Wednesday 3 July 2024

The UK: Show the Tories the door

An utter disservice to democracy

Before I went away, I had applied for a postal ballot knowing I would not be in the country when the UK General Election takes place. Sadly, our council in its lethargy and lack of alacrity must have thought all applications for a postal ballot were from those who out of some sort of incapacity could not make it to the polling station.

Despite the fact that my application went in the day after the election was announced and I posted the additional information they asked for a few days later, the postal ballots were not posted until the third week of June, by which time it was too late.

What I even found more annoying was, I was already on the voters’ register for 10 years at the same address. I unfailingly renew my registration every year, and I received a voter’s registration card which I used for the local elections in early May. Another card was mailed to me for this election if I were to choose to vote in person, but my postal ballot was nowhere to be found.

I can only wonder about the many Greater Manchester voters that have been so poorly served by the electoral services unit with regards to postal ballots.

On balance, 14 years of failure

If there is anything to consider about the last 14 years of the Conservatives in power, I reckon we are at a net negative if a balance sheet were set out about the benefits and the demerits of having that party preside over our dear country of many nations.

When I returned to the UK in late 2012, I was a European citizen who had spent over 12 years in the Netherlands with untrammelled rights of a European freely able to visit, live, and work in one of 28 countries, if I chose to. If I was gifted with any sense of prognostication, I could have naturalised as a Dutch citizen any time from 2005, but I never thought the UK would risk leaving the EU, we were too invested in the project.

I was wrong, as in the 5 Prime Ministers that the Tories have given us since 2010, each in their own way has gambled with livelihoods for personal and partisan expediency to the detriment of the fortunes of our country. There is no need to rehash the points, we are much worse off, where a parliament that is self-servingly incapable of the kind of collegiate thought to progress anything.

Having lost a sense of responsibility

The entrenchment of the entitlement to power has become so ingrained that the facts of the situation mean nothing if we can be scared into believing the populist simple solutions for practically difficult problems.

The Tories need some time in opposition to regain a sense of what the responsibility of governing and impacting positively on people’s lives beyond culture wars and pandering to the basest of our human instincts. The idea that a limited company masquerading as a party with the face of an indolent representative who has the gift of the gab and nothing else to offer, being our future is a fantasy begging for the unfortunate.

The best option for government today is the Labour Party, if only for the fact that they would appreciate the opportunity to govern and do much more to attend to the atrocities passing for policy that the Tories have enmeshed themselves in without the quality of scrutiny necessary among them and beyond to jettison the bizarre and refine the barely acceptable.

A possible future in our votes

The Labour Party offers a new direction that will address many of the issues of today, it is change-focused, future-looking, ready to grow and invest in our economy, seeking to divest power from central government, helping people back to work, addressing the immigration issue that has been lost by the Tories, and introducing the modern industrial strategy. Their manifesto reads like something to have expectations for rather than one that offers trepidation and fear.

The polls will suggest Sir Keir Starmer will be kissing the hand of the king on the 5th of July 2024. I enjoyed some years of Labour-driven prosperity from 1997 to 2000 before I emigrated to the Netherlands, and this prosperous spell continued until the financial crash.

It is evident that after so long in power the Tories are bereft of new or useful ideas, they cannot even look on their record of the past 14 years which have given us some of the worst Prime Ministers to ever preside over His or Her Majesty’s Government.

I appreciate some are too tribal to vote for another party, but the future of our country is at stake, we cannot sacrifice this to sentiment when competence is required. I would rather have a boring competent and disciplined government than an entertaining relatable but totally incompetent politician run the show. It is not pot luck, lives are impacted beyond your door.

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