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Vote Labour

I haven’t updated in a while. I have been SO busy with finals, and gearing myself up for my trip home on Saturday.

Today, the United Kingdom goes to the polls.

So I urge: VOTE LABOUR.

Do not let the Conservatives get in.

Labour

The Labour Party

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Manifesto Launch

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Upon a glance of both Labour and the Conservative’s manifestos, I can honestly tell you that both have their good points.

However I have some issue with the Conservative’s. Let me run through a few of them:

  1. No increase in National Insurance – how can you cut national debt and keep the NHS fully funded?
  2. Cutting corporation tax to 25% – according to the Conservatives, they believe in small businesses. This just helps those large corporate businesses who bring a lot of money in taxes. I fail to understand the logic behind trying to save money by cutting the money the government receive.
  3. Pledge to match Labour’s health and aid budgets – I have an issue with this. Sorry, come up with your own budgets.
  4. Developing Swedish ‘free schools’ and US ‘charter schools’ – I am 100% against the idea of local institutions, churches, parents or groups taking charge of state schools. Google what its affects are in states such as Texas. The national government should retain complete control.
  5. Abolition of Independent Appeal Panels for school admissions – how can this even be fair? The Headteacher could well be the issue, and then who do you go to?

Now that’s not to say it doesn’t have its good points, because it does. I am actually very proud of the fact that our right-winged party is a party that supports a nationalised health service and (to some extent) gay rights. It’s a testimony to our society that we argue over less extreme things such as education and defence rather than gay rights and abortion.

We should be cautious, and I am still in support of Labour. I can tell you, however, that a Conservative government – if the manifesto pulls through – would have mostly my support. It’s almost a patriotic duty!

Good Old Gay Times

April 8, 2010 2 comments

I try not to make everything about my life about being gay, but sometimes being in a minority that is still discriminated upon both in society and by law means that I have to take a look at that as a focal point of view. So, just briefly I’m going to look at different political parties and their websites to see what they have on gay rights or people or something to that sort. Just brief, mind you.

The parties I’ll look at are Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the Green Party, and the BNP.

Labour

The Labour Party

Labour – http://www.labour.org.uk

One of the easiest websites to find out about gay rights in the party. No search required, we’re listed under ‘Equalities’

If you want to take a look, check it out.

To be fair to Labour, after 13 years in power, radical sweeps of gay rights legislation is hardly going to be there, but along with a long list of gay legislation they have already passed, they mostly focus on getting the Equality Bill passed in the next parliament, if they are re-elected.

Being a card-carrying member of the party, it’s safe to assume I would urge all to vote for Labour. Based upon their record, I feel comfortable with them in power and believe genuinely that they are a gay-friendly party with actual desires to see equality for LGBT people. Though we disagree on the issue of gay marriage (Labour having no plans to bring it into debate), I fundamentally owe Labour a lot of gratitude for the (often opposed) laws and rights they gave to me as a gay man in the twentieth and twenty-first century.

Conservatives

The Conservative Party

Conservatives – http://www.conservatives.com

Not quite as easy to find. No policy as such, only information that the party has changed under the leadership of David Cameron, and that it is now a modern Conservative Party, bringing things such as the Civil Partnership issue to the US and Europe. Also lots of information on Alan Duncan, a gay Conservative (hah) MP who apparently ‘steered’ the Civil Partnership bill through parliament.

Here are the search results.

Whilst I don’t believe that the Conservatives are homophobic per say, I don’t feel they have much of an issue regarding it. Perhaps they take the laissez-faire attitude or the ‘let’s keep the status quo’ attitude. At any rate, having a flagship gay MP in the cabinet isn’t too bad. Better than those darn Republicans…

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats – http://www.libdems.org.uk

No particular page but a search page. I can’t fault the Liberal Democrats too much on the issue since really, they support gay rights very much. Nick Clegg, their leader, has called for gay marriage, so hats off to them. Search results brings up them tackling the Conservative voting record and then some random groups of Liberal Democrats, a little bit like LGBT Labour or LGBTory.

Here are the search results.

