Sat here at the kitchen table I find myself contemplating something I never thought I would; I am completely sick of politics.
I was enlightened by the independence referendum, then came the divisive EU referendum, Donald Trump lies his way to the Presidency, in rolls the Local Elections and then a snap General Election. I feel battle weary and suddenly sick of the hollow ill-informed rhetoric of would be decision makers.
So I am sat with the election leaflets of our would be councillors and I am appalled by the dire lack of imagination and, to be honest, shallow nonsense being pedaled and don’t get me started on the typos.
But there are some questions we should be asking of anyone who wishes to hold pubic office.
Firstly we should question the religious views a candidate holds, these should surely not affect their decision making? One candidate offers the view ‘our heritage is closely bound to respect – respect for God and for one another’. Another making a deal of his religious views and wanting to keep the sabbath but who does a job where he has to work on a Sunday. Now correct me if I am wrong but as an elected member aren’t you supposed to represent the views of your electorate not the view of a religious doctrine? Should we be asking them their views on LGBT issues? What about their views on religious diversity and what do you know about Islam?
Secondly where are the commitments to the most pressing issue humanity faces; Global Climate Change? How can the islands aspire to cut our carbon emissions? It is nice they want to give young people the opportunity to stay here but having a habitable planet would be quite useful? Shouldn’t the islands aspire to be a world leader, shouldn’t we be innovating and considering how do we as islands become carbon positive (and building wind factories is only a tiny part of it)?
Thirdly, Education. The budget for Education is just over £48m (CnES Budget book) this is almost 50% of the total council budget yet most of the candidates hardly mention it, if they mention it at all. Some talk about improving opportunities to keep young people on the islands but not how the continuous cuts to the Education budget are death by a thousand cuts. In an election who doesn’t get to vote about their future; young people. If want to read a discussion to understand the issues around the depopulation of young people I wrote a few words here The Neglected Young People.
Fourth, Social Care. The budget for this is just over £21m or about 20% of the budget so combined with Education this is 70% of the spending but not one of the leaflets mentions Social Care and I suspect if it doesn’t affect us all now it will in the future. How can any candidate neglect such a massive train hurtling down the tracks towards us?
So if you are considering standing please could you show you have a bigger view of the world beyond road surfaces.
So I have had leaflets delivered to my house but I have yet to have candidate come and speak to me or perhaps more importantly my daughter who also has a vote. I can’t repeat what she said about the prospective councillors, suffice to say it wasn’t very flattering. If you are lucky enough to see a candidate perhaps you could ask them a couple of questions from me:
What are you going to do about Global Warming using the concept of ‘think global, act local’, where are the real ideas and it is not build more wind factories, creating real change, starting a fundamental mindset change of the people who live here?
What are you actually going to do to improve Education and Social Care, because remember as councillors you set the policy for council officers to enact and you represent us including young people who don’t have a vote.