Monday, December 16, 2019

Post Election Blues

 Ouch, that was a stinger. 

As the ruminations and recriminations begin, it’s time to take stock, look back through all the lies, media bias, misinformation and dirty tricks, and learn important lessons.

As with the referendum, it’s easy to joke about the country failing a national IQ test – but at the end of the day, a nation is made up of all sorts of people from all walks of life, and democracy relies on the people to exercise their judgement based on what they see, hear, read, and experience.

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” – George Orwell, 1984

More than ever before, the campaigns exposed the depths that politicians – and those with vested interests who back them – will sink to, to get their message across.

For me, I’ve lost confidence in the BBC’s ability and motivation to report the truth in a balanced way – and they’re not the only ones, when you add the various media outlets owned by billionaires with vested interests.

Over the next few years, we’ll be fed government approved good news stories about new hospitals, more nurses, new police, investment in the NHS, social care, education and the emergency services. 

While walking past the homeless on the way to the office, shaking your head at the guy wrapped in a sleeping bag who reminds you of someone, you’ll hear through your expensive noise cancelling headphones that the economy hasn’t been so buoyant in years.

Driving past the car plant closed when the owners moved manufacturing to Spain, you’ll hear that we’ve made an international trade deal with a far away country you’re sure you’ve heard of.

As you wait anxiously for hours in a crowded A&E waiting room with a sick loved one, your phone will ping with more good news about the NHS. 

Of course you’re starting to realise that despite all the good news, things are still getting worse – but don’t worry, the red top newspapers lying discarded on a coffee table in the corner, tell you who’s to blame, and who you should be hating this week. 

As the parents of the crying child next to you exchange worried glances, you’re sure you heard an Eastern European accent – and your mind jumps back to that tabloid headline screaming about foreigners coming over here and clogging up our public services – ah no, the voice you heard was a nurse who’s been on duty for the last 12 hours. She looks tired, bless her.

Some say life’s too short to bear a grudge – and let’s face it, with record delays in A&E, if you need urgent medical treatment, it could get even shorter. My GP doesn’t trust the Tories with the NHS, and he’s been an NHS Doctor for nigh on 30 years.

Anyway enough from me – I’ve lost some friends during this election campaign, but nobody I’ll miss.

Stay well, and be kind to each other.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Labour 'beats other parties on climate change'

If you’re truly interested in climate change you should know that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said we need to cut global emissions in half by 2030 to have a chance of keeping global heating within safe limits – that means acting now, and acting decisively.

Friends of the Earth have analysed all of the Party manifestos, and concluded that Labour has the strongest policies to protect nature and combat climate change.

Labour’s election pledges beat the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats – with the Conservatives far behind.

The Tories wasted a decade serving the interests of big polluters, and slashed support for renewable energy while pushing through dangerous fracking.

Now Britain is decades off course on vital emissions targets. The next decade is crucial, and Labour’s Green New Deal aims to achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030.

The capture of natural resources for private profit created a vastly unequal and polluting economy dominated by powerful vested interests.

The Conservatives allowed the proceeds of North Sea oil to be squandered on tax cuts for the richest and captured in profits for the few, instead of investing them in our future.

Labour will introduce a windfall tax on oil companies, so that the companies that knowingly damaged our climate will help cover the costs.