Post-election gin mourning time is over

Says the Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2015/may/13/post-election-downer-time-to-organise-owen-jones-video

Fine. But I’ve got a cold so I don’t have to get up and organise anything quite yet. So, indulge me in one more gin soaked, written on the train ramble and keep your thoughts about my word order to yourself.

What a great show of democracy that was. 36% voted for the Tories, hurrah majority!* Form a government! Form a government with as many paradoxes as possible, including an Equalities minister who voted against same sex marriage and a Disabilities minister who voted against protecting disabled children’s benefits!
And what about that entirely yellow country somewhere up north? Scotland, is it?
A landslide victory for a centre left party who will remain in Holyrood but…a conservative government to rule them still and one ring to bind them. **

WHY?

I don’t resent people for falling into the trap of believing spin doctored rhetoric from politicians. (I do.) I’m sure some people who voted conservative think they’re doing the right thing for the United Kingdom. Those people might like to read this enlightening blog. which says in brief –
1. here are some figures to show economic stagnation under Tory austerity.
2. Here are figures to show marginal recovery when they slow down their punishing austerity schemes.
3. And here are the Tories claiming to have improved the economy.
If you’ve stuck with me, you might see the flaw in this but I won’t patronise you by explaining it. Idiots. (Ed. Don’t say that, it’s cocking offensive.)

HOW?

How did the scare schemes work?? I thought we were on track -the media bias against Scotland disintegrated when they could no longer control what people heard about the SNP. Using words like ‘Nats’ to make people think the SNP were right wing (you’d be surprised how many people don’t know Scotland has a centre-left governing party), saying ‘separatists’ want to ‘break up’ the UK – this was no longer enough once you had Sturgeon on TV in England proclaiming nasty, separatist support for the NHS and campaigning against damaging austerity politics that erode the infrastructure and quality of life for the majority. After that debate, the sixth most googled thing was ‘Can I vote for the SNP?’
People liked this. Sturgeon was winning over even England. But it didn’t work out in the end. Were people really afraid that the SNP would have too much sway over Labour if it came to a coalition? This seems to be the only plausible answer even though anyone with half a brain should be able to see that a party with 200-odd seats could hardly be held to ransom by the SNP with their 56 seats.
At least in Scotland, the SNP won 56 out of 59 seats- what an amazing result for that nasty separatist party against poverty-generating austerity. In Scotland at least, the message has got through.
There is an alternative (a functioning alternative! -even though rUK might not know it, the SNP have been in government and haven’t made half as much of a dog’s dinner of it as the Tories) to the Tories’ economically flawed austerity plans and it’s up to the SNP to make sure they follow through with it.
Show rUK it’s possible to have no tuition fees and free prescriptions (even if the funding for Scotland is currently still tied to whatever England decides to spend that year via the Barnett Formula) and campaign against wasting obscene amounts of money on nuclear weapons as a general insurance policy against an unnamed threat while working families rely on food banks.

I don’t know what to say. Perhaps we’ll see a turnaround like after the Scottish referendum, where although 55% voted against independence, basically the entire country voted for the party that wanted independence in the last election and kept them in government. Perhaps those who voted the conservatives (narrowly) into power will realise as we crowd around food banks in 2 years’ time that maybe letting a party that 64% didn’t want back into government was a mistake.

Oh well. There’s always the delicious irony of the conservatives cutting access to benefits for migrants if they haven’t worked in the UK for 4 years (it’s two in Switzerland) to keep me warm at night.

If anyone wants to get active, get going:

We could save our humans rights

We could ditch the government we didn’t vote for

We could lobby the government to save people who literally drown in the desperate search for a better life.

We could fight against TTIP.

Owen’s right. One more cup of tea and I’ll get up.

* 36% is not a sodding majority.

**This may be from something else

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Debate Games: Health tourism- I once had a giant scab ripped off by a doctor in Greece, does that count?

