Democracy in traction

Dear fellow voters,

Tomorrow we will decide on who will govern us for the next five years, and it will be the first general election that I actively participate in. In previous elections I felt that by voting I was condoning a broken system, the illusion of democracy, and I didn’t want any part of the whole sordid affair. What’s the bloody point? They’re all the same aren’t they?

And then the Tories got in.

I have to say I was reticent to speak up at all. I don’t seek to be the target of trolls and my objective isn’t to upset anyone. My opinions are no more valid than anyone elses, but I have a platform that most don’t, and I ‘m regularly told that I should use it. I should be clear that I am not a Labour party member, and I find it easier to get behind the full-blooded policies of the more progressive fringe parties (among which UKIP are certainly not counted).

However, the first past the post system leaves me with little choice. In the constituency I live the Tories have held a marginal seat since 2010. The potential damage that another 5 years of Tory rule would do to our public services, the structure of our economy, our relationships with other countries around the world, and most importantly to the general wellbeing of the British people, is utterly intolerable.

I would like to vote Plaid or Green. But no matter how much I’ve been told not to vote tactically, these other parties simply have no chance of winning this seat. Additionally I feel that if I do vote Plaid or Green, and the Tories hold the seat, then I will have been instrumental in securing it for them.

What if the Tories get in? What if they get in a coalition with UKIP and the DUP? Jesus! UKIP say they want to close down our borders to immigrants. The rhetoric I’ve heard in my community by those who are planning to vote UKIP is “I wan’em all out”.  Who are exactly are “they all”? Is it black people, is it muslims, eastern europeans, Is it the Spanish, is it the LGBT community, is this about gender, is it about being able bodied? Where do they draw the line? The end point of their way of thinking is terrifying.

Nigel Farage has got a romanticised view of the past, that he wants to turn our future into: some Postman Pat paradise, where you know the name of the milkman; where you HAVE a milkman! It’s 2015, Nige! Trying to turn back time is as futile as trying to get an energy company to lower its prices.

This country needs change. We need to sort out our house. The people are being ripped off and exploited by multinational companies, by the media, by our own elected officials, and all of this has got to stop.

Whether Ed Miliband and the Labour party are the right people to sort it all out is a moot point. David Cameron has presided over the most capricious, shambolic government that there has been in my lifetime. They are scandalous, and they cannot be the right people for the job.

So much of the electioneering that those on the right have done has been based upon fear. Fear of immigration, fear of economic instability, fear of welfare claimants and the unemployed. The politics of fear is the politics of control. If we allow ourselves to be scared of the bogeyman we will find ourselves isolated internationally, without a welfare system, and with an even more pronounced poverty gap than we already have. If the economic definitions of Left and Right are that the Left want to increase taxes and spend on public services, and the Right want to lower taxes and reduce spending on public services, then never has it been more glaringly obvious that the Rightwing getting their own way. Multi-national companies are paying less tax than ever before, whilst the NHS has already been carved up and is primed to be sold off. The trickle-down economics that we have unwillingly propped up since the 60s is so far from functioning as to make it farcical.

This election is important. Mostly it’s important in that it can get lots of people engaging with politics. But it’s also a massive distraction from the issues that really matter. With our short-termist outlook, how are we going to prepare ourselves for the oncoming challenges: climate change, future economic crashes that will be deeper and more painful than this last one, the way we help to sort out instability in foreign regions, the way we deal with foreign aggressors, global overpopulation, sustainability, and how we take to task those who have ripped us off financially for decades, those who have pilfered public money, those who have consistently failed to contribute (despite being the highest earners in society), those who run media monopolies and dictate government policy through the intimidating power of their influence, and those who’ve ve protected them all. What we all need to do is start engaging in serious discourse about these matters, before we really do go to hell in a hand-basket.

Mr. Miliband, incremental changes in tax policy are not going to change anything. If you are the right man for the job then when you get into Downing Street you should show the world that the United Kingdom can be a trailblazer in progressive politics, by implementing systemic reformand by fighting the excessive power of capitalism and putting that power back where it rightly belongs, in the hands of the people.

You can vote or not vote, that is your right. But please for the good of us all, engage.

