What a complete and utter clusterfuck UK politics has become. It has been going downhill for many years, but since the UK voted to leave the European Union, we have been able to clearly see the disconnect between what the people want and what our so-called ‘betters’ in Government actually think we want. Actually, it is far more than a disconnect, it is actually that the Politicians are scared stiff of actually having to make a decision for themselves and many more of them are scared that their noses are going to be forced from the very lucrative trough they all have their noses in.
It has got so bad that I now consider myself to be a Voter Looking For A Cause. Politics in the UK is so fucked up that I really cannot see any party that I would seriously consider voting for. Furthermore, the UK as a whole voted to Leave the European Union. Yet these same politicians seem determined to deny the will of the people and keep us in the EU. If that happens, then democracy in this country is well and truly dead and I question whether it is even worth casting a vote at all.
So, in my simplistic way (and to stop this blog entry from becoming an essay), I will go through the reasons why each of the parties cannot currently secure my vote.
At a UK level, we see a Labour party that will promise anything to get in to power, knowing full well that they will be unable to deliver any of it. The so-called ‘progressive’ party is riddled with instances of anti-semitism at every turn, and has some serious racists in their midst who seem to delight at trying to stoke up racial hatred at every turn (you know who they are). They continually roll-out vaccuous non-entities (who somehow got elected as MP’s) spouting completely incomprehensible policies, only to find that the next vaccuous non-entity they roll out completely contradicts what the previous non-entity has just said on National TV or in the MSM. Nobody has a clue what Labour stands for or what it wants. The only thing one can say with certainty is that Labour does NOT represent those upon which the party was formed over a century ago – the Working Class. The only people Labour seem to represent these days are the 'Metropolitan Elite'.That they consistently trail the Conservatives in opinion polls just shows that the people have no idea what Labour stands for either. Any party that cannot overhaul the complete ineptitude being shown in the Conservative Party over Brexit is in serious trouble.
Speaking of the Conservatives, where do we even start with this lot. Elected on a manifesto of taking us out of the European Union, they seem to spend much of their time consistently shooting themselves in the foot. It started with the installation of Theresa May as Leader of their party (and consequently as the Prime Minister), following the resignation of the equally useless (and vaccuous) David Cameron. Who could have believed that Theresa May would go on to make Cameron look like an absolute genius in comparison. One of her first acts as Prime Minister was to give platitudes such as ‘Brexit Means Brexit’ and promises to deliver the will of the people. All things which she would go on to hamstring herself at every turn. She started by calling a General Election which resulted in her instantly losing the comfortable majority that the Conservatives had previously held and then spent the rest of her time desperately thrashing this way and that as she fought a rear-guard action against circumstances entirely of her own making. Her biggest mistake was allowing party members who had campaigned on a manifesto of leaving the EU, to completely ignore the will of their constituents and campaign against May to try and frustrate the Brexit process. The result is a Conservative Party that is likely to be completely crucified at the next General Election (whenever that may be).
Of the other parties, little better can be said.
The Liberal Democrats have proved to be neither Liberal or Democrats. They came out all guns blazing demanding that the will of the people be overturned and that we stay in the European Union. Then they campaigned vociferously for a so-called ‘Peoples Vote’, or a second referendum as it should be known. This resulted in the almost complete and utter wipe-out of the Liberal Democrats in ANY Government – Local or National. Now they are more often than not just an irrelevant side-note for most National TV and MSM reports. A joke to the majority of the country.
UKIP dramatically and spectacularly imploded as well once the Brexit vote was delivered. Nigel Farage stepped out of the hot-seat and ushered in a dramatic civil war in their ranks which has seen them lurch so far over to the right that they are practically out of the picture. Leaders have come and gone, whilst members have deserted the party in their droves. It has got to the point that I would imagine that few people can even name any of the elected politicians they still have in their ranks.
