Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Election emergency. Why? Russell Brand's view.

Russell Brand [Twitter @the trews] has decided to vote in the general election after all. He wants the Conservatives out of office and thinks that Labour's Ed Miliband will listen to the voters after gaining power, even though he isn't wholly smitten with EM.  His conversion to voting can be seen here.  Caption: Emergency: Vote to start revolution.  

Talking emergencies - a few days ago two pre-teen children were stuck in a lift.  They didn't use the alarm button or emergency phone because: 'We didn't think it was an emergency'. Instead, a bit like Russell Brand pre-conversion, they tired to raise the alarm by calling and shouting for help - for about an hour and a half. Eventually someone heard and the local Fire and Rescue services released them safely.  

Owen Jones of The Big Issue (Apr 27-May 3) - full article buy a Big Election edition - asks Russel B 'Are you basically a big megaphone for people and causes that are otherwise ignored?' Brand says his gifts are to make complicated information accessible and showing off. He wants his understanding of compassion and connection to communities see: Focus E15 (preventing housing evictions) to be leading and not his egotistical nature. It sounds promising - at least.

Better a late conversion to voting than no voting at all. A pity he didn't change his view a few weeks ago when there was time for unregistered voters to take notice. Consequences follow for failing to act - the children trapped in the lift suffered longer by not taking action in the manner expected. 

So for those who are registered to vote and will only vote if they can be convinced we are in an emergency - an emergency for fairness - consider these:

1. Is it an emergency for fairness that 8 years after the banking crisis and a taxpayer bailout of the banks, huge salaries and bonuses are still paid to bankers? Find a party that wants to reform the banking and money supply system, that promises regional or local banks. And Vote. 

2. Is it an emergency for fairness that in many parts of the country, young people will become old people before they can save enough for a deposit to start to buy a house? Find a party that aims to introduce land value tax in place of income tax and other taxes so that fairness for new home owners and renters is considered. Mansion tax is a start.  And Vote.   

3. Is it an emergency for fairness that whilst low income housing tenants are penalised  for having a spare bedroom and thereby suffer a housing benefit cut, that the Conservatives are considering raising the nil inheritance tax threshold to houses worth £1m ?  Find a party that is not so blatantly partisan in favour of wealthy property owners. And Vote.    

Russell B, says vote Miliband to evict the Conservatives but vote Green in Brighton. Few say it like Brand says it, but many of us do it - vote to achieve the least worst option. Maybe there is a need to look at a proportional voting system again?

By the way, if you are in a lift that won't move, your are in an emergency. Press the red button and/or  use the phone - they are usually down near the floor. Instruct your children. And never, never, try to climb out of a stuck lift if the doors are open between floors. 

And when you get out: Vote. 
Posted by Charles Bazlinton.  Author The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom 

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