Thus far, I have remained uncharacteristically quiet about the election.
For those that don't know me, in 2010 I created a Rage-Against-the-Machine for #1 style online group designed to support the Liberal Democrats - the party who have always been closest to my own political ideologies and who were the 'underdog' at the time. If we can get Rage to #1, went my thinking, then why not try and use the same methodologies for the election? Could a huge populist movement help to shape an election?
That huge group of activists and lefties did indeed help to shape an election last time, in some small way - and this time a huge populist movement has been quietly trying to shape this election in a similar way.
In an election where Rupert Murdoch reportedly berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Milliband, groups like 38 Degrees and Avaaz have done much to both dispel the lies and fight for commitments to change from politicians. So far, their combined efforts have made several parties (Labour, the LibDems, the Greens & the SNP) commit to closing the Mayfar tax loophole should they be elected, have created action groups to fight for the NHS and made a stand against the right-wing press. Some of their actions have actually helped to create commitments that Labour later included in their manifesto.
The actions of activists and fact-checkers are vital in this election - because David Cameron has a huge PR machine at his beck-and-call, and he's lying through his teeth.
Anyone who believes that the Conservatives act in the people's interest has clearly not looked at the facts. In the face of a recession we should spend, not cut - economists argue that austerity measures damage more than they help; the feeble recovery we have seen is the natural result of the ceasing of these measures. These cuts are evidently ideological, not economical; why else, in these uncertain economic times, would they cut the tax rate for the richest few?
Coalition benefit cuts have been directly responsible for a number of deaths - there are claims that as many as 10,600 sick & disabled people died within six weeks of their benefit claims ending. Remember "I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS"? One of the greatest lies, as the huge number of wards closing goes to prove. Cameron will also tell you that we've got 7,000 more nurses and 9,000 more Doctors - this is yet another lie. In fact, as a direct result of Tory cuts, we lost 61,000 nurses in the first two years of this government.
In the meantime their ideological privatisation scheme continues - GPs are being told to hand billions-worth of NHS decisions to private health firms and their lobbyists, in a move that creates some huge potential conflicts of interest and has the potential to turn patients into moneymaking opportunities for large businesses.
This is a man who tells us how much his disabled son needed the NHS, while simultaneously taking away many of the very support structures that he claims they relied upon. This is a man who fought against raising the tax threshold who has gone on to claim that this was a Conservative policy. This is a man who continues to allow HSBC to go unpunished, lets multimillionaire Tory donors get away with tax evasion and indeed lets them off yet more by lowering the top rate of tax, while simultaneously planning another round of welfare cuts on people who can't afford it.
The whole point of society, as I was brought up to understand it, is that those of us who can pay more support those of us who can't. Cutting tax for the richest few sends a clear message - the Conservatives represent only those who give them money - multimillionaires - and they get given a lot of it.
The Conservatives belong in 1815, not 2015. So please, when you vote, vote with your conscience. Vote for what you believe in, not what the papers are telling you. Vote for ANYTHING that makes this stop.Suggest a correction