Since the Conservative party "won" the UK general election on May 7th, people have taken to the streets across the UK in a defiant display of disenchantment with the electoral system and the austerity consensus of the major political parties. The prospect of 5 more years of crippling austerity has prompted many to reclaim the future of UK politics.
Not just for their own sake, but for the country's too, Labour must begin to force the window leftward for the first time in decades. The conflict between the few and the many is about to spill over, and Labour must decide which side they're on, before it's too late.
The election result was a big shock: no one predicted the Conservatives would win an outright majority and no one forecast the SNP tsunami. It has shown us that the old rules no long apply. What once was does not have to be. Despite the perceived political differences, if towns and cities across the UK grasp that, the future doesn't have to be blue.
The Conservatives have won this election by painting all deviations from their 'long-term economic plan' as absurd and dangerous, aided by a Labour Party utterly unable to form a counter narrative, a deliciously hypocritical yet depressingly successful manoeuvre. They have, just as Thatcher did, managed to convince just enough of the electorate that there are 'no alternatives' to austerity, privatisation, poverty and inequality to romp home to victory. This clever ploy may have boosted them to a majority in the Commons, but it'll bring the country to its knees.
My friends in Scotland, many of whom used to be Labour supporters, have now left Labour to join the SNP or the Greens. There is no mystery to this. This is not about 'nationalism' it is about values; it is about justice. Scots are saying that they have more faith in themselves than they do in London.
So, there we have it. A Conservative government with an absolute majority. Who'd have thought it? Very few, it seems. While there'll be much back slapping in Tory ranks, a big SNP knees up north of the border and genuine grins on Green faces, there'll be a lot of navel gazing in other parties...
The apparent 'economic recovery' of the UK of May 2015, can be seen in the extremely dubious terms set by the formerly incumbent Conservative-led coalition government, and none more so than in the widespread use of food banks and payday loans by the unemployed, and 'working poor' alike.
As part of the interesting 'maths' in their manifesto, the Tories have committed to £12 billion more cuts in benefit payments over the next parliament. In interview after interview MPs and ministers have consistently refused to say where these cuts will come from, including multiple times to the BBC's Andrew Neil on The Daily Politics ever since the promise was made.
If we could replace this growth meme with another, the idea that human, animal and environmental wellbeing are the goal, and that growth is not always the best way to achieve this, we could save ourselves. The question is, can we do this before it's too late?
If the general election on May 7 is about anything it's about returning a semblance of decency to the country after five years of vicious Tory attacks against the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, and migrants. Since coming to power in 2010 David Cameron's government, propped up by the Lib Dems, has implemented cuts in public spending so savage and extreme that even Thatcher in her pomp would not have dared.
This is all so depressing. Is it any wonder people are fed up and are beginning to question whether voting can really affect change or how far any government can reasonably undo all of what I have described?
At emerge poverty free we work through local partners in East Africa to help people lift themselves out of poverty. Sometimes this is through an education project or by provision of clean water, and sometimes it is by establishing a demonstration farm, so that local communities can learn about improved farming techniques and better crops.
The aim of this three-part article is to demonstrate that every deficit narrative and soundbite question or statement that you have heard parroted thousands of times are simply tricks aimed to mislead people.
The establishment parties often emphasize that responsible politicians need to make 'difficult decisions'. After supporting fracking, cutting subsidies for renewable energy, cutting the budget for HMRC and handling billions to private providers for NHS services - it seems to me that 'making difficult decisions' is nothing but Orwellian double speak for making the wrong decisions.
The anger created by the rise of food banks can force those in power to tackle this issue. And the ensuing hope can finally put an end to the march of the 'blame the poor' brigade.
Or, any other rich, white guy with a trust fund or 6 figure income or a banker or a footballer or a Russian oligarch or CEO of a multi-national corporation or a hedge fund manager. It matters to the vast majority of families living in the UK (and not "families" as defined by the current obsession with "hard-working families" rhetoric used to punish anyone who is not rich)