People can castigate the Lib Dems as much as they desire; they can loathe them for their role in the coalition and bemoan their naive ambitions of forming a majority government.
The fact is, though, they’re the only anti-Brexit kid on the block. They’re right on mental health, climate change and attacking the scourge of antisemitism too – so they’ll get my vote.
Your job is 365 days a year
It is entertaining to listen to the political parties trying to outbid each other in the run-up to the general election. We hear how much more they will spend on the NHS – and they lay before us grandiose plans for the public services.
But don’t these same public services need finance and good management every day of the year? It is what governments do for these services between elections that matter. This is what we should judge the parties on. Not their empty election promises.
Tory party media tactics so far link to long-running false narratives.
The first is that Labour cannot be trusted on the economy, illustrated by looking for every spending claim ever made, adding them together and coming up with a fictitious figure. Some journalists have picked up on this falsification but among the wider public it fits with the previous false narrative that Labour was responsible for the 2008 banking crisis.
The second theme is that Labour cannot be trusted on migration. Again, the Conservatives have adopted the “think of a number” approach – this time, around 840,000. “The migrants are coming here, taking everything and contributing little” is another long-running false narrative people have plugged into. It played a big role in preparing the ground for Brexit.
These false narratives need to be vigorously challenged in all forms of media because in reality they amount to fake news and undermine our democracy.
As Australia burns with unprecedented bush fires, threatening the lives and livelihoods of thousands of its citizens, is it really appropriate for Qantas to be trialling 19-hour nonstop flights? Leaving aside the impact on the environment, can there really be anything that urgent that requires someone to sit in a metal tube for nearly a day, polluting the upper atmosphere, just to get from London to Sydney in one fell flight?
Time, surely, for passengers to boycott the airline until the jackeroos running the company understand that just because something can be done doesn’t mean you should.
Robin J Bulow
A quick note
Can I please remind my fellow Independent readers, when considering where they stand on each of the political parties’ policy on immigration control, not to forget how we currently behave towards those individuals who are accused of not having a right to remain?
It is all very well for politicians to talk about bringing in a points-based system, or ensuring we provide the same rights to all people in Britain without regard to their origin. But let’s not forget to ask our politicians if they intend to remove all elements of the hostile environment, or if they believe that it is right to deny people the right to seek legal employment for the purpose of supporting themselves, and if it is right to deny people access to basic health care. You might also ask if they intend to continue to inter people whilst the immigration department considers (often at their very great leisure) their right to remain. These interred individuals can find themselves locked up without time limit, with just the flimsiest of reasons to suggest they may be a flight risk.
But before asking our politicians anything, please do ask yourself how you feel about being a member of a society which does these things to often innocent, and often desperate individuals in significant numbers every year.
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