3 articles Tag coalition

Dear So and So…The Political Edition

General-Election-2015My friend Mich over at Mummy From the Heart has recently taken over the Dear So and So linky, where people write open letters on their blogs and link them up with everyone else who’s joined in. Obviously, this is a big week in terms of British politics and although I’ve been refraining from blogging about it too much up until now, I’ve got a few things I’d like to say…

Dear Voting Public, 

It’s been 5 years since we all had the opportunity to have a say in who’d be running the country and I think the majority of us, if we’re being honest, can all agree that we made a mistake. Against my better judgement, I voted Lib Dem last time, sick of the Blair “New Labour” agenda. There was no way I’d be voting Conservative, but I thought I’d try the other lot for a change. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I, in part, was responsible for the terrible cock-up that has been the last 5 years.

The NHS is in a worse state than ever. More publicly run companies have been privatized. The poorest and most underprivileged amongst us have been hit the hardest, which is absolutely typical of a Tory government and they’re absolutely unapologetic about it, planning even deeper cuts if they get in for a further term.

We have a chance to do something about it. I don’t care if you vote for Labour, Green…The Monster Raving Loony Party if needs be, but I don’t think I can cope with another 5 years of right-wing rule. Do me a favour; do the right thing.

Thanks,

Jayne

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Dear Non-Voters,

GET YOUR ARSES TO A POLLING STATION. There is absolutely NO excuse for you to not vote and your apathy is what left us with the wishy-washy coalition last time. People have LITERALLY died for your right to vote and for you ignore your obligation just because you “can’t be bothered” is disgusting. Not knowing who to vote for is also not an excuse – if you can read, you can have a look at the manifestos. Decide which one speaks to you the most and VOTE FOR THAT PERSON.

Yours,

Annoyed of Southend

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Dear Ed Milliband, 

Please don’t let me down. I have great faith in you, I respect your policies and feel that you’d be the best thing for our country at the moment. I know your hands will be tied and that not everything you’ve pledged to do will be possible within five years. I know there’s red tape to get through. I know there’s a room full of ancient, out of touch Lords who have to have their say before things get done. 

You have a huge opportunity to change the way this country is run and to undo all of the damage that’s been done by The Coalition. You have the opportunity to reduce the burden on the millions of families who are overstretched and underpaid. You have the opportunity to restore some dignity and peace of mind to the disabled people of Britain who’ve been forced back into work despite obvious unsuitability. You have the opportunity to make Britain great again by restoring the socialist values which have underpinned much of our society and stop us from rolling headlong into the consumer, capitalist driven heartlessness which has reared its ugly head. 

I have faith in you. Don’t let me down. 

Yours Faithfully, 

Hopeful of Southend.

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Dear UKIP voters,

I have to admit, you’ve unsettled me. I’m genuinely scared of the momentum that UKIP has gained in recent years and feel hugely disheartened by the thought of raising my daughters in a country which is being governed by a party who bases its policies on fear and hatred. If you’ve a modicum of intelligence and the ability to Google, you can quite easily see that the vast majority of the statistics they use for their scare tactics are highly manipulated and inaccurate.

I know that many of you felt that a vote for UKIP was a protest vote against the “main three”, but please, consider a vote for Green or someone else as your protest, if you’re that way inclined. Even spoiling your ballot would be better, just make sure you get yourself to a polling station and refuse to be manipulated into thinking that “immigrants are the enemy”.

Yours in hope,

Concerned of Southend.

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Do you have an open letter you’d like to write? Please link up with Dear So and So… over at Mummy From the Heart and also read the rest of the posts over there. 

Has the Coalition Government Betrayed the Elderly?

Brought to you by Stannah Stairlifts

The care of our elderly citizens has been a popular news topic for some time now and the most recent reports are beginning to throw accusations at those responsible for allocating state-funded care to those most in need. Going under fire for betraying the elderly on earlier promises, the coalition government has come under great scrutiny lately – but are they really guilty?

Broken promises

According to a report on The Daily Telegraph, thousands of pensioners will be forced to sell their homes despite being promised that this wouldn’t happen. The scandal first gathered pace when it was announced that the government’s flagship scheme to stop old people having to sell their property while they’re paying for care at a residential home or in their own property would be means-tested.

The Government claims that this will improve prospects for the elderly so that they’re not facing unlimited care costs or being forced to part with their homes but other authorities have different opinions. They have claimed that thousands of pensioners could be put at risk but not qualifying for the scheme under the new means-test.

