Well by the time this gets posted the 2015 Election will be over. Thank goodness! The last time I voted was over 30 years ago. Many on social media accuse me of wasting my vote. Politicians accuse me of betraying those who died fighting two world wars to give me the right to vote. Well my reasons for not voting are many and varied. Not least the lack of honesty and integrity of those who have taken up politics as a career. All of the politics we have in this country is that of "short termism," purely because, and I see no way around this, but we have 5 year terms in power. To set the record straight before I go on, those who fought and died in the world wars did so to give me my freedom, NOT to give me the right to vote. Of course voting is one of the luxuries of living in a free country. The subject I have chosen to illustrate my disillusionment in our political system, is our foreign aid budget, and also show how our politicians actually treat anyone who has genuine concerns about this country we live in.
All the parties apart from UKIP have stated the foreign aid budget will remain. I believe UKIPs stance is that it should be given to those countries such as Nepal, with whom we have strong links and moral values that we applaud, rather than giving to all and sundry, many of which have institutional corruption.
The reason I chose foreign aid is that although the Billions of pounds listed may vary depending on which politician you may talk to, or where the information is sourced, ultimately we are giving Billions of pounds to other countries even though we as a country are virtually bankrupt. One and half TRILLION and rising. You do not give money away that you don't have. This is no different than going to the bank and borrowing let's say £10,000 for the specific purpose of giving it to charity, AND, as is the case at the moment, NOT having enough money coming in to pay that debt to the bank. The bank would obviously turn me down for that loan. A list of countries and how much we give them in foreign aid was circulated the other day on social media and the person who posted it was asking if the list was genuine.
Unfortunately I have no idea whether it is genuine, although if it is not then someone has gone to extraordinary lengths to create a fake and to be honest it really looks like the sort of document a politician would put together. Anyway because I had no way of proving the validity of this list I resorted to the Independent newspaper, the Guardian newspaper, and a religious website "God and Politics", and finally the Express newspaper. The following links in this article are where you can see for yourself that this list above may well be accurate. So by virtue of these four, I think it's reasonable to say it is a fair representation of what is going on.
The most concerning countries from this list that immediately jump out at me are Zimbabwe, run by a totally corrupt regime under Robert Mugabe. According to the list above £715 million pounds although according to the article below we are also giving $72 million over the next four years.
Whichever of these figures is correct, and it maybe that both are, HOW can our politicians possibly justify giving this country our hard earned taxes?!
You may have noticed in the list is also Argentina! According to the list above we have given them £83.7 million pounds. Although if you check out various news reports figures differ wildly. A report in the Express newspaper, show we have given over £225 million, over the last 20 years. Why? Why, when we sent our troops half way around the world many of whom died in the war against Argentina have we been giving them OUR money? Should it not be the other way around by means of reparation!
Getting back to our politicians I decided to try and get some answers. Well I sent an email to Liberal Democrat, Roger Williams, my MP here in Brecon and Radnorshire. No response to the question!
Now then, Saturday 25th April 2015 I was in Builth Wells and William Hague was marching up and down and empty High st in Builth Wells with Chris Davies and supporters. I approached the supporters and explained that I hadn't voted for over thirty years and so why should I vote for their candidate. The response came back "Well he's a really good bloke". I explained that may well be the case but that was not enough to get my vote. When I mentioned the $72 million dollars that we are giving Mugabe's corrupt regime they immediately blamed Labour even though this is an agreement that starts in 2015 and runs for four years. One of the canvassers shouted out that I should go and vote UKIP! How dare he! The arrogance was clear to see. On getting home I then emailed Chris Davies and asked the same question that I had asked Roger Williams and needless to say 24hrs prior to the poll booths opening I have heard nothing! Of course I will submit an update if in the unlikely event he does respond prior to polling day.
Then in the spirit of fairness I thought I would also give the Labour candidate Matthew Dorrance an opportunity to answer my question. Hmmm again no response!
So after 30 years without voting, it appears that this will continue, as the UKIP candidate did not respond to two emails, for my request asking where I could go to hear him speak in the run up to the elections!
So as someone who really wanted to cast a vote, it appears that our politicians are just not interested in having to explain themselves to the electorate and yet again this farce of a political system will continue!