Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Who cares who wins?

I suppose I've left it a little late to comment on the general election. Wading through the sea of garbage spouted by the main three contenders would be a full time job and I already have one that pays, which I happen to rather like. I do, for once, have better things to do.

First off, I apologise for the lack of vigor and care you might have expected. The fact is I am so bored of repeating the same observations I can barely bring myself to write this. I have given up any hope of salvation.

That being said, I have a point to make. Most of you will be well aware you are being spoon fed utter shit. That kinda goes without saying. But one thing that screams at me is that not one of the leaders has the guts to tell you the truth about the economy.

We have debts spanning into hundreds of billions and the best David Cameron can muster is £6bn worth of cuts. Meanwhile we have Gordon Brown who thinks the government IS the economy and Nick Clegg who uses the spectre of the feeble Tory cuts as a reason to vote for him. £6bn? Try £60bn. For starters. It IS that bad.

Anyone would think we were not on the brink of fiscal Armageddon. The Euro is yet again on the brink of collapse, there is a real danger of a double dip recession and we have not even begun to feel the effects of the recession we're in.

I am reminded of the Arnhem "paper bag" strategy where the dead and wounded were propped up at machine gun posts to give the impression the British were still in situ as they stealthily evacuated in the night. This perfectly encapsulates what is happening with British politics. We have the appearance of they are still engaged in politics but behind the decoy, there is simply nothing of substance.

We have one party who would keep VAT as it is, one who might budge it up a percentage point and one who might budge it down one. Where is the party saying scrap it altogether? But that would mean admitting that they are legally bound by the EU to keep it at a 15% minimum. As ever we are being expected to swallow minor policy adjustments as choice at the ballot box and nobody will tell you that Brussels is now the government.

Of the few powers that remain with Westminster, will any of them sweep away the taxes that are crippling the economy? Will any of them really reform the public sector? Will any of them really reduce the payroll vote and welfare? Will anyone scrap the tax hikes on beer? Will anyone drop the taxes on petrol? Will any of them finally admit they were wrong on climate change? Take a guess.

I was bored enough to watch the final debate on the economy. The EU barely factored into it. The biggest drag on our economy is cost of hiring. It is why jobs are leaving our shores. And that is down to EU regulation. Will any of them address this or even admit it's a problem? Nope. That's too much like real politics.

Agriculture, fishing, trade, employment, VAT, air traffic control, radio frequencies, weights and measures, employment, energy, environment, airline safety, electronics, waste disposal, swimming pool gradients, immigration, human rights, some aspects of monetary policy, banking regulation, food labelling, exports, health and safety, vehicle production, emissions trading etc etc etc is for the most part regulated by the EU. Westminster no longer has a say. So what does it matter which stuffed shirt lives in Downing Street?

The only things left are the NHS, education and welfare to give the illusion that we are still in control. None of which is presently sustainable with declining government revenues. Our economic fate cannot be turned around without radical changes in policy, but in areas which are no longer under Westminster influence.

Unless a party categorically says they will take us out of the EU, there is no reason to believe they understand the problems (or economics for that matter) and thus have even less of a chance of fixing them.

They say they are going to do things they are not allowed to do by the EU. That leaves one of two possibilities. Either they are lying or they simply do not know what they are talking about. Neither is particularly reassuring.

In conclusion, all I will say is that unless your candidate is unambiguous in their commitment to taking Britain out of the EU, yours is a wasted vote and a wasted opportunity. If you vote for the big three you deserve what you get, you are part of the problem and I really have to ask... How gullible are you?

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