The Plastic Hippo

April 27, 2015

Vote Old

Filed under: Politics,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:10 am
Tags: ,
Image credit: plastic hippo

Image credit: plastic hippo

In case you haven`t noticed, apparently we are about to have a election and the charming parliamentary constituency of Walsall South has proved to be the unlikely setting for what that election will be about.

Talking the borrowed dog for a Sunday morning walk in the magnificent Arboretum, I noticed a sign affixed to the bay window of a fairly average terraced house. There is nothing unusual or indeed wrong with people nailing their political colours to the mast especially when we are apparently about to have an election. Something else, however, caught my eye. There were two hand-written notes attached to the sign which at first glance resembled the sort of documents you find on your windscreen after you have parked the four by four across the gates of a crematorium or the public notices cable-tied to lamp posts informing you that your local primary school is about to be converted into an “aspirational” executive apartment complex to suit the lifestyles of heroic entrepreneurial wealth creators.

After a delightful walk in the spring sunshine, I returned the ungrateful mutt to his rightful owner and instead of heading off to the pub; I retraced my steps to the quiet street to see what the notes said.

“This doesn`t represent us”, said the first. The second said “No to tuition fees”.

Now this might be something of a wild guess and I could well be completely wrong, but I would offer even money that the house is rented and that the tenants are students. I knocked on the door but no-one was home and so took a photograph. Students, you might remember, are now required to agree to start their careers in debt in order to pay off the national debt because debt is a very bad thing and heroic entrepreneurial wealth creators had absolutely nothing to do with creating the debt in the first place. Who on earth needs teachers and doctors and historians and artists when Wonga and HSBC are suffering from a drop in share dividends?

The choice at the ballot box boils down to the image at the top of the page. An expensive, air-brushed and sugar coated confection obscuring a total lack of actual substance completely blown away by two statements torn from a student note-book. The Labour Party have announced that they will tackle rogue private landlords who raise rents with no justification and evict tenants who complain that they are living in a poorly maintained death trap. The scrounger rhetoric designed to sanction housing benefit conveniently forgets that rented housing benefit is paid to private landlords and not the tenants. Little wonder that a private landlord in the charming parliamentary constituency of Walsall South who might or might not be a chum of the parliamentary candidate should fix a sign to his property against the opinion of his tenants. Take a look at the picture again and ask if the landlord should fix the window frame instead.

There has been some ridiculous talk of “British values” in the run up to the current bun fight almost as if compassion and basic human decency are uniquely British. They are not and those qualities are owned by everyone and not just a wealthy few. The choice at the election is simple. Who has a conscience and who is after a fast buck? Do you want to return to a post modern feudalism which allows the landed gentry to dictate how the serfs behave or a nation that looks after everyone rather than just the rich?

By putting up their notes, the tenants will probably be evicted and accused of terrorism.

The Vote Old sign has now been removed. Perhaps the Lord and Lady of the Manor realised that imposing political obedience on the lower orders is not likely to win many votes or the tenants organised a peasants` revolt and tore the thing down. Either way it is a case of here today gone tomorrow. Unlike the candidate who is here today and will be gone a week on Friday.

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