Love to you all,

Charlotte Church

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Democracy in traction

66 thoughts on “Democracy in traction

  1. j cork says:

    well if we all vote labour we, our children and their children will all be f****ed unlike you i,m not rich and work hard and pay my taxes to provide for my family unlike the millions that just scrounged off the state under labour such as many of my neighbours that laugh at the fact I go to work because they were better off than me on benefits, if labour get in I think i’ll pretend im sick and scrounge because i’ll be damned to pay taxes for lazy layabouts to be fed by a party that promote a benefit state culture.you never lived in the real world charlotte

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God I understand the frustration and the anger. I too am from a working class background. I too pay my taxes. I too want to provide for my family. Making work pay more than being on welfare has to be a priority. There are more pressing issues though, and facts which cannot be ignored: 3% of the welfare budget is spent on unemployed people – that’s about £7 Billion per year – that seems like a huge amount of money, but the fact is, that about £3 Billion is lost EVERY MONTH to tax avoidance and evasion – that’s £36 Billion per year. Common sense, and economic sense, must prevail in the short term. If you want to find the scroungers who are costing the taxpayers the most, stop looking at the bottom 3% and look instead at the top 1% – they may be fewer in number, but they are far, far, far, greater in cost.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Jeff says:

      Well, that’s utter bollocks isn’t it. The vast majority of benefits paid in this country are paid as pensions. Next up are in work benefits, paid to top up wages because businesses can’t be arsed to pay a decent wage.

      Try living in the real world, J Cork.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chris Moore says:

        I paid dearly for my public service pension, it is not a benefit! HM Government are falsely accounting by including this figure as a benefit, and deliberately giving a false picture of how much is paid in benefits. We need a fairer way for electing our representatives, a reduction in their number and a properly elected upper house. At local level, the party system should be abolished a candidate’s elected on merit rather than political affiliations. Once the democratic system is made fairer, then we might start to improve the way policies are drawn up. We Leo need a simpler tax system, with a personal allowance for all that allows those on the living wage to pay no tax at all and everyone else on the standard rate with no deductible expenses. It is less likely that people will pay accountants to help them dodge their responsibilities.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I live in Scotland, I have been unemployed for almost 2 years. I apply for many jobs in a given week with no success, I suspect the gap in my history puts prospective employers off. I have a wife and three children. Recently I did a better off in work calculation for a full time minimum wage job. It worked out that if I took said job that I would be a pathetic 99p better off a week. Why would a man or women spend a 40 hour week away from their family to be less than a pound better off. It’s fucked up and shit needs to change. I hope the SNP help now they have a greater voice in Westminster. I am not a scrounger. But I do need money to feed my family.

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  2. Charlotte, all credit to you for this. I respect your intelligence and your usually carefully considered views. I have done for many years now. But you don’t seem to have checked UKIP’s manifesto for their actual policies on immigration, and the nonsense you’ve quite rightly rejected isn’t representative of those policies. I expect better from you because I know this poor research isn’t typical of you. Please check the link I sent you several days ago, or click the tab labelled `politics – unfortunately’ on my website, for further comments from me. But above all, check UKIP’s own account of their policies, not vague comments made by other people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Other than that, you’ve said much that we can both agree on.

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  3. Helen Washington says:

    Well Charlotte well said, I am an advocate for people with mental health issues… I am seconded into our local A&E department with liaison psychiatry. To attend to those who attend the department who are in distress.. They either thinking of taking their lives or have tried to end it… People hard working people cant afford to live.. Cannot feed kids, or keep them warm.. Its not about just people on benefits its about mums, dads, working people its them that are at food banks more than those that are on benefits.. Its those hard working men who are attempting to take their lives cause they can’t provide for their families…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The economy drive of this election has made my heart sink, as if success of a society can only now be measured in GDP. In my work I have been lucky enough to watch academics challenge big businesses on the damaging environmental and social impacts of their actions, to only then have their scientific reports sidelined as a result of hard lobbying and successful choice marketing by the powerful ‘bottom liners’. I have also been lucky enough to work with inspiring grassroots projects, from youth causes to safe houses for women fleeing domestic abuse, from social clubs for the isolated elderly to sports and arts clubs for those with disabilities. Those that run these services bare no discrimination towards those that walk through the door and are masters at making a pittance go a long way to make meaningful, powerful and positive change, I have then seen their scramble as their funding gets ripped from beneath them. The economy is growing, but there are no scraps left for those at the bottom. Let’s judge a society on how we treat the poor and the vulnerable. Vote for humanity, peace out x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Andre says:

    Quite possibly one of the better, more reasoned political statements I have ever read. Well thought out and well written. Thank you Charlotte I hope it gets read by many. I will be re-tweeting.

    As for a couple of comments above, then note Andrew that Charlotte is srating the views of her local UKIP supporters not the party. I can tell you that most of the people I know voting UKIP think the party is going to suspend immigration immediately.

    As for J Cork, your comments both anger and depress me. Yes there may be a small few scroungers out there but most are not. People do want to work but you’re also right that many are better off staying on benefits. Instead of accusing those of being lazy you should ask the question – Why are they better off on benefits? It’s not because we pay them too much, it’s because too many employers try to rip them off and get cheap labour. The minimum wage helps but it’s not as much as the living wage. To make matters worse the current Tory government and their lapdogs have allowed the rise in zero hour contracts because it makes the employment figures look good, yet in reality leaves people needing to continue claiming as they’re often not working.

