Wednesday 21 May 2014

The day the Steel Band came to town, then left again...

I've been meaning to write about exception reporting for a while now. It came out of a lunch where I felt as though I was completely out of touch with reality and it made me think about why that was. Given some time to consider it I've concluded that it was the grand statements of 'fact' I was listening to that I found so unpalatable.

I blame the exception reporting we are subjected to disguised as 'news' or 'factual reporting.' If you were to believe the media reports you'd have a pretty low opinion of humanity. Using the grossest examples of indecency or violence or corruption to extrapolate that this is what we are as humans just doesn't make sense. It's lazy and it's inaccurate, but when people are scared and fed up and in debt it's what they are willing to believe to make sense of their own discontent. 

To counteract this idiotic approach here is my much-needed reality check:

  • Not all benefits claimants are scroungers. Some are people who work zero hours contracts and don't earn enough to live on. That's a normal living, not a moat or duck house living. 
  • Not everyone who works in a bank is overpaid or wealthy. The vast majority of bank staff do not earn six figure sums or earn massive bonuses. A few do.  
  • Not all immigrants are criminals and ne'er do wells who are just 'over here' to steal jobs, money and housing. 

I wish I could challenge the notion that not everyone in UKIP is a racist or sexist, but I do struggle to find any proof to support that assertion. Here are a few reasons why: 

Yesterday my lovely friend Tim tweeted that UKIP were planning a 'mini carnival' in Croydon to address accusations that they are a racist party. I live in Croydon and Tim used to so I said I'd go along - even though I had some hardcore TV watching planned yesterday afternoon - to see what was going on. UKIP had invited along all the BME candidates standing for them in the local area - because they're not racists - and booked a steel band - still not racists ok? In the end it was a fiasco and I'm glad I chose to stay indoors as by all accounts it all got a bit ugly out there.

I have to take issue with how much attention Farage and his party get considering they have precisely no MPs. Yes, I'll say that again - they have not one MP. And yet Farage has been on Question time more than any actual politician and continues to be invited to the table despite having no real political mandate. Last month there was a lot of comment about whether or not UKIP would stand in the Newark by-election as if that was of any relevance at all. It was a complete waste of time. Instead of asking why the party is so welcoming to candidates who clearly have no internal monologue or external moderator the media is asking why they aren't going into 'real politics.' Then there was the James O'Brien interview on LBC. If you haven't seen it please take the time to watch it now - it's ok I'll wait...

I know. I know. Close your mouth and keep reading.

Farage is invited to participate in TV debates with other party leaders despite the fact that his party has precisely one idea. Now that is exception reporting taken to it's illogical extreme. UKIP are the exception in British politics. They are a party that has no MPs and yet they are invited to participate alongside parties with real policies (however insane or mundane) and are taken seriously when they openly state they have no interest on anything outside the one issue they stand for.

We have received a mountain of electioneering material in the post from all the parties and UKIP sent me a letter. It was actually addressed to me !! Did they not realise that with the middle name Kaur I would probably disagree with their hostile and openly racist policies ?  Oh hang on they don't actually have any policies do they ? Farage spends more time expelling the 'random elements' in his party than he does talking about what they believe in outside the one big idea.

This is why you have to go out and use your vote on May 22nd. Not just because so many people around the world (mostly women) are still denied the right to vote. It is precisely because so many people don't vote that the same old same old keeps happening. If you are someone who doesn't vote and says, 'It makes no difference, what's the point anyway ?' then you are part of the problem. You are the reason the same people keep making the laws and getting away with the self-serving decisions you disagree with. Sitting in your kitchen moaning to your friends that it's all such a waste of time really is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We get the Government we deserve and even if you have no opinion about the local or european elections use this chance to flex your voting muscles. Get in some practice before the general election so that when it comes around you're ready for it. Even if you're not registered to vote for this one, pop down to the polling station and see how it all works. I took my son with me the last time I voted and there was not one other voter there - I like to think that my vote counted for even more.

So even if you vote for a party I don't agree with, it genuinely is more important that you just do it anyway. What matters is that you use your vote and that is is counted.

Now that really would be exceptional.

Get your vote on !

1 comment:

  1. Great post, please nudge me in a couple of weeks, have the memory of a gnat and want to feature his in the politics round up! X