So today it’s time to head to the election booths again. I can’t believe it’s been five years since the last one, but there you go.
It’s been an enlightening time for me. I’m a child of the eighties. I grew up hearing the adults around me grumbling about the Tories, but this is the first time I’ve actually lived under a Tory administration as an adult (at least a loose approximation to one) and an eligible voter (eligible by age, not wisdom).
I was seventeen when Blair came to power. I took an interest in the outcome. I hoped the corrupt Tories would be chucked out and hoped this new fresh-faced fella would bring a positive change… yeah…I learnt an important lesson there. But being eligible to vote, and old enough to know the potential impact of the outcome, is a bit different. So this is the first time I’ve been both an adult and eligible to vote while living under a Tory government. Quite frankly, I’ve been astonished.
I know they’re considered ‘the nasty party’. I know they’re renowned for being the most corrupt, but I wasn’t prepared for quite how blatant they would be. Before the last election Cameron went around promising that the NHS would be safe in Tory hands. After the election he embarked upon selling almost £1.5 billion pound of NHS contracts to Tory party donors. He promised “no more top-down reorganisation of the NHS.” Then he embarked upon the biggest top-down reorganisation in its history. He said this will be the “greenest government ever”, and then said “get rid of all that green crap”… but that’s just the start…
The biggest shock for me has been the behaviour of Iain Duncan Smith in the Department of Work and Pensions. His policies are actually killing people. Shockingly, when the Guardian asked for statistics about this they were told that the department doesn’t keep such statistics. Here’s a tip, if your policies are killing people, then that’s something worth keeping tabs on. But it’s not just killing anyone. These policies are killing some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The poor, the sick, and the jobless. That’s what kind of society five years of Tories creates. What kind of society will another five years create?
The Tories are such blatant liars that they’re even trying to argue that Osborne has been a successful chancellor. This is a man who, in 2010, promised to avoid a double-dip recession, protect our AAA credit rating and eliminate the deficit by 2015. He failed on all three counts. Recently the Tories were trying to celebrate that he halved the deficit. That’s the Tories for you. When they deliver only half of what they promised, they still congratulate themselves. What’s more shocking is that in the process he spent £207 billion more than he said he would. Let me repeat that, George Osborne overspent by two hundred billion pounds. And the Tories try to accuse Labour of profligacy?? They’ve even had an ad campaign running suggesting that the Labour party can’t be trusted with the economy. It’s worth remembering that in the last five years Osborne has racked up more debt than every Labour government in history, combined. In fact, there have only been two Labour governments that have left the country’s finances in a worst state than when they took power. That was the government of 1930 and 2008, the two governments that coincided with the two largest global financial meltdowns in history.
But it’s not that I’m trying to sing Labour’s praises. Clearly the Lib Dems have been the Tories main enablers, but Labour have played their scandalous part too. The Tories have been so underhanded, so duplicitous, so cruel and malicious that they would have been sitting ducks for any effective opposition to skewer. The fact that they’ve got away it just goes to show how weak, incompetent and ineffective the opposition have proven themselves to be. So can we trust them in power? Probably not. Either way, tomorrow is a new dawn. I’m facing it with some trepidation.