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    1. Andre, I’d agree with your comment about some individual UKIP supporters, and yes, it’s clear Charlotte has had the same experience. But as those views aren’t UKIP policy, those voters are going to be very disappointed if they think UKIP will ever do what they want. When I was active in CND many years ago we had a couple of people in our group who wanted us to unilaterally disarm so the Russians could invade, and we also had two fundamentalists who wanted a nuclear war because they thought if we had one then Jesus would come back. Those are the kind of people you have to work round and leave in their own bizarre little world, and every organisation attracts them. But they certainly don’t speak for the organisation, and if they get interviewed (as the pro-Soviet people were once by the BBC) they very definitely aren’t representative of the aspirations or the policies of the rest of us.

      You’re evidently an intelligent person, and well capable of homing in on essential points. Certainly I agree very strongly with you on wages, zero hours contracts and so on. I know Charlotte is also intelligent and clear-headed. She also knows very well, probably better than either of us, what happens when the wrong person or group of people speak on someone’s behalf. She’s had far too many inappropriate people presuming to speak for her, as well as people wanting to tell the world about her as they see her. I’m sure she’d agree (tell me if you don’t Charlotte) that the appropriate source for information on a person or group is the person or the group themselves. If there’s a story about Charlotte Church, the reliable source is Charlotte’s website, not the Daily Mail or even any of her supporters. Surely the same would be true for UKIP – the appropriate and reliable source for information on what UKIP stands for is the UKIP website, not statements by people who think UKIP will support their prejudices.

      I think all of us are sensible people in this discussion. We need to keep our heads and remember to think rationally and feel clearly. And that means getting to grips with facts rather than being swayed by noise from people who speak (usually very loudly) without authority or knowledge.

      There are some other factors in this issue which haven’t been discussed, but those comments will suffice for now from me.

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  6. Barney says:

    Well said Charlotte. J CORK. You couldn’t be more wrong. I “live in the real world” and I’m seeing and feeling the effects of this Tory government. The public sector is being ruined, the education system is in chaos, the NHS is under major threat, we’ve tens of thousands less police and less fireman. All because of a Tory idealology. And I hope you do realise that the rich tax dodgers cost the country billions more than anyone on benefits? The Tories have just campaigned on fear and are trying to divide (eng v scot). I’ll be voting Labour, not just for me but for society, I want it to be a better place for all. If we wake up to another Tory coalition, I’ll be upset but my conscience will be clear.

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    1. All of this is only because Labour spent so much when they were in power. Do you think the Conservatives enjoy making cuts? Of course not! It makes them more unpopular. But it needs to be done. As for the tax avoidance, no one knows how much can be recouped through tax, but it’ll be a lot harder to do than welfare. Plus, tax avoidance money will hardly make a dent in the deficit. As someone going through the education system, I can assure you it is not in chaos, in fact it’s doing much better than it was before. Also, what specific parts of the public sector do you think are in chaos? If you mean the NHS, I bet most people would struggle to name one sector of the NHS that’s been privatised on the spot. I’m afraid you’ve fallen for all the Labour scaremongering.

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  7. Charlotte! I am not really familiar with your music but I came across your post in a twitter feed and figured I would read your blog. I applaud what you say and support it wholeheartedly. We have to give Labour a chance if for no other reason than to get the treacherous Tories out! And UKIP really is an abominable political force. It’s merely the BNP Mk.II Thanks for taking the time to write this!

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    1. Just a small but important point. UKIP’s policies are not BNP policies, and in fact UKIP is the only British political party which refuses membership to former BNP members. You may say they’re the only party that needs to refuse them, but that isn’t the case when you look at party membership from former BNP people. The essential point, though, is that whatever the BNP may want to do with forced repatriation, that isn’t UKIP policy, however much some people may want to smear UKIP by claiming it is. UKIP immigration policy is clearly set out on their website. It certainly looks rational and unprejudiced to me, speaking as a person who’s encountered US and New Zealand immigration policy, neither of which struck me as racist or redolent of the BNP when I was the person under scrutiny. I would oppose the BNP as much as anyone would – and I have done, many times. But I’ve also voted UKIP – because there’s no similarity between the two parties.

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  8. Charlotte, it reads like a regurgitated leader column of the Daily Mirror. Shallow and uninformed. We are a country which has been living well beyond its means and the Conservatives have managed to engage some modest restrictions on expenditure (save in the NHS and schools, where spending has gone up) while driving significant jobs growth. While we’ve been printing money to keep it all going, that can’t go on forever. Very easy for Labour (and easier for clowns like Plaid and the Greens who can be as irresponsible as they like) to say ‘we’ll spend more” but taxing the so-called super rich won’t help. The top 1% of earners pay 30% of all income tax. In 2003 they paid just 20%. Working successful middle-class people generating jobs and wealth are Labour’s envy-driven targets; their policies never touch the super-rich who have their money in land or abroad. But suckers and the naive just lap it up. But thanks for your views.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Name (required) says:

    It’s not about right vs. left, that’s an illusion THEY want you to buy into so REAL PEOPLE WHO DEEPLY CARE ABOUT ONE ANOTHER AND THIS PLANET AS A WHOLE never get elected.

