People have been unhappy with governments since they were invented; after all, they're only people, and let's not forget it was people who killed Jesus. But recently, the UK has been firing up the election engine and all the main political parties have been going into overdrive trying to secure people's votes. The Conservative's main strategy in their entire time in "Coalition" has been spent busily and quietly screwing people over, and 2014 was no different; politicians have proven that they are experts at screwing the average Joe over. For example...
1. MPs Gave Themselves a Massive Pay Rise.
In 2014, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) reviewed MP's annual salaries of £67,000 and reached the conclusion that it was just not enough money to buy duck houses and moat cleaning services. They recommended that the figure should be raised to £74,000. The justification behind this being as Marcial Boo, Chief Executive of IPSA puts it, that MPs are "lagging" behind those salaries in the Private sector, and that these increases are in line with economic conditions such as inflation.
|Subo's not happy.|
Now excuse me for being pedantic, but when Public sector pay scales only gained an increase of 1% last year, isn't it entirely hypocritical that an independent watchdog would choose to recommend MP's pay increase? Who needs £74,000 a year, considering that MPs are allowed to claim for a lot on their expenses, even after the Expenses Reform of 2010. I mean, if the guys in charge are getting paid above and beyond what they really need, shouldn't we be putting more resources into securing Public sector jobs instead of...
2. Taking Money from Local Government, Eliminating Services and Forcing Redundancies.
Chancellor George Osbourne, the guy in charge of the money, announced in June 2013 that
"Local government will take the biggest hit (in cuts), with cuts at the Department for Communities and Local Government of 10%" What does that mean? Well, that 10% of cuts means reductions in frontline services, such as waste collection and emergency services.
Even an independent watchdog has criticised the Government for not having any foresight into the effects of cuts on local governments; leaving many with the feeling that they just don't get what they pay for from taxes anymore. But you have to trust that the money they're saving is going to where it's needed, don't you? Wrong, because...
3. They Constantly Lie to You About What They're Spending Your Money on.
This month, the Government at a cost of millions, sent households in the UK a nice little pie-charted leaflet with their annual tax summaries. This leaflet claimed that almost a quarter of ALL public spending was going on Welfare. On closer inspection, it was found that they were actually lumping services that were nothing to do with Welfare into that category to plump up the statistics. A recent Guardian article shows that a massive proportion of these figures are undefined, leading many to question the Government's official version. Even a Select Committee ruled that ‘Ministers have to stop quoting whichever figure best suits their argument on any given occasion. Without an agreed single measure of local government spending power there can be no public transparency or open debate on council funding.’
|I'll have the biggest slice, thanks.|
4. They Insist on Eroding Your Rights in the Name of Freedom and Security.
As I wrote about yesterday, the UK Government is obsessed with restricting the Internet and forcing companies to supply details of their customers, as well as intercept private communications and restrict users' access to phones and the Internet, without any provisional court hearings. Not only that, but the new legislation says that they can now move anyone, from anywhere in the country, to anywhere in the country. (Link)
Now, anyone can say that "It's Orwell's vision come true!" or conversely, "Well, it's all in the name of stopping terrorism!", but fundamentally, it is taking rights away from ordinary citizens under the guise of fighting against proverbial "terrorists". Who's to say that under these new laws, they won't just detain or move someone who isn't a terrorist, for their own reasons. They already have the power to hold you in a prison cell for 28 days without telling you why.
5. They are all Woefully Under-qualified to do the Job.
When an MP is appointed a Cabinet Minister by the Prime Minister, they take on the responsibility of a particular department, be it Health, Transport or Velociraptors. The problem here is that most MPs appointed to these positions have come from completely different departments and have absolutely no clue on the issues of their appointed sector. These people rely on their staff in order to formulate policy. The problem being here, that as we can see in the case of MPs such as Jeremy Hunt, they have absolutely no idea how to do the job.
Hunt himself was Culture, Sport and Media secretary during the phone-hacking scandal and the failed BskyB deal, which is ironic, considering he knows the Murdochs well. He was then moved to Health Secretary, and in an almost impressive display of buffoonery, has replaced Primary Care Trusts with Clinical Commissioning Groups, which have a tremendous amount of power over healthcare; allowing them to award contracts to any private business interest. What this means is that the Government is much more interested in selling off public services to make themselves and their friends' business interests a lot of money instead of actually looking at what the healthcare infrastructure really needs, like funding for anger management or physical therapy, which is currently unavailable for patients.
After taking these points into consideration, my message to voters in Britain is: spoil your ballot paper. It's a vote for a brighter tomorrow.