The Plastic Hippo

May 5, 2016


Filed under: Birmingham,Dudley,Politics,Sandwell,Walsall,Wolverhampton — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Michael Fish

Michael Fish

Following a generally cool start to the day, Thursday will develop into a sunny day of plenty of warm sunshine and light winds with the best of the dry weather across England and Wales and a chance of temperatures reaching as high as 20 degrees Celsius in the South-East. A weakening weather front moving south across the Scottish borders might cause an occasional shower but for the most part fine, settled and dry conditions will provide the perfect conditions to exercise a democratic duty by going out to vote in a variety of elections.

There are lots of elections to enjoy.

There is the white-knuckle adrenaline rush of electing 40 Police and Crime Commissioners. About half of previously elected PCCs have decided not to run again which might indicate a certain lack of commitment but the really exciting bit will be finding out if the turn-out for this confection rises to anything approaching more than 10 per cent. The administration of the police service is clearly going ever so well.

There are elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly which offer the entertaining prospect of DUP and Sinn Fein MLAs attempting to out-mad each other over flags and marching. Common sense might end up going the way of the Good Friday Agreement and big, big trouble in the Schengen zone.

In Wales, Plaid Cymru has lost ground to Labour in the Welsh Assembly and has even suffered at the hands of Welsh Conservatives. The words Port Talbot hang heavy over the principality. Interestingly, there is a parliamentary by-election called at Ogmore where Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies has decided to stand for the Welsh Assembly rather than Westminster. Perhaps he knows something the rest of us don`t.

There is another Westminster by-election caused by the death of Labour`s Harry Harpham. His constituency was Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough an area where the Police and Crime Commissioner is likely to be rather busy over the next year or so.

The Scottish Parliament election will prepare the way for a second independence referendum with the SNP increasing a Holyrood majority thanks mainly to the duplicity of a Westminster Tory government and a collaborative Labour Party prior to the first referendum.

There are Mayoral elections in London, Bristol, Liverpool and Salford and elections to the London Assembly. If you need any example of how to be a complete and utter bastard, take a look at Zac Goldsmith`s pitiful performance in London. Mercifully, London will at last be free of the embarrassment that is Boris Johnson.

There are a third of Metropolitan council seats up for grabs in 32 of 36 authorities including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton. A number of Unitary Authorities and 12 District Councils also face the judgement of the electorate so Thursday and Friday are guaranteed to be exciting days for vote counting and the inevitable cacophony of excuses and spin doctoring.

The elections today will not offer an opportunity to finally rid us of perhaps the most useless, venal, incompetent and basically unpleasant government that this nation has had to endure but a simple cross on a ballot paper might just send a message to the detached, arrogant ideologues that expect us to be compliant.

The weather will be good and you don`t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

It is important to vote. If you wish to continue with this madness, then stay away and avoid the polling station. But, after abrogating civic responsibility, do not complain about politics or the loss of freedom and basic human rights. Spoil the paper if necessary, write “none of the above” or vote Ninja Turtle or Klingon. You only have one voice.

1 Comment »

  1. If the turnout at English local elections exceeds 30% overall I will walk my dog wearing only a truss, spats and a pith helmet.

    If the turnout for the ridiculously named and utterly irrelevant Police and Crime Commissioners exceeds 15%, I will perform a slow shedding of the aforesaid garments as I walk and pirouette.

    Of course everyone should vote. But they wont. After all, what are they voting for?

    Local government has been systematically castrated and demonised by both major political parties. In a world begun by Thatcher and amplified by Blair, even someone standing as the Hartlepool Monkey can assume control over what remains of local services.

    As recent events demonstrate, the police remain as unaccountable as ever.

    Billionaires and banker can dump their responsibilities onto the honest tax-paying, hard working majority, seemingly without penalty. Meanwhile, our innate obligations to the un-homed, destitute and desperate folks that need help remain undelivered – whether here or abroad.

    Corruption at every level is now considered the norm.

    Accountability is an inconvenience that can be overridden by legal wrangling, providing that the money is there.

    As usual, at a critical moment, the Labour Party has disappeared up its own rectum, albeit shoved that way by the feral national press.

    So the Great British Public has a choice?

    Comment by The Realist — May 5, 2016 @ 11:44 am | Reply

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