    There’s much more to it than this:

    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12

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  10. Chris Devismes says:

    Charlotte. You don’t need me patronise you with ‘well done’ or ‘well put’ as your words reflect what many people think. More important to me is that as a relatively young person (I’m quite old – lol) you will reach out to many that are confused or lost to the maelstrom of deceit certain media uses to influence them. I think most of the posts above will save me further embarrassment. All the best to you in what you do, it’s always good to hear the opinion of truly sentient beings.

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  11. Very well said Charlotte. Ignore those seeking to justify their own party’s promises – they’re all negotiable in the end. We need to change the voting system. This should be a big National campaign. Only those who believe they have something to lose electorally will oppose this – that probably means Conservative and Labour Parties – but how good have they been at running the country recently? Unnecessary wars, unnecessary austerity, unnecessary nuclear weapons which we simply cannot afford. Parliament is supposed to be for the people – not for a small cliquey political class.

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  12. John Pryzibilla says:

    It’s important that progressive viewpoints are expressed, particularly when the mainstream media suppress or mis-report them. Your articulate expression of concern is much appreciated by those who don’t have such a public forum: I hope you don’t receive too much criticism from the trolls or the intolerant right-wing, but rest assured that people like you who take such matters seriously will be behind you 100%.

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  13. Alison says:

    Charlotte, I applaud you for being brave enough to get involved. Please stick with it. This political voice you have discovered is just as valuable as your other voice and I look forward to hearing more of it. It is a bleak day but the start of another five year journey and you walk beside the good. #bigfan

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  14. Brilliant stuff. I am so sick of non-dom media moguls and their populist propaganda–the benefit scrounger mums with Mulberry bags, the Middle Eastern families in million pound mansions, the hysterical reports of mansion taxes causing ordinary workers to lose their homes. It’s all crap and it leads to the kind of simple minded, wrong footed thinking that hard working low wage workers are having the last pounds stolen from their pockets so some scapegoat of the day can live a life of premium sky packages, holidays in Vegas and designer clothing (as well as the idiotic idea that single mums with several children are sitting on their bottoms enjoying a life of leisure). No mention that the un- and underemployed, the poorly paid and the sick are all victims of multinationals who would rather offshore work, underpay, incentivise Eastern European and other immigrants to keep wages low–and that they need unemployment to do this (Margaret Thatcher’s own words).

    Let’s work together, penetrate Mail/Sun/Express lies and try to make this the shortest government on record. Thank you for speaking up, Charlotte.

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  15. MichaelC says:

    Charlotte this articulates thoughts which ring very true to me. Thank you and I felt glad on a depressing morning like this that we don’t appear to be alone. Continue to use your voice please. Don’t ignore the voices of the afraid as they have to be won over but use your voice to make them see they are wrong.

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  16. Charlotte

    I’ve worked in the public sector (education) for 40 years. Already many in education feel that there is a disaster looming over us, with budget cuts, teacher shortages and a mechanistic view of learning that is making it harder to find good leaders for our schools than ever before.

    Like yourself, I was bemused by the success of a Conservative campaign which seemed to be based largely on (a) the argument that a global recession was the result of poor labour government and (b) the ‘vision’ that good government involves reducing the state to a management service.

    I know that we have got something right over the last two decades, if some individuals like yourself – a younger generation – still have the ability express a personal rationale, rather than re-quoting social media soundbites as a philosophy. And we have the right, in a democratic society, to agree on some points and disagree on others.

    What we have got wrong, in my view, is that your approach is almost seen as unfashionable: there is so little appetite to consider, debate, explore, reason in depth on how best to tackle the big issues: some of the commentary between opposing views does not just disagree or pose a counter-argument, it borders on abusive. And that inhibits most from putting their head above the parapet, money where their mouth is, speakig their mind.

    So we are where we are. My own view is there is a growing risk of becoming increasingly trivial and tribal: Disunited Kingdom, Anti-European England, Little Englanders, Great distances between people instantly communicated rather than the gradual growth of a global community.

    Despite a sense of lost opportunity for the years ahead, reading your thoughts gives me some optimism this morning – I am reflecting on what I can continue to contribute in the world of education today, with like minded people who want our future to be inclusive rather than elitist, meeting aspirations rather than narrowing opportunities, to build a creative economy which is not always compliant with convention, a collective rather than self-interested sense of community.