This would mean they would have to run down the value of their personal possessions and savings until it reached a figure lower than £23,250 at which point they would then qualify for the scheme.

Funding care

For those wondering what all the fuss is about, the crux of the issue lies with the cost of care. This has been rising for some time now, leaving older individuals struggling to cope with the bills. This led the Government to introduce a cap of £72,000 for the amount of money anyone should spend on their care over their lifetime with new rules on who can qualify for benefits and state-funded support.

The idea was that those who faced the idea of selling their homes to afford care would be able to talk to their local council and have their care bills settled via a long-term loan which was repaid from their estate so that they weren’t forced to relocate.

The means-test was introduced as a way to ensure that local councils were able to support this move financially but it is unlikely the battle will end here. With elections on the cards for parliament, social care is expected to be a big bargaining tool when different parties but their arguments forward. The coalition has already introduced a new model for elderly care payments with labour indicating that they are devising their own plans.

For those who rely on this care on a day to day basis, whether it be in the form of entering residential homes or adapting their own property with reconditioned stair lifts, this news is well worth monitoring. Checking eligibility for any additional financial aid or funding is vital if you need to pay out for regular care costs and the most important thing to remember is that the quality of service should not be sacrificed due to financial constraints.

Changing Our Political Options

It seems appropriate that I should be writing about politics on the day after we heard news about Margaret Thatcher dying, but this is a post I’ve been planning for a while, so the timing is coincidental.

What I want to talk about today are options.

I’ve been old enough to vote for 10 years now, but my political education began at a much younger age. I grew up in a staunchly left-wing family, a family of Trade Unionists, working class people who survived a Conservative regime which promised to ruin them. As far as my family were concerned, the UK wasn’t a two-party democracy as it would have been totally out of the question to vote for anyone but Labour.

As an adult I’ve had the opportunity to vote in two General Elections, one in 2005 and one in 2010. In 2005, I placed a family-influenced vote and helped Tony Blair get a second term as Prime Minister and then watched as the country got handed over to Gordon Brown. The less said about that, the better.

I didn’t place this vote because I knew about Labour’s policies, I placed it because that’s what I’d been taught. My vote automatically went with Labour and anything else was out of the question. I was 21, young, free and single and had no real interest in what was going on in the country, so long as the price of clothes, Benefit mascara and petrol didn’t go up by too much.

The General Election of 2010 met a completely different Jayne. By then, I was 26, a married mother of a two-year-old, renting a house and things like Tax Credits and funding for Education were suddenly a concern for me. I, like MANY people, was sick of the two-horse race and thought that a third party should be given a go, so my vote went to the Lib Dems.

Three years into this coalition Government and I imagine that most Lib Dem voters from 2010 are feeling rather like their fingers got burned. Instead of the Nick Clegg we wanted, we’ve ended up with a snivelling Tory lackey and one of the most shocking attacks on the working classes that we’ve seen in modern times. It’s no surprise, given his systematic dismantelling of public services, that Dave Cam is a huge fan of Maggie. I’ve been left feeling bitterly disillusioned by all concerned.

But here’s what I’ve realised; there ARE other parties.

Until 2010, we hadn’t had a party in power which wasn’t either Labour or Conservative for almost 100 years, which incidentally was another Con/Lib coalition government, but as long as we continue to regard the Big Two and the Main Straggler as the only two and a half parties worth getting our votes, the country will NEVER change. We need to alter the way we think and stop letting ourselves be led up the garden path by people who don’t care about us.

The three main parties have had their chance to prove themselves as worthy leaders, a task at which they seem to have consitently failed over the last few decades, and our cynicism at other parties not having the chops to run the country are quite frankly laughable, given the dross we’re still voting in, election after election.

The Green Party will be getting my vote next time. Having taken the time to give their policies a proper read, I think that they best represent my values and what I want for my family and our future.

This isn’t me telling you do vote for the Green Party, this is me telling you to investigate your options. Voting isn’t just putting a cross in a box, it’s about what is going to happen to us for a minimum of four years, and for me that merits a bit of thought and consideration. I know we’re stuck with the current bumbling halfwits for another two years, but educating yourself now might mean that you don’t walk into a booth in 2015 and just put your cross next to any old primary colour.

I’ve attached a copy of the short version of the Green Party policies below for you to read or download if you want to.

Green Party Manifesto