Thursday, 1 June 2017

Why I'll Be Voting In the 2017 General Election

 I’ll be voting in the General Election for the first time in the 29 years I’ve been eligible to do so and I’ll be voting Labour. Purely out of self-interest, I have not become a ‘leftie’ and have the same Social Darwinist outlook as I’ve had since I stopped taking drugs and realised that anarchy would actually mean what Hobbes called ‘the war of all against all’, rather than everyone living in happy little communes growing their own food and ‘herbs’.

I’m a Civil Servant, and like most of my colleagues (exceptions being some senior execs and managers) I haven’t had a pay rise that’s kept pace with the cost of living since 2004-2005. Every year since then it’s been a below-inflation pay rise every year (in other words a pay CUT) plus we have had numerous attacks on our working terms, our pension contract was torn up so now we have to pay more each month, wait longer to get it and it will be less than was originally agreed. This process of driving down our wages and conditions started with ‘New’ Labour, at a time when the economy was strong and continued with the Coalition then Cameron’s Tory government, the economic downturn just gave them an excuse to turn the screw even more. Also the department I work for is self-funding, we charge fees for our services and usually make a healthy profit for the Treasury – this has made us a prime candidate for privatisation and we’ve fended off a couple of serious attempts to sell us off.  As we’ve seen from other civil service departments that have been privatised, this would have led to even worse pay and conditions and job losses. Throughout all this our staunchest supporter in Parliament has been Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, probably Jeremy Corbyn’s strongest ally. Corbyn has made it clear he does not share the ‘private sector good, public sector bad’ ideology that has driven previous governments so for once I feel there is enough of a difference to break my principle and actually endorse the farce that is democracy. By that I mean the people who actually run the country (those who control the wealth, permanent secretaries in Whitehall, the senior judiciary etc) don’t put themselves up for election, the whole parliamentary system is a ruse to fool people into thinking they actually have a say in who runs the country.

Also, Theresa May has made it clear that she supports fox-hunting. As far as I am concerned, anyone who harms or kills animals for pleasure is the lowest kind of scum. That alone would be good enough reason for me not to vote Tory. Plus Jeremy Corbyn wants to re-nationalise the railways. Having travelled in numerous other countries where the railways are under State control, cost a fraction of what ours do and run far more efficiently, all I can say is ‘about time’! As I have said, I have a basically Social Darwinist outlook, I believe society should be allowed to naturally stratify itself without government interference according the laws of nature. The function of government should be merely to maintain law and order, national security and the infrastructure such as public transport networks and power. The idea of having the national infrastructure in the hands of private companies (especially when most of those companies aren’t even British!) being run for the benefit of those companies’ shareholders rather than the British public seems absurd to me. Now I’m fully aware that Labour are more pro welfare than the Tories (in order for stratification to occur the welfare system would have to be dismantled) but as I use the railways almost daily and (being realistic here) am more likely to find myself requiring welfare than being in one of the upper tax brackets who will be more heavily taxed under Labour, self-interest makes my choice obvious. Only a fool puts ‘principles’ before their own self-interest!

Edit: In the end I just couldn't do it. The idea of giving ANYONE a mandate to make decisions on my behalf already  goes completely against my most basic instinct of individuality. When that 'anyone' stands for so many things I am against, not least the fact that these days the left represents just as great a threat to individual expression as the traditional right did back in the 1980s, I just could not endorse them. As we used to say back in the day, a vote for any party is a vote for the system. These days the phrase "fuck the system" has never seemed so relevant!

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