    In expressing your views, you have given me a reminder of courage and conviction.
    Thank you.

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  17. Militar Band says:

    I agree that we should look after the poor people in this country and give them priority. However, I think that Labour introduces two big issues. Spending on benefits is very tricky and it’s not being done correctly i.e GB is a paradise for single mums and for Europeans who doesn’t have a job – just come and we give you the allowance for doing nothing but get drunk on the weekends.

    I think we should focus on the people in need who’s honest and is willing to just be a nice person. Why do I say this? (just an example) A lot of people come here to take advantage of the poor banking security measures and get away with it (get (and sell) a free phone only paying the fist month of contract, create fake companies / societies and avoid tax, be one of the thousands of restaurants in London that do not pay any tax, etc…). Then there is poor people who live selling drugs, stealing goods, etc… I think the number of people who claim benefits and a) Do not want to work b) still work ilegally is a huge concern that people ignore.

    So if Labour wants to use the money/taxes I pay to help the poor, then I would like to a) Decide how much I’m contributing b) Decide where this money goes. This is because I totally disagree with the current benefits.

    Immigration: Another big issue. Let all the poor come – and that’s fine as I like to be an open country , however with restrictions. I would like to help people from anywhere in the world (I don’t care whether they are Somali or from another country in Europe) BUT only those who are willing to contribute back when they are in a better position and they are willing to be nice and use OUR money wisely and fairly. Those are the measures parties will need to create. Now, let everyone come to England is great but how many people are coming per month and how many of us paying taxes can pay for these poor immigrants? Well, while I’m happy to contribute but is there gonna be enough money? Hence why there must be a limit on the number of people coming to the country. Every month we would have to pay more and more taxes to help them out. In an ideal world I would like to do that and have no cap, but is this possible? At least not for now.

    Labour in short: Everyone can enter the country, get our money and there is no need to say thanks or give it back.

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  18. Sam says:

    What a hypocrite you are Charlotte. I urge you to look at the EdStone. Pledge number 4 was controls on immigration. Maybe you have forgotten the mugs too. I think before you criticise other parties for campaign fear, you should look at the policies of the party you are now singing for.

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  19. samantha says:

    Since yesterday morning i have felt crushed. i have cried for two days .i proudly voted labour,although living in a tory area ,i felt deflated before counting even began.
    i work full time,2 jobs,i just about get by.i pay a lot in taxes.i don’t mind as long as we get our monies worth..i don’t think we do,its only the rich that benefit from a tory in government..
    in the past when i fell ill,i was so grateful for the nhs making me better, i had to claim benefits as i have no partner or family that could help. it was not a huge amount of money to live on.but without it i would have been homeless and pennyless.
    It makes you wonder if something is a miss, i know so many people who voted labour ,so many are in fear of the nhs being privatized ,losing our frontline services. and yet we didn’t .

    it seams as if our working class vote was binned.after all money talks ….

    after visiting a gp,who is a tory supporter, he insisted that the nhs was ok and doing well.
    i felt sicker than when i went in,i told him that the last few weeks that i had worked on the local hospital ward, they only had one staff nurse and two hca’s all day and twenty patients all who had complex needs. there excuse was staff shortages.the gp was blissfully unaware.and still is.

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  20. Tim says:

    Excellently put, thank you. We are going to need all the progressive voices we can muster in the coming years, arguing forcefully against not just damaging Conservative policies, but against a whole system which advances a specific set of interests to the detriment of the majority, promotes disunity, distrust and fear, and circumscribes the possibility of an open debate. We are going to need voices which articulate an alternative.

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  21. Hi Charlotte,

    You have hit the nail-on-the-head, and said exactly what everyone is thinking – “The politics of fear is the politics of control.”

    And one of the greatest means of fear presently lays with people’s families. A government that has control of society’s children, has control of society!

    Parents can’t have holidays in term time without being fined. Children as young as 2 years old are part of a grading system (EYFS), in that they are measured against universal targets, of what has accepted as ‘normal’, ‘above normal’, and ‘below normal’ for their age (all children develop differently, and the system was widely opposed). Incredibly, children under the age of 5 are being graded for their social skills, yet many young children are shy. It’s terrible that children so young are being graded ‘below average’ for it (there are many more targets, schools have become target-driven).

    In pre-schools children are being finger-printed, and excessively monitored throughout their days. Teachers take photographs of them to file within work books, in that parents are encouraged to log their out of school activities (their likes, dislikes, habits and behaviours). Imagine if those work-books falls into the wrong hands! It is not unheard of.

    Domestic violence victims are being forced into unsupervised contact orders between their children and their abusers, because legal aid and contact centres are costly into the long-term; The law relies on fear to coerce parents into complying (fear of losing their children to their abusers, and being imprisoned).