The SNP are in an unusual position as Scotland actually voted to remain in the EU. Therefore, they are one of the few parties that operate at a (UK) National level that can genuinely claim to be representing their people. Though even there, I am aware of large numbers of Scottish Nationalists who did NOT vote to remain in the EU. The problem that the SNP have (IMHO) is the person who leads them. I don’t know what it is about Nicola Sturgeon, but I just want to turn the TV off whenever that woman appears. She too comes out with complete vaccuous nonsense and, like Theresa May, managed to lose a considerable majority of MP’s during the last General Election. She still has those politicians at a Scottish Government level of course, but there has been no further elections for the Scottish Government since the Brexit vote was delivered so we have no way of knowing if her majority in the Scottish Parliament will be similarly affected until another Scottish Election happens. While I can see some of the arguments for Scottish Independence, the fact remains that the Scottish people voted to stay as part of the Union a few years ago. Anyway, I cannot see the SNP gaining any traction for Independence while Sturgeon remains in charge.
The DUP are the DUP. Northern Irish politics is a political minefield at the best of times and all I can say of them is that they have the ability to make or break Theresa May as a result of the alliance they currently have with the Conservatives.
The Greens I am just going to ignore as they have only one elected MP and as far as I am concerned are a party full of fruitcakes who would return us all to living the life of serfdom a la the 16th Century if they had their way.
Now, as I am Welsh, I am not going to discuss Plaid Cymru at a National Level, but rather from a Welsh perspective (especially as I do have the option to vote for PC if I wanted to, an option I wouldn’t have in relation to the SNP) and therefore at a Welsh National Level.
So what of Welsh politics ? Let’s put that into a bit of perspective.
Up until 10 years ago, I had never been much of a political animal. Sure, I’d vote (if I was not away working somewhere), but I had always kept politics at an arms length. But over the last 10 years, that has changed very much.
I grew up in one of the many mining communities that were once common across South Wales. I was very much working class and very much a product of the working class. Growing up in the Amman Valley, you either voted Labour or Plaid Cymru. It was an area that was thoroughly immersed in what we would now call the ‘old’ Wales. Everybody spoke Welsh as a first language in the Amman Valley then. Just about the only time you ever heard English being spoken was when somebody from ‘outside the area’ found themselves in the village (I can tell many anecdotes of English tourists finding themselves lost in the village and asking for directions to places they had no hope of ever pronouncing properly). Indeed, I still remember the buzz around the village the day S4C was launched – and the complete disappointment the following day once everybody had realised that they couldn’t understand barely a word uttered by that ‘Gog’ that read the news (a 'Gog' is a coloquial term often used in South Wales to describe somebody from North Wales) !!
In those days (1970/80’s) there was very clear ground separating Plaid Cymru and Labour. I know that many were torn between supporting the Nationalist cause or supporting the Working Class cause. But both Plaid Cymru and Labour have shifted substantially since those days.
Labour in Wales (I won’t call them Welsh Labour as they are merely the Welsh Branch of the UK Labour Party) are not any different than Labour as a UK whole. The main difference in Wales is that Labour has been in constant control of most Welsh Constituencies for over a century, and has been the party in power since the Welsh Assembly (now Government) was first formed in 1999. They have relied on the old adage that people vote Labour because it is what their Fathers and Grandfathers did. But where has it got Wales ? Precisely nowhere is the answer.
Wales has spent the last 20 years under Labour rule stagnating and declining. We have consistently the worst Education standards, the worst performing NHS, little to no real industry and a country that is deteriorating and worst performing than any other country of a similar size to be found anywhere in the world. On top of that, Labour spend most of their time blaming the UK Government for this stagnation and waste (other than in Cardiff for which there is always an open purse of money available), ignoring the fact that it is they that hold the purse strings for Wales and it is they that waste the monies they do have on hair-brained schemes (that inevitably fail), consultations and the plethora of third-sector ‘charities’ that leech off Welsh Government funds, rarely improving the lives of the people they purport to serve and usually staffed by people who enjoy the patronage (or are paid members of) the Labour Party. Furthermore, the Labour Party in Wales seem determined to control every single aspect of the lives of the population through to their life choices, right down to what we eat and drink. You only have to look at the policies and legislation they have brought through to see how the population have been ‘infantilised’ such that we are rarely able to decide how we choose to live our lives or have any kind of freedom of speech, thought or act. That’s not to say that all their Assembly Members (AMs) are just as bad. I have met a few good ones, but they are very much in the minority.
