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UK General Election 2015
We approach a General Election and most parties promise various paths to ‘Economic Growth’ and ‘Progress’, but do we actually want these things, and if so, in what form?
It seems that as ‘living standards’ rise, people often just become more dissatisfied.
Hitch hiking provides a very telling barometer of the social quality of life. In the seventies and early eighties huge numbers of people hitch hiked all over the country. I did London to Yorkshire, London to Lancashire, and London to Bristol countless times and on my holidays, London to the isle of Arran and London to the Orkneys, plus some wanderings in Wales and Ireland. Most motorway slip roads had queues of people with rucksacks and their destinations scribbled on bits of cardboard and most got away within half an hour with service personnel in uniform, and lorry drivers carrying their plates, taking precedence.
Nowadays you hardly see anyone hitch hiking, except perhaps in the Scandinavian countries and rural Scotland. People have become wary and fearful of each other. Sociologists have concluded that the more ‘mixed’ a society becomes, the less people trust each other. The urban English mainly live behind locked doors these days.
Immigration has much to answer for in this respect, it has led to a breakdown in the feeling that anyone you meet will likely turn out as more or less ‘one of us’ - with shared values. Hence it becomes apparent why you can still hitch hike in relatively culturally coherent societies like Scandinavia or rural Scotland. The success of the SNP in Scotland owes much to a desire to preserve a cultural identity in the face of the disintegrating ‘English’ identity.
A ‘Political Correctness’ which has virtually criminalised the criticism of any form of foreign behaviour or belief in the UK has only added to the fear. Few dare to speak out against cultural practices far beyond the norms of liberal society, or against religions with a basically fascist ideology.
Some economists opine that immigration boosts the economy. In the short term it does by increasing GDP, as we operate under the principle that all must eat and consume, but it depresses wages to the glee of the captains of industry, it swells the ranks of the indigenous unemployed underclass to the glee of the socialists, and it inflates the price of housing to the glee of property owners. However at some point it will have to stop; and the sooner the better. This small island cannot accommodate more without further degradation of the environment and further loss of social coherence which erode the quality of life. At least a billion assorted economic migrants and refugees from around the world would try to come here if they could.
Japan takes very few immigrants, its population ages and declines in numbers, and its economy remains fairly static, property prices have become sensible again, and as a result the average Japanese gets better off, and more cheerful now that they don’t work so hard.
In the UK we remain dementedly committed to economic growth despite that getting more stuff and money provides only a very temporary feeling of wellbeing and the loss of the more important life objectives. The sucking of foreign labour and capital into the system has created a situation where house price inflation now dominates the economy to the extent that a property price correction would cause the whole economy to collapse. Property insecurity has become a major factor in so many people’s lives; they now have to spend a huge proportion of their working lives merely securing a property that will effectively act as a tax on the young. Any party which dares not risk profoundly altering the structure of the UK economy will have to maintain a housing shortage either by immigration, a low building rate, or even demolition as a last resort.
London has become an alienating and depressing place except for the very rich. It has sucked in so much foreign labour and foreign capital that its traditional working class and its creative young bohemians have mostly fled elsewhere. Those big old north London houses where I used to visit student flats, squats, and witches’ basement covens back in the seventies, have now become sold to the banking and political classes for ten million quid each. Anyone earning less than 50K in London these days usually has to endure several hours a day of ghastly commuting to do so.
So, as I prefer the past to the present and to most likely futures, will I vote UKIP?
Probably not. Whilst I have immense sympathy for the cause of extricating this country from the ghastly mess of the profoundly undemocratic EU Synarchy and regaining the power to make our own laws, I don’t want to compromise the Conservatives chances of winning in my marginal constituency where UKIP have no chance. Plus UKIP’s environmental policies look cretinously uninformed. Okay so renewables may prove expensive and unsightly (although I quite like windmills), but the alternative of continuing to burn fossil fuel will prove catastrophic within the foreseeable future. I wouldn’t describe UKIP as particularly racist; I worked for them locally for a few years in the early days; I’d call them Culturalists. They would like to preserve or salvage a lot of the good stuff about the UK because it’s a lot better than many other cultures. I know because I’ve travelled widely.
The economic consequences of leaving the EU seem positive rather than negative, it will save £10 billion in contributions, burn kilo-parsecs of red tape, and trading will continue as normal, as indeed it does with Norway and Switzerland, two European countries that very wisely stayed out of the EU.
The EU benefits nobody except big-business against the interests of small and medium businesses, and the political class against the interests of the people.
I shall vote Conservative and hope for a Con-UKIP coalition that may yet grant us a referendum on the EU, and prevent further immigration.
I will do this not out of love for the Conservatives but out of dread of the alternative, the nightmare scenario of a Labour-SNP coalition which will try to boom and bust the economy again, even before the repair work undertaken by the Conservatives has finished.
The treacherous twerp who heads up the labour party sold out his own brother to gain personal power. It would come as no surprise to see him sell out the Scottish labour party to the SNP to gain more, and to sell out the whole UK to the EU to get himself into the EU commission later in his career.
As for the Illiberal Dimocrats, well I expect the party of busybodies which merely gathers the ‘Neither of the above’ vote, to sink without trace now that we face some real choices.
In the UK nearly everyone votes negatively, to keep out the party they dislike most, and turnout at elections remains low. Few people actively like any of the parties, political party membership stands at an all-time historical low, we have no room for charismatic leaders or demagogues here, and a more or less free press continually takes the mickey out of them all. Our police do not routinely carry guns.
I regard all of these things as signs of a fairly healthy democracy.