Wednesday, 6 May 2015

I vote for change

Tomorrow is election day in the UK. It is funny how quickly it is here and my complete lack of anticipation this time. What is there to be excited about? Will May the 8th be any different from May 6th?

I started watching The Trews - the news if it were true. I admit that I used to find it extremely uncomfortable to watch Russell Brand, but on his own for 10 minutes he seems a lot calmer and he has been saying the kind of things that I want to hear. I even watched his new film with Michael Winterbottom The Emperors New Clothes that came out recently. It was really hard to track down a cinema to watch it in, so in the end we paid Amazon and watched it at home. (It is all about not supporting big corporations who don't pay tax like....Amazon!)

Honestly, it is brilliant and well worth watching. Like Russell says, there is nothing in the film that you don't already know, but he puts it across in a way that is powerful, easy to understand and with humour, especially when he drives around in his 'Shop a Banker' van. (In this meaning 'shop' a banker means to grass them up and turn them in to the police, and mimics the government's campaign after the London riots when they used 'Shop a Looter' vans to try to catch people who had stolen a pair of trainers, rather than bankers who cost the country millions.)

One of the vans showing pictures of suspects

Well I was coming round to Russell's idea, that "things can change" and his stance on voting was not to vote for anyone because they are all the same and none of them stand for real change. For instance the labour party didn't regulate the banks or prosecute any bankers before they lost the last election and the conservative and liberal democrat coalition hasn't acted to rectify this since. They all support the bankers, they all listen to big corporations and put their interests above working people and they are all for austerity measures.

I think Russell has lost sight of this recently and has been charmed by Ed Miliband into advocating voting for his party if you are not in Scotland or Brighton! The Ed Miliband interview looked like Russell was hypnotised, but for the rest of us it was just Ed Miliband saying the same non-committal political spiel that he used in the TV debates.

I haven't followed much of the politics, but I watched the TV debate with 7 candidates, and although we don't usually vote for the same parties, both hubby and I agreed that we would both vote SNP (Scottish National Party) if we could, which of course we can't.... unless we move to Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon had a clear strong message that was anti-austerity, abolishing tuition fees and the bedroom tax - the kind of policies I would really want and expect to see labour supporting. Plus she came across as a strong determined women. There would be no more childish name-calling and bullying in parliament if she was in charge, which I detest from our current prime minister.

I will NEVER vote for conservative, not because of David Cameron or any of their policies, but because I remember growing up during Margaret Thatcher's government. Neither will I ever vote for labour after Tony Blair took us to war with Iraq based on lies. People seem to have forgotten that the labour party didn't regulate the banks and continued privatisation with underhand PFI schemes. They didn't build more council houses, strengthen the unions, or re-nationalise anything. They are not the same party that Clement Attlee led after the war. They are just slightly more left than the conservatives. (As the Green party political broadcast points out)

I read the Liberal Democrats manifesto last time round and it sounded good, so they got my vote. However Nick Clegg completely sold out to the conservatives just to be in a coalition government. There is no point being part of a coalition government if you are not going to stand up for the policies that matter to you. The real joke is that Nick Clegg still thinks that they did. Yes - they have been added to my never-forget-not-to-vote-for-them list!

I am fairly certain that they will be part of a new government though, because they have shown how weak they are. If I was going to try to make a coalition with another party, I would choose one that will go along with everything I say, and the Liberal Democrats have proved they fit this role perfectly!

Thinking about coalitions made me wonder whether Russell was onto something in suggesting voting for labour. For English voters we can't vote for the SNP, but if we want to see them as part of a coalition then really the most likely scenario would be if labour won marginally more seats than the conservatives, though not a full majority. Is there any possibility of SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green party forming a coalition? Wouldn't that be amazing?

I think Russell was wrong to throw his weight behind labour. He apparently had 10 million followers and if he had supported the Green party or Left Unity that could have made a difference and that could have brought these parties onto the playing field, ready for a Syriza style victory at the following election. Even supporting the "don't vote because they are all a bunch of liars" stance is better than suggesting more of the same. So much for wanting a revolution.

I want a revolution. For the first time I have a local green candidate that I can vote for, called Mark Sissons, who has written a book that sounds rather interesting. I am voting for the green party, because they are anti-austerity, anti-trident and support environmental policies that may yet mean that the planet is still inhabitable for future generations. I am voting Green for what they stand for and my vote still counts even if the Green party don't win the seat, because my vote is about being true to my feelings and views. I vote for change.