To be honest on the issue of gay rights alone, I would vote Liberal Democrats. I just feel it’s not only a wasted vote, but a fair number of other issues I have with the party mean I remain aligned with Labour.

UKIP

The United Kingdom Independence Party

UKIP – http://www.ukip.org

No page, and a search result drew nothing up except some news stories (two) that simply mentioned ‘gay’.

Still, here are the results.

It’s not surprising really, since UKIP are a one-policy party. Still, they take such an issue with smoking in pubs being banned that they can have a whole page devoted to that, but not the rights of the gay citizens to which they wish to govern. Not impressed.

The Green Party

The Green Party

The Green Party – http://www.greenparty.org.uk

Interesting results. No page but quick search brings up their policies on gay rights. Very thorough – and I especially like how they believe in gay marriage but also they wish to extend these rights to all of Europe. Requiring companies that work with British companies to have a policy for LGBT equality is a very bold move.

Here is the document for you to see.

With a real fighting chance of getting our first Green MP, this could see interesting debates in parliament if anything came up. Still, not enough movement in society to cause real change. Good party to my eyes.

BNP

The British National Party

BNP – http://www.bnp.org.uk

Well it’s no surprises that they have no page. They have no search engine for the website either. Unless a blog, group or member has ‘gay’ in it you’re not likely to find much. We all know their vile racism and homophobia though. Still, to remain as impartial as I can – Nick Griffin, their leader, whilst admitting seeing grown men kiss was ‘creepy’, said his party was ‘gay friendly’ and said the state has no business in the bedroom. It just… well, that’s his gay policy.

Nothing too much there, but just a quick overview.

Chancellor Debates 2010

April 8, 2010 1 comment

I’ve only just been able to catch the debate between the Chancellors for Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives that was broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK last week. My initial impression was that Alistair Darling ‘won’ it (if that is how we are to see it) on the basis of being consistent, being calm and being logical.

If you didn’t get a chance to see it, and you are in the UK you can watch it in full on YouTube here, if not you’ll need to watch it in segments here.

So who do you want running the Treasury Department from 2010 through 2015? To be fair, I think the Liberal Democrats put forward a great fight, and the reason I give the gold to Labour was not that the Liberal Democrats are not going to be in government (I actually took an issue when George Osborne so blatantly blew Vince Cable out of the debate with that comment), rather that Mr Cable, whilst being very fair on his economic plans, failed to mention the other policies the Liberal Democrats have – especially free tuition fees for university students. It seems unlikely that many Liberal Democrat policies will be able to be funded if they cut income tax on lower incomes or reduce spending across the board. I might agree with many policies of the Liberal Democrats, however I am a firm believer in tuition fees and those two don’t seem to fit together somehow.

With the country in as much debt as we are, it’s completely understandable how Mr Osborne’s “let’s cut things and get out of debt” is the most appealing. As a fan of Keynesian economics however, I do not buy his analogy that “any ordinary person in debt starts doing… blah blah blah”. Frankly, Mr Osborne, the way in which you run the nation’s finances is nothing like a family’s finances. To put it that simply is dangerous (but a brilliant election policy) in that ordinary people will think the nation’s finances can be solved as simply as them cutting to Tesco Value beans over Heinz beans.

Mr Darling’s policies were, strangely, more middle ground from my perspective. Whilst protecting the National Health Service from cuts (Mr Cable made little promises), he also acknowledged that an increase in National Insurance would be needed to keep us going. Mr Osborne, still in his ‘let’s give them what’s popular’ mode, insists that the increase is a burden on business and ordinary people. Suddenly the Conservatives are all about the people. An increase of 1% is minimal. We have all played a part in this recession – that credit card you got even though you couldn’t afford it? That mortgage you got even though you couldn’t afford it? That new TV you got on credit even though you couldn’t afford it? That loan you took out for items that frankly you didn’t need nor could afford? Um… you were a part of it.

Now, let’s pay that 1% increase and try to enjoy the relatively good social welfare we enjoy in the United Kingdom. Let’s keep it an make it better, not cut it back to the 1980s.

On a random note – GO BUTLER. BEAT DUKE.

NCAA message there.