    Parents within the UK have come to fear social services, because of the many widely publicised cases in that parents have wrongly lost their children based on hearsay alone from social workers; we are one of the only countries to remove children for such a reason, and to practice forced adoption.

    You are right. The politics of fear IS the politics of control. But we have a voice, and regardless of who is voted into power, we can use our voice! Online campaigns are taking-the-media-by-storm, we can use them to reach out to people, gain publicity, and organise events.

    Example, here is a canpaign to help protect children and domestic violence victims within the family courts: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/protectchildren

    Please continue to campaign, don’t be defeated xx

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  22. Thank you for your words and your action this week Charlotte. There are so many who want change. So many with whom your words will resonate. Having a very disabled child has opened my eyes to the difficulties so many people face in today’s society. That in one of the world’s richest nations, just shouldn’t be happening. The election result was crushing. But more and more since Friday morning I see people standing up and saying no, they won’t stand for this. Together we can create such a better future. A positive alternative to Conservative ideology. These are interesting and exciting times.

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  23. Charlie Monck says:

    Very well said Charlotte. I hope that you will continue to campaign in this vein. I am unfortunate enough to have Cameron as my MP, and it is a bitter pill to swallow that we will have to endure his vile policies for another five years.
    But also, after seeing the “votes per seat” figures for the main parties (Greens: over a million votes – 1 seat, Tories: less than 12 million votes – 331 seats), I am now convinced that we need to finally abandon the “first past the post” system, and add a “None of the above” option to the ballot paper, with a re-run with new candidates in any constituency where “None of the above” gets the most votes.

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  24. FloraMay Waterhouse says:

    Dear Charlotte,

    I am really glad to see a high-profile person such as yourself speak up about these crucial issues highlighting what is so very wrong with our country. UKIP is spreading like a cancer throughout our realms. Murdoch and his right-wing press drip their poison of fear into the hearts of millions. Right now, in the cold light of day after the election, many of us are shell-shocked and disbelieving that we must put up with Cameron and his merry band of millionaires for another 5 years.

    But… We must rise up and fight. We must speak our minds. We must take to the streets. We must never give up. We all have a voice, and now more than ever, is the time to use it.

    Warmest wishes,
    FloraMay.

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  25. Great post Charlotte! My Gran bought me your 1st CD for Christmas many years ago, bless her. I’m weird, I’ve been interested in politics since the miners strike (1984), I was only 10. I remember being driven down to Cardiff during my childhood,past all the pit heads, then they all went. It has always amazed me how little people think about politics, they should, it does matter, a lot. I’m old enough now to realise that celebrities are just ordinary people who have made a career in the public eye. It is important that those who can gain public exposure use it. Social media clogs up with people we are similar to, so it is important that people talk about things we don’t expect them to, this is always good. Stick at it, it’s going to be a crazy 5 years, the fightback starts now!

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  26. Lisa Brady says:

    I agree we do need to fight and speaking out and the encouragement of discourse is a way forward.
    No longer can you ignore the methods by which we are being robbed of what is rightfully the peoples. We don’t want handouts. We want the chance of skills and the strength to work for those we love and our selves. Education and access to health is at the centre of what i consider is a human right not a means to profit from. It is strange how the Tory politics want to rid us of those concepts is’n it ?

    If you can stand there and watch the food being yanked out of our children’s mouths then shame on you…….. Lots of do-gooders have made that assumption about those they believe are with cap in hand. We are human and not designed to make good pets. I suggest you think about that.

    There is a correlation between poor mental health and unstable work prospects.

    Like

  27. The problem though Charlotte is that a vote for Labour was a vote for austerity. Labour MPs voted for another £30 billion of austerity cuts. Labour MPs voted for the welfare cap. And the Ed Balls stated that there was nothing in the Tory budget that he would reverse. Miliband refused the offer of a progressive alliance.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why you are so angry about the Tories getting in because the way I see it, all that has happened is that you have just gotten a different colour of austerity.

    There are Welsh elections next year, I’m sure Plaid (or the Greens) would bite your arm off if you wanted to help or even stand in the hope of becoming an AM.

    Hwyl.

    Like

  28. Brandon says:

    It is quite clear to me that you, Charlotte Church, are thick as fuck. Why would anybody in their right mind vote for the Labour Party, Greens or any of that Lefty-wing rubbish. There is simply nothing that you can say now without being called a racist, or bigot or whatever term you Politically correct trolls come up with next.

    In Addition, I laugh in your stupid face that the Conservative Party won. It’s okay for you to be outraged and you have apparently lost all faith in humanity, however, the electorate have spoken and they DONT AGREE WITH YOU! Who are you to tell us who we should be voting for!?

