Capote said of Kerouac, “that’s not writing, it’s typing”. Well, the words below definitely are typing. I sat on the floor of a train and typed for 25 minutes. This is it. Some questions and some words. It’s probably a footnote to yesterday’s post.
Why do we vote for who we vote for?
On the journey from Hereford to Hay, with its vivid crop purple UKIP posters growing in the meadows, I asked the driver what drew the people of the Welsh borders UKIP. It was the asparagus farming.
The farmers don’t pay enough, so the locals won’t pick the crop, so Polish workers come over and pick for a pittance and shelter in a caravan, so UKIP seems the answer.
But is that really how to sort the problem, or just the simplest dressing up of an issue as a problem caused by the filthy foreign?
I have some questions, you may have some answers.
Why is the pay for picking asparagus so low? Can the farmers not afford to pay more? If so, why can’t he pay more, who is screwing them on their asparagus transactions? Who is the main profiteer? If they genuinely can’t pay more, then how does banning Polish workers lead to a living wage, wouldn’t it just lead to asparagus farm closure? Why can’t legislation on worker’s rights be brought in that secures a living wage?
To my naive, metropolitan elite eyes, the migrant worker seems to be a scapegoat in the deregulated world.
As usual, I want to know, where’s the evidence?
Why do I vote for who I do?
I am left leaning though it has no great advantage to me. Tax cuts and death duty reductions could come in handy. I could afford to go private rather than NHS. If I started saying yes to a few more corporate gigs, then I could always send my son to private school. Unfortunately, I am lumped with some idea made from a hotch potch of hearsay, pub conversations, nature, nurture, and some reading, that makes me believe in the idea of a society and that those with less of a disparity between rich and poor are happier and more successful. Profit for the mighty few has become a loved propaganda even when cursing the bankers, bonuses for bosses of public subsidised private companies, and all the other American dream hand me downs that came with Starbucks and Subway and denim sold as rebellion.
As George Carlin said,”they call it the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”.
Sometimes I am intrigued by libertarianism. The stalling point is wondering how you start your libertarian utopia. How do you wipe away all the advantages and headstarts that the corporate worlds have obtained from the previous economic regimes?
My anarchist friends opt out of voting, and there are elections I have missed. Elections where the swine were not so swinish I could muster the passion to cross the box of the banal opposition who could barely persuade me to sample a new margarine, let alone 5 years of their green-seated obedience and taxi expenses. .
What do I want from the party I vote for and what do I expect?
Should I be so naive to think that what they promised in opposition is likely when the tassels of power are on their shoulders?
Wouldn’t it be easier to believe their wars for freedom and liberalism rather than profit and power? Why can’t I make that happy leap into the candyland of good intention myths?
Do the opposition even offer enough opposition for me to see them as another party, not just another wing of the same one in fancy dress? Is it all Pepsi Max versus Diet Coke – a war of syrups?
Despite the open workspaces, are we all in such separate worlds that the camaraderie and union bonds are lost in i-pod volume and paranoid personal concerns?
We are angry about tax dodgers, but don’t seek out the independent coffee shops which may lack the resources and turnover to engage in willful elusion of payment. It was easy to boycott Starbucks, I was already doing it based on taste and desire, before politics came in.
I may sometimes “talk the talk”, but when I “walk the walk”, am I doing it in shoes made by blister thumbed child Labourers?
Everything is reported, nothing is experienced. I don’t like those strangers that I’ve never seen. Don’t get to know people, you might lose your enemy.
Yet on the platforms, when these seemingly more frequent train jump suicides bring public transport to a stop, there is more compassion than I used to hear.
“How selfish,” I hear someone say, but the businessman, slightly boozy, turns and says, “imagine what state you must be in to do such a thing. The implication for the driver and people such as us won’t be imagined due to the blinding despair”. And others agree.
If only we knew more people, beyond the newspaper frame or TV screen. If we knew where to look for answers, if we knew who to question…
And so I go on touring – Swindon, Hull, Leeds, York, Newport, Winchester, Swansea and on and on to your town. Details HERE
The Cosmic Genome app with Alice Roberts, Brian Cox, Stewart Lee, Richard Dawkins and 123 more is HERE