Monday, 23 February 2015

Tories slave labour policies back with a vengeance. But there is hope.

Hello All,

Thank you to those who read my last blog. Although I'm not seeing any comments so either people didn't find it interesting enough to comment or they found it so good they were speechless (I wish). 

Anyway on to this week's politics rant. What a week it's been. The biggest headline of the week's politics is the Conservative plan to force the unemployed young to do work experience for their benefits. This is specifically meant for 18-21 year olds that have not been in education, work or training for six months before they claim benefits.

Now first of all, this is just a re-hash of the workfare scheme which forced young unemployed people to work in places like Tesco for benefits. I remember doing this and remember how degrading it was. And secondly the most obvious question arises. If the job centre can find young unemployed NEETS work to do, why shouldn't they get paid the minimum wage for it? They are adults after all so surely the minimum wage law should apply to them right? Back in 2013 the court of appeal said that the government's workfare scheme was unlawful as it broke the minimum wage law. The government then quickly rushed through a law in parliament that basically said the workfare scheme was lawful. Once again no opposition from the Labour Party. Another reason not to vote for them.

It begs the question though, why are they so desperate to keep this workfare scheme when actually it will keep the benefit bill at a high level. It certainly won't save money. If these young people were paid the minimum wage (at a living wage rate) for the job they were doing, it wouldn't cost the government anything and would bring in extra tax revenue. Any logical person will come to that conclusion.

So the one conclusion I can get from this, is that the Tories are trying to take us back to the Victorian era where we had slave labour for young people. And  doesn't it show the contempt this government has for young adults. Not only this, they have they trebled tuition fees, scrapped EMA and massively cut funding for careers services like Connexions.  It's as if they don't want the young to vote at all. 

So I say one last thing to those 18-24 year olds that are disillusioned with politics and don't want to get involved.  Please do. Don't let the Tories beat us into submission. Whether it is taking direct action against the government policies or registering to vote, please get involved. There are organisations like 38 degrees, UK Uncut and People's Assembly Against Austerity that are fighting against these cruel government policies. Also please make sure you register to vote and if you are unsure who to vote for and believe there are no choices, then go to and take the survey on whose policies you agree with most, and vote for that party. You may be surprised with the result.

Why I will not be voting labour at the general election.

Hello again to those that have read my blogs before and to the vast majority of you that haven't, welcome!
I know I've said before that I want to do these weekly but I never seem to get round to it. Hopefully I'll keep my promises this time. (Subject to me actually making the effort)
Anyway, on with the blog. To those that have read my blogs before you will be aware that I am a member of the green party so the title of the blog should come as no surprise to you. But there are also many other reasons I won't vote labour.
Firstly Ed Balls has time and again said that he will stick to the government's spending plans for 2015/16. So what's the difference?
Not much as it seems. Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt came out recently and said that the Green Party education policies were a 'throwback to the 1970s'. Yet the only difference between him and Gove's education policies is that he would get rid of unqualified teachers and make teachers sign an oath like doctors do. Never mind dealing the failure of academies and free schools and a system which just focuses on testing rather than teaching kids.
In addition to this, Andy Burnham has promised to repeal the health and social care act but hasn't promised to get rid of the internal market system that has been undermining the NHS since the 1980s.
When you see Labour's welfare policies, it is hard to tell the difference between them and the Tories. Both have plans to cut benefits for young adults. Speaking of which, Labour's higher education policy is again only a slight tweak on the current system. Promising the radical action of cutting tuition fees from £9000 to £6000 a year.
What about the recent HSBC scandal which saw millions of pounds of tax taken from this country? This apparently started in 2007 when Ed Balls was city minister and this continued to happen under this government.
And last but not least, Labour's stance on fracking. The only difference is that they would have slightly better regulation on it rather getting rid of the dangerous practice altogether.
So when you take all this into account you can see that although are slight differences in policy both offer pretty much the same deal.  Austerity, similar education policies and environmental policies that are very damaging.
I live in a Tory/Labour marginal so I guess you could say that by voting Green I'm splitting the vote on the left and letting in the Tories. But I would argue that Labour aren't really on the left anymore so that's an irrelevant argument.
The only people that are to blame for the Tories getting in are the people that vote Conservative. And of course Labour, who fail to offer anything like a genuine alternative.
But wait lee, I hear you say, why don't you join Labour and help change them from the inside?
Ah I wish it were that simple. The only way I can really influence Labour policy from the inside is if I work my way up in the party and join the national executive committee. And failing that as a normal member I would only get a third of the vote on policy and leader change anyway. Unlike the Greens in which anyone can come up with policy and every member gets a vote.
To sum up, that's why Labour are shit and don't deserve my vote at the next election.