labour will stop the badger cull, while in opposition, the Tories, with their hunting-shooting-fishing numbers, nervously say they will repeal the ban on hunting, saying the ban has done nothing for animal welfare. Er, unless you’re a fox…
There’s a good summary of the pledges here (BBC) which is as good a starting point as any. Although I note that not one of these mentions support to keep open ILF or ring-fence the money transferring to local authorities, which is crucial for severely disabled people to remain independent. Indeed, other than oblique mentions, the rights of disabled people do not feature in any significant way. Even while I cackle, grim faced, at the leaked document showing the Tories with their blooded axe held high proposing another £12 billion cuts to welfare, this isn’t to say I’m not scared. Damn scared – and angry.
I accidentally clocked stony-faced IDS on last Sunday’s Andrew Marr show and the deadly minister was in his element denying everything. In a parliament that has had endless cruel cuts, the suggested attacks on Carer’s Allowance, which saves the taxpayer so much money, has to count as one of the lowest.
As someone who has kept journals for 30 years, I’ve recorded the events of a fair few elections, from the dark Mordor days of Maggie to the glib spin of Blair; hopes raised, expectations halted. On it goes; on it goes.
Nonetheless, do push the bastards with verbals, with emails, with protests. Make them squirm. Make them give you answers. There are backbenchers who are good people, who will respond to you – who appear human. Engage with them.
We must vote. Those majority of us who are the Have-Nots. It’s all we’ve got.