I wanted to write this post a few weeks back when there was 100 days to go before the General Election. But, like me wanting to read & review Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman & Bombmaker by Claire McCall in time for the Scottish Referendum, it failed. I still have these books giving me death glares...
But I wanted to write this post for quite some time. But it was only at UK YA Book Awards when Sya from Mountains of Instead (a blogger I haven't seen in YEARS! And one of the first to help me find my blogging feet) asked my thoughts on the Referendum. She knows I have opinions of politics and it's a dangerous subject to get me started on. And I was honest in my answer: while I wanted Scotland to stay within the United Kingdom, I felt it was for Scotland to decide and we had to respect the decision. But I had fears. If Scotland became a separate state, I feared it would try to go running when it needed to take baby steps. And if Scotland stayed with the United Kingdom, Scotland had to fight for more powers. Stephen from Dark Readers got involved in this talk saying, while travelling, he was asked about the referendum. He was in China at the time.
But this chat made me go "I need to write this post. I want to talk about this. It might not make sense, but let me get this out of my system."
So, here I am, writing this post and hoping it makes sense.
In a few weeks times, we will be having a General Election in the UK. And I have no idea who I am voting for.
Now, before all you politicians come rushing to my house and banging on my door, shouting that I must vote and I must vote for you, let me get this out there now.
I have EVERY INTENTION to vote. I know how lucky I am to vote. I know there are countries all over the world where people can't vote. I know there are countries where men can only vote because women are seen as "inferior" (something I have huge issue over. Two of the strongest people in my life are women and they are no "inferior"! Plus it was how many years since women were chaining themselves to railings and throwing themselves under horses in the UK?). There are countries and organizations in the world where people can vote but there is only one candidate and this is seen as fair (it isn't). I am very lucky. I know this.
But it's who I'm going to vote for that's the problem. I'm not sure who I'm going to vote for.
Again, before politicians come rushing to my house and demand I vote for them (please don't. I get scared very easily when I get "doorstepped"), I have an issue which is why I'm unsure of who I'm going to vote for. And this goes back for years, I think, for most people.
The fact that I don't feel like I can trust or put my faith in politicians.
There, I said it. I have doubts and no one is calming me down. And whenever I watch/listen/read a political debate or news article, I suddenly remember Animal Farm by George Orwell, a book I studied for my GCSEs.
In Animal Farm, the animals overthrow the farmer and decide to take control of the farm themselves. The pigs, who seem to be the most intelligent, take control and use the sheep as their propaganda machine(along with another pig,Squealer [a spin doctor]). In the beginning of the book, the sheep say the words, "Four legs good, two legs back" (this is to remind the animals that man walks on two legs, therefore, he is the enemy whereas animals walk on four and are friends). However, as the pigs become more corrupt, the line begins to change. But the end of the story, the line becomes "Four legs good, two legs better." showing that "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others".
There is a moment in the book where the animals look at the pigs and then at the human visitors (who are there for a reason I won't say in case of spoilers) and they couldn't tell the two species apart.
I know Animal Farm was George Orwell bring the issue of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and then on the Stalin dictatorship and has no bearing on our government, but when I look at politicians, I hear the sheep bleeping "Four legs good, two legs bad... four legs good, two legs better."
I think most people feel that most politicians now are only in politics to benefit their own goals, rather than putting the country and the voters first.
Have we become disillusioned by the government? I fear most of us have.
A good example of why is the TV debates. The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky came forward with a proposal for 3 sets of TV debates, which would have 4 parties: Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and UKIP. And while 3 parties agreed to this, one party didn't. The Conservatives and the Prime Minister complained that the Green Party should be included and, if they weren't, neither would they. So the broadcaster changed their proposals to include the Green Party and, because of other parties outcry, included the SNP (Scottish National Party) and Plaid Cymru. This lead to parties in Northern Ireland getting angry and, while all parties agreed. the Prime Minister said he would only do one debate, leading people to wonder if he only wanted the Green Party included because he didn't think the Green Party would be invited, therefore the debates wouldn't go ahead...
And it's just these actions that people call into question. All the leaders of the main UK parties have said or done things which have brought members of the public to question them. Nick Clegg over tuition fees (something he talked about in an interview on Channel 4's The Last Leg), Natalie Bennett over that interview with LBC where she forgot details of her party's policies and, rather than admit that she forgot, she lied and said she had a bad cold (something that appeared very quickly and suddenly) and Nigel Farage has been known for making statements that people have reacted strongly against. And people have strong opinions over leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband.
Like I said, no one is exactly calming my doubts.
And I have doubts about what the parties are going to do as, I sense, this will be a hung parliament. Which means two or more parties will have to form a coalition. And if it's two very different parties, it's going to be interesting and worrying times ahead.
I mean, I want to know what each party plans for the NHS, education, the elderly, benefits, LGBT, etc. And this is to name a few things I am worrying about. But has a party sat down and explain their future plans?
Not really. Well, not enough for me.
Plus, watching politicians on PM Questions, Question Time or on Twitter, I feel like I am watching preschoolers at time. But no one's turning round to them and go "Sit in the naughty corner and think about what you've done!".
I know that this might sound like me ranting and raving. But I'm just getting my fears and doubts out of my head so when I do sit down and read their policies, I don't have that sarcastic voice in my head going "Oh, really?" or that scared little voice going "Yes, but this will only last for a year then it will be deep cuts/protests."
Ok, am going to stop now. I feel like am rambling. But I just want to say that I will be voting. But I would like the politicians to put their voters and the country first, rather than them going "My party is bigger than yours!" in the same way kids go "My dad's bigger than your dad".