    To conclude, heres a fuck load of reasons why the Conservatives one, and why nobody gives a fuck about your opinion:

    1. Reduced the deficit from £156 billion annual left by Labour, to circa £86 billion at end 2014.
    2. Built the fastest growing economy in the developed world, with growth for 2014 coming in at 2.8%.
    3. To date, recovered £23.9 billion in unpaid evaded and avoided tax, since 2010. More than labour achieved in 13 years.
    4. George Osbourne’s handling of the economy, praised by Standard & Poor’s, citing the handling of the deficit as a major contributor to our AAA rating.
    5. The International Monetary Fund, recently commended the UK’s economic outlook, a U turn from their view three years ago when they cited George Osbourne’s plan would not create the desired economic growth.
    6. Business confidence now the highest it’s been for over a decade.
    7. Number of people employed by the state reduced and reducing.
    8. Number of private sector jobs created in excess of 1 million, since 2010.
    9. Spending on the NHS increased, every year, since 2010. From £100 billion in 2010 to £130 billion budget for 2015.
    10. Welfare capped at a maximum of £26,000. A quarter of those claiming above this amount, suddenly managed to find jobs.
    11. Overall welfare spending to be capped by legislation, a policy supported on 26th March 2014, by Labour.
    12. Increased everyone’s personal tax allowance to £10,600 for the 2015/16 tax year, taking many low earners out of tax altogether.
    13. Corporation tax cut from 28% to 21%.
    14. The earnings link has been restored for pensioners, meaning state pension will rise faster in future.
    15. MRSA infections are down 24.7%, when compared to the level under labour.
    16. Funding for new fixed speed cameras has ceased.
    17. Squatting has been criminalised.
    18. Exports are up across the board. For example, we now export more cars than we import, for the first time since 1976.
    19. Introduction of a requirement for dole claimants to learn English.
    20. Labour’s automatic petrol duty escalator, has been scraped.
    21. 760,000 new businesses created since 2010.
    22. 8,000 fewer managers and 4,000 more doctors in the NHS.
    23. 85% of those effected by the benefits cap, said they intended to seek work.
    24. 98% of homeowners who pay stamp duty will now pay less, when they move.
    25. People buying £2 million homes, will now pay 50% more stamp duty.
    26. Restored fairness to Housing Benefit, by removing the spare room subsidy.
    27. The top 1% of earners now pay nearly 30% of all income tax. More than at any time in Labours 13 years.
    28. Introduced new rules for payday loan companies, to protect the most vulnerable in society.
    29. Sacked ATOS, the company that Labour gave an NHS contract.
    30. Council tax frozen for three years in a row.
    31. Kept inflation under control, meaning that average earnings are rising faster than the cost of living.
    32. Kept interest rates low, meaning mortgage payments are kept down and business is able to borrow to invest for the future.
    33. Allowed gas bills to be reduced. In contrast to Labour who pledged to “freeze” them at the current higher price.
    34. Maintained low rates of income taxes. In contrast to Labour, who have confirmed they will increase income tax on everyone earning over £26,000.
    35. A million and a half new apprenticeships delivered since 2010.
    36. Increased personal tax allowance by over £3,500 in the last four years. More than double than Labour gave you in thirteen years.
    37. Delivered the lowest pay gap ever between men and women (Source: ONS).
    38. Remembered the importance of reducing the deficit. Ed Miliband forgot to mention it….
    39. Fighting for English only votes for English people, whilst Labour don’t want equality for the English.
    40. Reduced tax on business, so more people can be employed. In contrast to Labour, who confirm they will increase jobs tax on business.
    41. Crime figures fallen to record low, with 11% less crime recorded in 2014 compared to 2013.
    42. More children in care are being given the chance of adoption.
    43. Legal aid has been restricted, saving the taxpayer £350 million a year.
    44. Labour’s £4.5 billion ID cards has been abandoned.
    45. The civil service is now smaller than at any time since the war.
    46. Reducing rent subsidies for the rich. There are 34,000 households with incomes of over £60,000 living in council houses.
    47. Superfast broadband availability increased faster than previously scheduled by easing bureaucratic delay in planning and traffic management.
    48. The M4 bus lane has been scrapped and the lane returned to all motorists after analysis showed that journey times at peak periods would be reduced for car drivers and hauliers without significantly affecting vehicles currently allowed to use the lane.
    49. More electrification of the railways. In 13 years the Labour Government electrified just 10 miles of railway, this Government is doing so for 850 miles. This will deliver new fleets of cleaner and more environmentally friendly trains and reduce the long-term costs of running the railways.
    50. Tax Transparency. Each tax return shows each taxpayer what their money is spent on. For example someone earning £25,000 spends the equivalent of £1,900 of their tax bill on welfare payments.
    51. Recent Centre for Economic and Business Research endorses Conservative economic policy, stating the UK will be the best performing European economy over the next fifteen years.
    52. UK’s creative industries now worth a record £77billion / year to our economy.
    53. The UK is now the worlds 11th largest manufacturing country employing over 2.5 million people. Successful manufacturers such as Triumph, Surrey Satellite Technology and aerospace at Filton, underline our world class manufacturing ability.
    54. The size of the British aerospace industry is second only to the USA, in world rankings.
    55. The United Kingdom is producing some of the most exciting technology start-ups in the world – ranging from mobile-based enterprises to cleantech innovators. (Source: Grow business).
    56. Trade deficit now the lowest for fifteen years.
    57.Households now better off by £900 per annum than in 2010 (Source: OBR).
    58.Deficit halved as percentage of national income, compared to 2010.
    59. The amount top earners can save into pensions reduced by 25%.
    60. Labour introduced fuel escalator frozen for third consecutive year. Saving families £10 on each fill up of petrol or diesel.

