I have often been asked why I got in to politics, and if I could really do the job ‘like the proper politicians’ if I were elected. Following the scandal of MP’s expenses, and now the rejection of expenses claims of one of our local MP’s by the new watchdog, I sometimes think that I could hardly do much worse!
My English Democrat colleague from Hastings, Rod Bridger, has obviously thought long and hard about this – His piece entitled ‘Am I Worthy’ has been published this week on their branch website, and is reproduced below as the latest from our guest posters
When I stood for parliament last May, one of the criticisms levelled against me was that I have no experience of either politics or of running a country. The suggestion was that it would be far better to have a person who has experience of the rough and tumble of political life in control of the country. A person who is used to moving in the ‘right circles’. A person who would be at ease with the leaders of industry, commerce and indeed the leaders of other nations.
There may be some sense in this after all, who am I? Until I retired and found that as I was no longer a ‘wage slave’ I had the time to get involved in politics, I was just that. I would get up early each morning knowing that if I succumbed to the temptation of bunking off work for the day, I would have problems stretching my money even further at the end of the month. I would do my days labour and return to the bosom of my family and the bills that had landed on the doormat after I had left in the morning. Part of my evening would be spent in deep meaningful conversation with my wife as to how we would be able to meet those bills without the children suffering and going without.
I would also try to keep the news from my wife that I might possibly be losing my job because the company to which I had given my all and done my best to help prosper, was having to cut back. There was no point in making her worry until it was necessary. We could both still remember when this happened to us the last time and I did lose my job. The feeling of absolute dread in my stomach when I awoke each morning. The feeling of worthlessness as I went to the Job Centre each day and stood in line to be hopefully thrown a scrap by one of the ‘Advisors’ who treated me almost with the respect of an unpleasant item just found on the bottom of their shoe. No, I wasn’t going to bring those memories back to life for her until it became a reality.
Then there was the letter from the school, saying that our son was not reaching the required level of reading despite the hard work that my wife was putting into helping him. When I asked him why this was, he said that the teacher didn’t often work with him, because of the new children in his class of 37 who couldn’t speak any English took all of her time.
My wife’s father is in hospital and we have to make sure that somebody visits him every day, to ensure that the patch of blood on the floor by his bed that has been there for three days, has finally been cleaned up and that he has actually eaten the meal that was given to him and not left out of reach and then taken away. The poor old chap spent his time on the Artic convoys during WWII, fighting for his life against the elements as well as the enemy. As an anti aircraft gunner he was open to attack by both on a very regular basis. He was lucky – he survived the war but the question and the fight now is – will he survive the NHS?
Even going to see Dad is difficult and expensive, the buses have stopped running by the time we come home so it’s a car job. And the expense of the hospital car park! It all adds up and places extra pressure on an already delicate financial situation. If only I didn’t have so many stoppages! Tax is ridiculous. VAT has put everything up. Petrol is criminal – over two thirds of the cost of a litre goes straight to the government, and THEY have the temerity to blame the oil companies. Perhaps if I pull out of my pension plan I might be able to stretch it a bit further, but what of the future? If I live that long! It’s a gamble isn’t it? Do I survive long enough to become another burden on the state or do I do the decent thing and die the day after I stop contributing?
No I have no experience of High politics or of running the country, let’s leave it to the experts shall we?
That would be the experts who are all millionaires in their own right, so they can make the decisions to cut jobs and benefits that will damage people beyond belief. They are above that, they are immune. This is the same expert millionaires who accept free holidays from foreigners and spend their time on their luxury yachts. The same expert millionaires who manage to avoid paying UK tax on their personal fortunes whilst I have to pay all of my dues.
The same experts who have driven the country almost to collapse. Spending money that they do not have, not only spending it but literally throwing it away on stupid schemes and giving it away to other nations, some of whom don’t even want it. £1 billion to India for example. India – a country that has more billionaires than the UK, its own nuclear arsenal and its own space programme. They surely need it! Well, no they don’t actually – and they told our leaders that they didn’t want it, but we insisted! Isn’t that nice?
The same experts who can’t even arrange to rescue our own countrymen from a civil war in Libya without making us a laughing stock in front of the world. The same experts who manage to wangle a nice number out of the blue as Deputy Prime Minister and even then say he’s working too hard so has to take a holiday in Switzerland just as the Prime Minister is out of the country trying to sell even more weapons to the Arabs so that they can kill each other!
No, when you put it like that, I have no experience. But do you know what? I think that’s a good thing.
This country needs a government of REAL people. REAL people who understand the effects of the decisions that a government takes. REAL people who have not been tainted by the greed and corruption that is still most prevalent in the corridors of power. REAL people who understand the meaning of the word HONESTY.
REAL people who will put their country and her people before themselves and not the other way around.
Yes, there may be a few rough diamonds in amongst them but a crook is still a crook even if he talks with a plumb in his mouth.