Furthermore, Wales voted to Leave the EU, yet Labour in Wales are campaigning to try and keep Wales in the EU. How does that represent the people ?
The Conservatives in Wales suffer from the clusterfuck that is going on in Westminster. They often have some interesting ideas to improve life and standards, which I feel could be worth a shot in Wales. But it is highly unlikely that they will ever have a majority in the Welsh Government to be able to try any of those policies out. So we will never know.
The Liberal Democrats in Wales crashed even more spectacularly in Wales than they did at UK level. Such that now they only have one sitting AM (in Kirsty Williams), but that she sits as part of the Welsh Government alongside Labour (as Education Secretary). Now I will admit that I quite like Kirsty as a person (I have met her), and she has done some good things in the past. However, I was extremely disappointed that she chose to take up the offer to sit as part of the Labour-controlled Government. I am not even convinced of how much autonomy she has in the role she currently holds.
UKIP in Wales are an even bigger joke than the UK version. They too have been hit with people leaving the party and numerous scandals. Not least of which is the fact that they chose the disgraced Neil Hamilton (he of ‘brown envelope’ fame) as their Welsh Leader. I have to admit that I cringe every time I hear either him or any of their other remaining AMs speak in the Senedd.
Which brings us finally to Plaid Cymru.
The Plaid Cymru of today are an enigma to me. They claim to be a nationalist party that is dedicated to establishing an ‘Independent’ and ‘Free’ Wales. But almost everything they do, or seem to stand for, would suggest the complete opposite. Their policies are so left-wing that they are indistinguishable from the policies of the Labour Party. Furthermore, I cannot see how any political party that claims to want Independence for Wales can also want to remain a part of the European Union. The clue is in the name guys:
freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.
Archaic . a competency.
As far as I am concerned I cannot see how any party that campaigns for Independence would want to remain shackled to the European Union. That is NOT Independence, that is merely discarding one Master, only to install another in its place. For that reason alone, I could never vote for Plaid Cymru in any future election (and yes, they have occasionally had my vote). I had expectations when Adam Price took over as Leader of PC that the party might actually move back to what it was originally supposed to be when Saunder Lewis founded it all those years ago. But Price has been a complete disappointment on that front. Plus he is one of the loudest proponents for staying in the EU AND for a Second Referendum, despite the fact that his own constituency voted to LEAVE.
To get my vote, one of the parties would need to get reasonably near to what I want to see happen in my own country – Wales.
I want to see a Wales of opportunity, where hard work and enterprise is rewarded, not hamstrung. I want to see a Wales where the people are free to make their own life choices and be encouraged to do so. I want to see a prosperous and vibrant Wales where the people are valued for the contribution they can make to everyday life. A Wales where the red tape is cut out along with the vast waste of money that we constantly see on a daily basis. This would bring a prosperous Wales where enterprise is valued and brings jobs and prosperity to the country such that our young people do not continually have to leave Wales to succeed. A land of opportunity, challenge and freedom to choose. I do not want a Government that constantly hectors, harasses and restricts what we can do or achieve. I want a Wales to be proud of, a Wales that attracts investment and more opportunities. An outgoing and welcoming place, not the tired and delapidated country and industry that Labour seems to think we want and deserve. I want a Wales that is capable of standing on its own two feet, not constantly relying on handouts.
Does that mean an Independent Wales ?
It could. If an Independent Wales delivered the vision I detailed in the previous paragraph, then I could genuinely and enthusiastically support that.
The thing is, is there a political party that could deliver that ? My vote awaits the one that shares my vision.