Friday, 23 May 2008

The electorate have turned into a mob!

The Tories have achieved their first by-election gain in 26 years as great swathes of the population lose all sense of reality and act with a mob-like mentality relishing in the opportunity to devour the current government. One of the worst aspects of man is the more that they get, the more that they want. We are standing on relatively strong economic foundations, with the majority of those in economic trouble being the ones who have been living beyond their means. Is the whole of society really in the trouble the right-wing press would have us believe? No. If things seemed better ten years ago it was probably because you were ten years younger, had less aches and pains, and had less responsibility. Grow up. This doesn't mean that the government couldn't do better, or that where the electorate has just grievances they shouldn't inform the government, it just means that electorate should try to behave more rationally. The Conservative party is not a rational alternative to those sections of society that need our help, it is an alternative to the those who are doing perfectly well but would like a little bit more so that they can have one or two extra polluting holidays a year, whilst their 4 X 4 is looking terribly shabby despite never seeing a muddy field in its life, and they only have the one guest wing.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

House prices set to fall: About time!!

'Secret' cabinet briefing notes have shown that "at best" UK house prices could fall by 5-10%. As the market has been over-priced for years, but people have continued to buy into the myth that the prices will continue to rise at an exorbitant rate, I have little sympathy for those who have bought beyond their means. People have been over-stretching themselves for years trying to get a better house because, in the words of L'Oreal, they are worth it. But the houses weren't, and some people may get stuck with negative equity. Boo hoo.

Using historical data from the Nationwide you can see how out of hand things have been getting:

Personally my concern is not that the house prices will fall, but that they won't fall far enough. 5-10% is hardly worth getting excited about. Whilst there will be calls for panic in the right wing press, and the Conservatives will blame the government, it is nice to see that BBC research found more people want the prices to fall than rise.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Cannabis upgraded: Stop listening to the people!

As expected, the home office have announced that cannabis is to be reclassified as a Class B drug, rather than the class C it was reduced to in 2004. This is not a reflection of the government listening to the experts, who say keep it at grade C, but rather the democratic voice of the people. The voice of the people that gets hysterical when there is talk of their rubbish being collected fortnightly, the voice of the people that complains about the price of petrol for their oversized car, the voice of the people who complain about the slowing rise (and now finally falling) of house prices. Is this a voice worth listening to? Of course not. It is the ignorant voice of the right-wing press whipping the even more ignorant masses into a stupor. Unfortunately democracy rarely gives politicians the freedom to do what is right, instead they are too often forced to do what the public wants.

The subject of drug classification in the right-wing press is always interesting: those who demand strict punishments for the smokers of cannabis, complain of the nanny-state when the government tries to curtail tobacco and alcohol consumption. Whilst tobacco and alcohol are harmful, probably more harmful, they are too engrained (especially in the stocks and drinks cabinets of middle-england) to be subject to the sweeping laws that would greet them if they were introduced now.

Whislt I think certain drugs should be illegal, criminalising the drug-user does not work; users need help and rehabilitation not punishment. The most stupid part of the reclassification is that both class B and class C drugs have the same possible sentance for dealing, so is only the drug-user whose potential punishment is actually being increased.

Stop listening Gordon, and start leading. Better to be a great PM for one year, than a mediocre prime minister for 6 years.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Shame on London!

The disastrous Labour results were not particularly surprising, a combination of some understandably-unpopular decisions, world events, and the fact we are in the middle of Labour's third term. Despite these factors I voted for the Labour party for the first time in my life. Whilst I was never a fan of Blair (although in retrospect I must admit that he didn't do a bad job), Gordon Brown strikes me as a man of principle in an age of image. For all the caring sharing imagery of the Conservatives, I still believe their fundamental capitalist ethos to be wrong; the Coservative's Thatcherite rhetoric has gone, but there again, it has become so firmly embedded in our society it doesn't need to be stated. The worst results were, without a doubt, those of the London Assembly. Having Boris as mayor is bad, having a BNP candidate on the assembly is disgusting.

It is ironic that Johnson's father has complained about his bumbling image, as it is the bumbling image that makes Boris an affable character and encourages people to vote for him. I am sure the truth is that Boris is a rather intelligent chap, although it is that distinct blinkered-intelligence that comes from a privaledged background: undying belief in the market because it sees them alright.

Whilst I am disappointed with those that voted for Boris, I am disgusted with those who voted for the BNP. I have always believed London to be the greatest city in the world, proud of the diversity and inclusiveness. The election of Richard Barnbrook to the London Assembly projects a London that is filled with fear and hate, a side of London that is not so great. Maybe we will be lucky and one of those selfish 4x4 drivers that Boris loves so much will run Barnbrook over.

Friday, 2 May 2008

How many blogs does one person need?

Today sees the launch of this my third blog: Politico-mania. A place for me to comment (or rant) on all things political. A place for me to express those opinions that would not fit comfortably in a blog about my allotment or the world of the web. With not even my own girlfriend regularly reading my other blogs people will wonder why I am bothering with a third, whether the world really needs to hear the opinions of another political hack. I think they do.

I believe the majority of the UK population to be extremely politically naive, gullibly believing the trash spouted in the popular press. Whether this is getting swept along with the euphoria that swept Tony Blair to power in 1997, or the anti-immigration mantra that is currently on the pages of the right-wing press. There is always a need for more alternative opinions to be published, and not just those of the obnoxious far-right.

As for my political opinions, I am one of generation Thatcher (she resigned the day after my sixteenth birthday). She taught us that greed was good, capitalism was great, and the poor were just lazy. The woman talked crap and is the antithesis of everything I believe in.