    So what’s your argument again?

    Piss off.

    Like

    1. And yet, despite all the wonders you’ve described at such length, most of us continue to be poorer than ever, we have people desperate for food and other essentials, people being hounded into the grave by the DWP, and only the bankers and similar people seem to be doing well out of five years of the coalition with Cameron very prominently at the head of things. However good things are supposed to be according to arguments and statistics, we look around us and decide for ourselves what state things are in, if we have any sense.

      I personally don’t see things being much better under Labour. They’re too much like the Conservatives now, and their methods and attitudes seem little different when you strip away the rhetoric. But things certainly aren’t good for most of the population under the Conservatives, and they never have been in my lifetime.

      I can’t say I really agree with you about the people having spoken, as we very clearly don’t live in a democracy. I voted UKIP, as did 3.8 million other people, and that party has only one seat despite having more votes than the SNP (which now has most of Scotland) and the LibDems put together. That doesn’t strike me as the people having spoken, though clearly many did vote for the Tories, for whatever reasons.

      I don’t think your characterisation of Charlotte as “thick as fuck” carries much weight. Even though I disagree with her on some of the solutions to our problems I only wish the average British voter had her level of intelligence as well as her genuine concern. On the whole the comments here suggest a good number of people of good intelligence generally agreeing on values and sharing concern about how to improve things. The disagreements centre around precisely how to improve things, but there’s pretty general agreement that things do desperately need improving, despite your list of positive points.

      That being the case I hope some positive rational discussion can continue to take place here, started and stimulated by the person you’ve described as “thick as fuck.”

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Sarah says:

    Reply to Brandon:

    1. How about David Cameron’s bill to speed up the ‘forced’ adoption process to 26 weeks?
    2. How about introducing finger-printing into pre-schools?
    3. How about excessively monitoring and photographing nursery children and pre-schoolers throughout their school days, and turning happy thriving learning environments, into target-driven pressure-cookers?
    4. How about fining parents for not being able to afford holidays in term-time?
    5. How about the new policy that’s about to be introduced to fine parents for children being late for school?
    6. How about how David Cameron has ignored the widely publicised cases of injustices that are happening within the family court system; that he has never offered the UK public any reason to trust the authorities, by removing the gagging law that surrounds the family courts. And introducing a law to ensure that professionals who act unethically, must take accountability for their actions?
    7. How about planning to privatise the NHS, SCHOOLS, and even CHILD PROTECTION (imagine the implications of sectors involving children, and the potential conflicts of interests when money is involved. This is not positive).
    8. How about focusing more on social-wellbeing, rather than ‘simply’ on business and ‘control’.

    And while I am on the subject – the media is ‘extremely’ hypersexualised at present. The government could do something about this if it wanted to. Singers within the music industry (not talking about you Charlotte), but Miley Cyrus and Rhianna for instance, are promoting sex to young girls, and in some music videos what can only be described as ‘mimicking pornography’. This does NOT promote social well-being. It promotes insecurity, young people feeling unhappy and being prescribed anti-depressants, and it leads to teenage pregnancies, and lack of respect for women!

    Many of those who sit within the government have no understanding of life on the shop-floor. They sit in their glass-towers sipping champagne, and counting their money, signing bills that have the potential to change people lives forever – and to destroy lives – and they have no clue of the consequences (not in any measure of emotions). Much like lawyers. It’s unsurprising when many of those people were sent to boarding schools at a young age, so have no concept of real love, or of the family unit.

    We cannot have five more years of this!

    Like

  30. Sara says:

    Well done Charlotte, very well written and argued, I agree with the points you raise. V brave of you to stick your head over the parapet too. I hope you don’t suffer too much trolling for it. I’m impressed that unlike me, you decided to do something.

    Like

  31. Kjell says:

    Very impressive piece of writing, Charlotte. I’m sure it’s not an easy position to take for various reasons, but you have and you have done so in an excellent way. Respect. Now that we know the result of the election, it will be an uphill struggle but a struggle worth every effort.

    Like

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