Sunday, 2 May 2010

Election - starting to get scary

With only four days to go it seems a predicted Conservative victory is the increasingly likely result, though the party would probably not have a majority against all other parties combined. In our crazy voting system it would mean that if they are only a handful of votes short of that critical majority, they could well be looking for support among the odd-bods and extremists of the right, and making compromises with them in order to achieve the passing of the bulk of the Conservative programme. (If they turn out to be dozens of seats short then they'd have to compromise with the Liberal-Democrats - whom I'll be voting for - in order to get the numbers that they'd need to form a short-term coalition.)
For me, there's quite a list of objectionable items on the Conservative agenda - tax breaks for the richest, repeal of the fox-hunting ban, being pro-nuclear weapons, but paramount has been their leaving the mainstream Conservative group in the European Parliament and their joining instead the nationalist, homophobic, anti-semitic group of Eastern European states, ostensibly because the latter are, like them, against a federal Europe. But, having said that, there is at least one of their policies I will applaud, viz their commitment to ditch the Labour government's insane, hell-bent determination to press ahead with a national, all-inclusive (and hideously costly) ID card and DNA register. It almost makes supporting the Conservatives worthwhile - almost, but not quite. (The Lib-Dems are also unsurprisingly opposed to this '1984'-style register.)
But what is increasingly frightening now is the growing influence of American-inspired, Evangelical-movement involvement in financial support for the Conservatives. Today I read of one of the latter party's female candidates in this election who has just been revealed as having worked in an institution that attempts to 'cure' gays through prayer. There's a good chance she'll win the seat as the current member was involved in the M.P.s' expenses scandal. Dear oh dear! What might we be in for? It's true that the Conservative Party has reformed significantly since the homophobic days of Thatcher's premiership (though she herself rarely talked directly on the subject, she did allow her Ministers full rein to expound their prejudices.) But David Cameron has now publicly apologised for those times and claims to have 'de-toxified' his party. But we do hear occasional prejudiced murmurs from certain members of his team, showing that there is some of the old ugliness under the surface. However, I do think that he has largely succeeded in moving the party on. But with these newer religious influences and pressures from his bigoted 'pals' in Europe I don't think it'll take too much to undo the progress that's been made over the last 10 years or so. So, now you may understand why I, among many, I think, am apprehensive about the likely result.

5 comments:

  1. I think I'll be spending Thursday evening reading BBC News online (unless you can recommend a better site).

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  2. I'll be watching BBC as well, Larry. The other main news channel is ITV. Both of them are rather workaday and humourless, though there will also be an 'Alternative' Election Night an our Channel4 which I'll be dipping in to every now and again. In the past it's been quite funny and sharp against the backdrop of incoming results.

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  3. Quite a bit to digest in this post. It appears that the UK is headed in the same direction as the US. We are represented by Sarah Palin whom "Time" calls one of the most influential Americans. To put it bluntly, the room is empty upstairs. However, she has street smarts and has played upon hate and is now worth over 10 million. It is scary to see how Conservatives play the hate card and win. What does that say about the people in the US. I could ramble on, but I will make one observation: Isn't it strange how little respect the Conservatives have for life: Palin loves killing moose and wolves(what she did to them is despicable) and the Conservative Brits love to torture foxes. What attracts people to these demons? Do they share the same darkside?

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  4. You've said exactly what I think, Paul. I'd go a bit further and say that the most religion-driven people TEND to be more cruel, especially Christians and Muslims. I think this derives from their belief that 'God' gives man domain over all other creatures and therefore there's nothing really wrong with causing them pain, even if it's just for man's pleasure. I get very depressed if I dwell on it so I try to block it out. But more generally, yes, hate and fear are easy to tap into and use to justify just about ANYTHING. As for Palin, well, if you add in a touch of so-called 'patriotism' too you get one very toxic and potent mix. Very frightening.

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