Category Archives: open letter

UK politics is leaving the electorate nowhere to go

Over the last six years there has been plenty of talk about the ‘mess Labour left’ and the famed Conservative ‘Long term economic plan’.

In May of last year 24.3% of the population registered to vote gave the Conservatives a small majority government. There are several issues with our current voting system (first past the post) none more infuriating for those who vote than the lack of proper representation. UKIP and the Green Party for instance missed out enormously because of the current system and whether you like either’s policies, a huge number of people in Britain voted for them.

The Conservatives whilst in government have reiterated a few messages key to getting the public on board with their plans. Most notably they have spoken time and again about the huge deficit left to them by the Labour government before them.

That Labour government borrowed staggering amounts of money. So did every other nation in the world capable of doing so. When the banks went bust the taxpayer footed the bill. Whilst Labour aren’t blameless for this situation they are no more culpable than Conservatives.

The reason the Conservatives have to take their shame of the blame of the global financial crisis is because their spiritual leader, the late Margaret Thatcher, deregulated the banks in such a huge way that small banks were swallowed up and eventually the country was left with a group of super (investment) banks. Whilst Thatcher was doing this in Britain Reagan was doing the same in America. Their banks pretty much owned ours, so when their empire fell ours did too.

Whilst establishing a service industry in the country she systematically took apart Britain’s manufacturing industry and for short term gains privatised several public services. These include telecommunications, the rail network and the banking system.

There has been a great deal of focus on production in the country over the last few days and in order to stimulate growth the Chancellor has come up with the idea of cutting corporation tax. Fine in principle, flawed when it comes at the cost of the disabled and vulnerable.

For anyone thinking this is a love letter to the Labour party here is an assessment of where they have left us up to this point. They failed to reverse any of damage Thatcher’s policy inflicted on the manufacturing industry leaving the country reliant on the city of London to stimulate the economy. It’s pretty clear that when banks are given freedom to behave as they please, it doesn’t work out for the average tax payer.

They also spent a disgusting amount of money on an illegal war *cough* Hutton report *cough* at the cost to lives to those in Britain’s armed forces but more importantly huge numbers of civilians in the region. The Middle East is now as unstable as it has ever been and that is largely due to the handy work of Tony Blair and his cronies within New Labour. It is no exaggeration to say that the last Labour government left the world in a bloody and violent mess. This is almost certainly due to leaving a vacuum of power across the Middle East (Iraq, Libya, Syria) that has been swallowed up by terrorists.

Back to today and we have a Chancellor too scared to appear in the House of Commons because he has no answers to the question what on earth has happened to your budget? During his time as Chancellor George Osborne has imposed several targets aimed at impressing the electorate and failed almost every one.

The scary thing is Iain Duncan Smith stated in his resignation letter he couldn’t stand by these proposed cuts to PIP which would have seen the disabled of this country over four billion pounds worse off. This the man who was happy to endorse policy such as the bedroom tax which has been linked to the rise of suicide. Worse still given what has been said in parliament today we will have no clue as to where this black hole in funding will be filled until the autumn statement.

The SNP (and much of Scotland) have had enough and think their chances are better off going it alone. Financially it would be tough but given what’s currently on offer in British politics who can blame them? The Labour party is engulfed in tribal infighting surrounding their future direction. The Conservatives are tearing themselves apart over Europe and ‘compassionate Conservatism’ whilst the Liberal Democrats barely even exist.

When politics fails as miserably as is happening in Britain today there is always a groundswell of support for smaller parties. If history has taught us anything, this unfortunately leads to a surge in sympathy for the far right.

Labour and the Tories need to get their act together for sake of the electorate. Unfortunately too many in government forget that’s how and why they are there in the first place.


An open letter to Bob Geldof

Dear Mr Geldof,

I have not long finished reading an article in the online edition of the Independent. The piece in question reflects on a speech you made to the One Young World conference in Bangkok. Within the speech you suggested that your generation left mine with the tools to change the world and spread a message of hope and peace. I have no qualms in admitting this is true. Thanks to people of your generation we have the Internet and many other technological advancements.

As you continued your speech you made it clear that you are suitably unimpressed with what younger people have done with the tools provided. You spoke of frivolity and beliefs as if they were some sort of ideological genres created single handedly by the current generation of youth. You also suggested that because millennials  were involved in the various terrorist attacks over the last weeks or so, that the whole generation is in some way implicated.

The report  by  Heather Saul does go on to say that you and your generation take some responsibility for current mess the world finds itself in but frankly your entire speech was a waste of breath given the audience. You were preaching to the choir and the only people who will read articles such as the one I did are people like me who are interested in current affairs, inequality and trying to change things one step at a time. I share information via social media, through my own writing and by word of mouth on a daily basis. I am one of an enormous number of people doing the same.

Apathy isn’t a newly formed concept. There are millions of millennials spreading the good word across social media and getting involved with protest and projects worldwide. You can’t make people take in the information you can only put it out there.

Unfortunately whilst your intentions may be well meaning they come across as patronising and in some ways a desperate attempt to stay relevant. Go and spread the message to places where it is not wasted. Your celebrity status gives you the opportunity to speak to a captive audience wherever that may be. Speak in front of an EDL rally and the cameras will follow.

Many of my family members have suffered a great deal by western actions taken in the middle east. I won’t go into any detail as I have great concerns for their safety and writing about them in this letter may do them more harm than good. There have always been messages of opposition to government foreign, home and welfare policy on both sides of the coin. These issues will continue to divide people and their opinions. The idea of abandoning these beliefs for the sake of a better future may work in theory but without strong beliefs how can we shape any future?

I agree with large parts of what you had to say in your speech and continuing to be part of a solution to the world’s problems is commendable. Please choose your words carefully in future though or you are just as likely to turn people away from peace, activism and tackling inequality as you are to get them to engage with those concepts.

Kind regards,

Tom El-Shawk.

Here is the link to the article mentioned.