OldJoke/NewPolitik

24 Jan

It’s occured to me of late that this blog is straying massively from it’s reason d’etre: To inform and educate. “No biggy, no-one reads this anyway” says my inner critic, but it is a big deal. I’ve allowed myself to worry about trivial things. This needs to end.

So, without further ado, here’s a latter day question I would like to solve:

Have you ever seen Stevie Wonder’s Wife?

Chances are, like the old joke goes, you probably haven’t. In fact, unless you’re a massive Stevie Wonder fan (AKA a “Golden Wonder”), you probably don’t even know her NAME.

Well, it’s Kai Milla Morris. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia which anyone can edit, which has a 100% track record on the truth.

Furthermore, a Google Image Search (or GIS for short) comes up with this cracking picture (Copyright WireImages, as it says on the photo. Which I nicked). Isn’t she lovely? Yeah.

Next week on Explainin’ The Cosmos, has anyone seen Ray Charles’ iPod dock? Well, you gotta update these things for the naughties… or the tensies, even.

Now that I’ve got that bee out of my bonnet, we turn to more serious issues. Namely, that here in the United Kingdom, we have a general election in what looks like 3 and a bit months time*, and I have no idea who to vote for. Those of you who know me from such places as the pub will already know that over the last ten years or so I’ve gone from being a fully paid up member of the Conservative Party to becoming a wooly, small “l” liberal, via brief spells in the Labour and Lib Dem societies at university. Not only that, but I voted SNP at the last Holyrood elections. In short, if political parties were countries, my passport would be full of stamps, and really small to boot.

The thing is, my views on key issues haven’t really changed all that much over the years, but the views of the major parties have. When I was in the Tories, it was because I believed in free market solutions for social problems, a “helping hand” not a “hand out”, as it were. Problem was, the “helping hand” often wasn’t very helpful.

Similarly, when I was a Labour student, it was because I agreed with their modern approach to law and order, that criminals should, in a fair society, be given a chance to redeem themselves, and that prevention was the best cure for re-offending. Now, it seems Labours best idea for crime prevention is issuing us all with a glorified NUS card, lumping all on a massive database, and tell us all it’s for our own good.

As for the Lib Dems, well, I agreed with their position on Europe, I agreed largely with the need for a penny extra tax to improve education, and I was impressed with Charles Kennedy’s uncanny ability to set the Westminster agenda despite being miles behind the other two parties. I also enjoyed Thursday night karaoke. However, such was my loyalty to Kennedy, when he went, it was only a matter of time before I did, and that leaves me where I am now.

So there’s the problem, I’ve got a head full of liberal ideas, and no obvious franchise to deploy them. With all three (well, four including the SNP) parties making a pitch for the centreist vote, who am I to choose from?

Well, rather than wait for them to pitch their ideas to me, this is me pitching my ideas to them. Brown, Clegg, Cameron, Salmond, to you I make this cast iron guarantee: Below are my big three ideas. I will vote for the party who brings in the most of these ideas as policy, or at the very least takes these ideas into consideration when formulating policy.

1) The National Employment Agency

Due to the uncertain economic future, many companies are holding off employing people on permanent contracts. Employment agencies are putting companies off hiring temps due to the largish agency fees. Unbelievably, in this day and age JobCentre Plus does everything EXCEPT act as a state run agency. If they were to hire temps and send them out to companies, the state would need to hire more people to run this new side of the enterprise, companies would save money on recruitment, and many JSA claimants would be better off temping. And if a temporary contract runs out? Back to JSA, with little fuss. Everyone wins.

2) Right To Buy/Right To Sell

This ones a doddle. We have legislation for those in Social Housing to buy their homes. We aren’t building enough new social housing stock. People are having their houses repossessed. Simple answer? Allow the local authorities and housing associations to have first refusal on repossessions where the defaulting party has a mortgage with a majority state-owned bank (Lloyds/RBS/Northern Rock). That way, the defaulter needn’t become homeless, more social stock becomes available (in different areas with different social/economic mixes), and UK plc finally puts the state-run banks to some good use.

3) Community Engagement

More and more people are living single lives. More and more people are feeling alienated from their communities. Thatcherism bought us selfishness and greed, Blairism bought us the client state. Neither did us any favours. We need to relearn to rely on each other and to respect each other. I have no ideas how this could be encouraged, but something needs to happen. Quickly. That’s the real moral fibre of Britain breaking down.

So there we are. Politicians, it’s over to you.

*EDIT: Cabinet Minister Bob Ainsworth seems to think that the General Election will be on 6th May

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One Response to “OldJoke/NewPolitik”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Why I’m Still a Lib Dem « Explainin' The Cosmos - September 26, 2012

    […] if this blog had such a thing as a regular readership, regular readers may well remember my post from 2010, where I was asking for advice on who to back at the forthcoming election, as well as shoe-horning […]

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