UK General Election 2015

1 May 2015. Filed under category General Philosophy.

DISCLAIMER: The following is the view of Jono and not necessarily the rest of the Monsterworks band, past or present.  In fact, in retrospect, writing a blog on something to do with politics is kind of stupid because it risks alienating anybody that does not agree.  So, take it for what it is: an opinion.  In any event, if you have a mind open enough to want to listen to Monsterworks, you can take it, no matter what the view.  Any feedback welcome in the comments section.

 

We have an election coming up next weekend in the UK. It is being touted as “the most important election in a generation” which is presumably what they say about every general election, especially the last one where the economy was in the toilet and each party tried to position itself as the one that has the best policies to save the day after financial collapse. Now, five years later, the situation has not improved. It has been more or less business as usual in many respects, except I read more and more about the damaging effect of austerity on society, even if personally I do not experience it. Britain is one of the ‘wealthiest’ nations on the planet, yet many of its people are suffering.ImageVaultHandler.aspx

To cut a long story short, i.e. the result of many hours pondering life and the universe as it relates to civilisation, I concluded a while ago that the present political and economic system is unsustainable. The rhetoric is always around growth and that is impossible to sustain indefinitely on a finite planet. It is that simple and none of the ‘major’ political parties acknowledge it. They expect people to vote for them based on policies that appear to appeal to an individual’s short term self-interest.

Sometimes political affiliations simply come down to personal ideology. If you are conservative then you believe in low taxes and the power of the private sector to serve society by providing good value, as a consequence of competition. Somewhere off to the side you might believe that immigrants are destroying the fabric of your society with their alien cultures, taking all the low paid jobs and/or overloading the welfare system [more to the point you might experience some of that and form the belief that immigrants are to blame for those problems]. At another extreme you might subscribe to communism where most services would be under state control.

Support for these ideologies is always based on belief, sometimes coerced, rather than cold hard facts and science. And that seems to be the main problem. People amble along without trying to see the big picture and the ultimate goal of humanity which, I assert, is to survive (sustainably) long enough to become a space faring civilisation that can explore the Universe. Although, I would like to add to that goal the aspiration of all world citizens having a chance to be happy along the journey of survival, so long as it is not at the expense of someone else.

So, who am I going to vote for? The Green Party; because while some see their policies as the rambling of ideological hippies, I don’t [in fact, in the immortal words of Eric Cartman “I hate goddamn hippies!!”] But when it comes to the Greens I agree with the basic premise that an economy should work for the benefit of everyone and not just provide an elaborate system of winches and pullies that channels wealth (via the human invention of money) from the debt slaves at the bottom to their distant masters at the top, to be hoarded for some fictional rainy day that never comes. It is the only way I see of reversing the trend of rising inequality.Greens

On a social level I see inequality as the biggest threat to survival of the species because the greater the gap between rich and poor, the greater the risk of civil unrest; eventually leading to societal breakdown. That means fighting in the streets which would really inconvenience me.

So many things are tied into inequality. The more of it you have, the greater disillusionment of the youth and the more skewed access to education is. Tackling those things brings stability and gravitates away from extreme behaviour.

It seems to me that reducing inequality is at the heart of the Green agenda, alongside climate change which is the other huge threat to survival although, to be cynical, nature has a way of balancing those things out. When all the tipping points have gone over, I doubt all of humanity will be wiped out. It will simply be a case of hoping your family is not swept out to sea in a hurricane or starves in a famine. Technology and circumstance will certainly allow some people to survive in a planet which is a few degrees hotter. Unless the desperation triggers a nuclear war. Let’s not forget that happy possibility!

What makes me qualified to write about these things? Nothing really, other than being fortunate enough not to be a ‘debt slave’ per se. I am certainly vulnerable if I lose my job, but I don’t have the danger of losing a house and I have been playing the game of “saving for my retirement” like you are supposed to. Of course, when financial markets crash again, which they will, I could be left with nothing so it is simply a game of roulette we all play.

In some ways the Green Party is the most and least metal of all political parties. They are metal because it is, at present, an outlier with apparently radical ideas that are really awesome, like Black Sabbath was in 1970. On the other hand, metal tends to have an obsession with the darker side of humanity, e.g. death/destruction and/or bands whining about Satan. The Greens would be more into Hendrix. But that is pretty cool too.

I probably don’t fully agree with every policy they have but on balance it seems to be a sensible and non-reactionary agenda. Moreover, the entire framework of civilsation has taken a wrong turn and none of the major political parties admit that.  Ironically, I suppose I am making my final voting decision based on ideology because the science (statistics) says they have no chance of winning and we all like to back the winning team, but maybe they might get a few seats and I will have felt like I did the right thing.

 

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