Debate continued…

One last word on the deficit…as important as it is to get the deficit down (and people are always saying it’s important nowadays and since when has anyone in the public eye ever lied to us? Why on earth would they?), as Nicola Sturgeon and Natalie Bennett point out, it’s not worth the drastic austerity measures if in doing so, you cripple the infrastructure and drive a section of society into poverty. And it certainly won’t be the section who told you how important it was to cut the deficit. Talking about the debt legacy left to our children is all very well, but I’d rather children with debt than a decimated public service and a worse quality of life. Sturgeon is proposing to cut the deficit too, just not at any cost.
(In all seriousness though..was that last bit a pun?)

Health Tourism

So glad Farage brought that up. It certainly didn’t feel like tourism when that Greek doctor looked at my leg and announced he wanted to ‘take it off.’ Was pretty sure my insurance wouldn’t cover that. I was actually relieved when he just used pincers to rip the scab off and doused me in iodine.
Firstly, that Hunt was talking nonsense and ‘the UK is actually a net exporter of patients, with more now leaving the country for treatment than arriving here.’ Brits are going abroad for things like cosmetic treatments and weight loss surgery, according to the article. It does seem a bit rich to then complain of people coming here, getting an address and then demanding to see a doctor for their flu or to have their ingrown toenails operated on.
Pure hedonism, I call that.
In fact, the Guardian points out that those coming here are from rich countries and bring an economic benefit of £219m with them. So we should actually be bloody grateful, it looks suspiciously like they’re propping up our NHS at the moment.

Zoe Williams wrote a great article underlining the fact than EU and non-EU migrants who come here to work are young and less likely to be ill and a drain on our health service. So in actual fact, Migrants are better for our NHS than you are.
I love her exposé on Polish medical centre alternatives to the NHS, where people are willing to pay for what they see as a more thorough service. One of her interviewees mentioned they thought GPs rarely refer people to specialists and another joked GPs prescribe paracetamol for everything.
In my own experience recently in Germany, at the gynaecologist’s, (now there’s a module we should have studied at university. There was an awful amount of describing round certain terminology going on) I was given an ultrasound on the spot, something which I don’t think would happen in the UK. That being said, I haven’t had the bill yet.
And he said I had a small womb. RUDE.
*Edit: Got the bill. It was a Sonographie, not an ultrasound. Easy mistake, it was cold, wet and weird.

You can’t round off the health round without a despicable comment from Farage and he duly obliged by informing us that 60% of HIV patients being treated aren’t British nationals. If that wasn’t enough to make me choke on my emergency chocolate (it was), his smirk when Sturgeon said she tends to think of people recently diagnosed with a horrible virus as human beings and not of their nationality would have. If you can smirk at that, you shouldn’t be in charge of a tissue, let alone a country.

Immigration Infatuation

“Immigrants drive the wages for everyone down, therefore they are bad.”
Ugh, typical example of politics focussing on symptoms as oppose to addressing the problem. Everyone’s wages are low, you say? RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE AND FUCKING STICK TO IT. How is no one outraged at the employers who are paying non-British workers less to save themselves money? The real issue is that there isn’t enough work for everyone and that is an economic problem. The only way that can be solved is to get the economy growing again and that’s not done by austerity and restricting the spending power of the majority of the population.

Also, the way we look at the issue of immigration and work is insane. If you were to imagine the situation in another way and took nationality out of the question and accepted that there’s not enough work for the population, you wouldn’t come to the logical conclusion that the answer is to reduce the population. Yet that’s exactly how the immigration/work debate goes. What would we do?
“I’m terribly sorry everyone, there’s not enough work for the current population. Unfortunately, everyone with an IQ under 65 has to be exterminated. But don’t worry, it’s only until the economy picks up again.”
Focus your efforts on fixing the economy, for goodness’ sake. Anything else is distraction politics to draw attention away from the fact that it doesn’t matter too much to the ruling elite if they improve the economy or not; they won’t struggle like most of us will in a bad economic climate. And the ultimate cheek of it all – their solution, austerity policies, hurts the average-earning majority and doesn’t touch the rich minority.

Welcome to politics in a chronically unfair society.

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