Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Mainly Politics

I've been rather distracted lately. So much time has been spent on my computer and its faults (without even a working simple CD writer - this may have been solved by a clever friend - whilst the dual DVD-CD writer has gone the way of many: knackered). Then I found a job interview notice in a junk email box and so wrote a required presentation for that job interview for today (on my website, of course, at Learning, My Approach in Education, Social Work Training Experiential Inputs) and of course I have been keeping up with the political news.

At last I heard Nick Clegg refer to illegal aliens in this country undermining the wages paid in this country, and this is what has been missing in the defence of the so-called 'amnesty' policy. The Liberal Democrats have taken a hammering over the immigration issue, and I would not be surprised if that has been the cause of a slight deflation in the polling figures. He and they should have tackled this head on. The policy makes sense, because not only is it that made citizens pay taxes but also they get paid the minimum wage. People are attracted to a country for reasons far more immediate and realistic than the thought that they might get an amnesty.

People might think we are better off without the euro, but they might not say that if our debt causes us to go down the swannee and we only have the IMF to dictate harsh terms. Plus it would be more convenient to have the one currency for business and tourism, and it makes sense in Ireland too.

And while I mention Ireland, isn't it wrong that a governing party of this country is allying itself so clearly with a sectarian party in Northern Ireland? I know that the SDLP chooses to sit with the Labour government, but that's its choice. They are different parties and Labour does not endorse the SDLP. But the Conservatives (if as government) are putting at risk the ability to be an honest broker in Northern Ireland. The Liberal Democrats do regard the Alliance Party as a sister party, but then it is not partisan. Recently the Ulster Unionist Party, now supported by Cameron, was playing dodgy partisan politics to undermine the usually more sectarian Democratic Ulster Unionists, who did go into shared power with Sinn Fein. The British Government has to hold sovereignty over the north of Ireland on a purely consensual basis of most of the population there, without its own long term interest in holding on to the province, and I think this political allegiance puts this at risk. It is bizarre in that region that if you want to vote for a left of centre party you have to be on the nationalist side, and the unionists end up having right of centre choices - with some choice from the middling Alliance. Meanwhile Cameron allies himself with a bunch of "nutters" in the European Union, so that he allies his party with no one much there.

Meanwhile Labour politicians are extolling the virtues of tactical voting. That Ed Balls has changed his mind suggests messages from on high, though desperation appearance man Tony Blair is not on message. I am in a Labour - Conservative marginal (not one of the closest - it is the Conservative's 58th of a needed 116), and do not want the Conservatives to win, but I want to be part of the push that brings the Liberal Democrats up even if quietly in a constituency like this. Our votes are like grains of sand, and some will fall this way and some that collectively in this movement both to raise up the Liberal Democrat vote further and towards tactical voting. It could also be that polling figures have shifted a little because of the rise of the Conservatives: that more will revert to Labour for tactical reasons, just as others will vote Liberal Democrat who might be Labour in those marginals. Anyway I have received nothing from the Liberal Democrats through the door here, so my support if to them is from someone for whom the first choice is the first choice made despite everything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Remember, the full title of the Conservative Party is the "Conservative and Unionist Party".

This is something that is often conveniently forgotten in the mainstream UK.

The Conservatives and Ulster Unionists were formally linked until 1985. They are resurrecting their old assocations.

The Westmister UUs were effectively the Conservative party in Northern Ireland and have helped keep alive otherwise defunct Conservative administrations.

This is one of the reason why the UK has tended to have longer lived Conservative governments than Labour.

This is not being party political, just how it is and how we tend to forget some of the historical details.

Whether this is a good move in 2010 is a matter for debate.