2015 General Election: You can still make a difference!

With the majority of constituency results announced it is clear that we will be seeing a Conservative formed government.  The polls leading up to yesterday’s election had the Tories and Labour neck and neck but I was expecting that many of our population would put an X by their Conservative candidate within the privacy of the voting booth.  We’re a rich country which means those in work will always be fairly comfortable and it’s difficult for people to vote against that and to stick up for the vulnerable.

I’m disappointed.  However, political involvement is not limited to voting in a General Election.  We all have a new or a newly re-elected MP who is accountable to us, the same goes for our local Councillors.  Engage with your MP and with your Councillors, get to know them and ensure they make your voice heard.  Even if they don’t represent your political views they are still your public servant.

There are also opportunities for those who feel powerless in an election to come together and make a collected voice heard through marches, letter writing and other peaceful protests.  If you feel helpless now then resolve to continue to campaign for the issues that are important to you.

Personally, I am most gutted for those who are more vulnerable for various reasons – the young, the elderly, the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the disenfranchised, the asylum seeker, the looked after children, the disabled, those with mental illness, the addicts…..  These categories don’t generally vote Conservative, if they vote at all, and will undoubtedly be further down trodden.  If this bothers you then get ready to serve these people in your local community.  They may not be able to rely on their government for support and empowerment but they must be able to rely on their neighbours.

We spend a lot of time talking about our politicians but even once elected they do not have to be the ones who direct and shape our country.  Stand up and make a difference!


Storm brewing for the Lords

I read this morning on the BBC that Lords clock in and out of the Houses of Parliament for short periods just to claim the £300 daily expenses rate.

The culprit is a certain, before unknown to us plebs, Lord Hanningfield.  He explained what happens when questioned about his own expenses.  I bet he’s popular in the House of Lords bar at the moment!  In July he claimed £5,700 for attending parliament but never voted or took part in any committees.

He justifies this by saying, according to the BBC, he spent half of the £300 daily fee on expenses and so did not really make any profit.  Eh!?

Since when is £2,850 extra bonus income not profit?

Some rough maths:

£2,850 per month x 12 months = £34,000 per year for extra ‘expenses’

According to parliament.uk there was an average of 484 attendees in the House of Lords last year.

£34,000 x 484 = £16,456,000 = lots of wasted money gone to rich people = angry public 

Lord Hanningfield with an expensive looking dog