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May 2015



UK GE Election 2015 – Making Your Voice Heard

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“I think it’s important to learn how to sacrifice some of your wants today to ensure financial prosperity in the future.” – Tara Fela Durotoye, successful CEO House of Tara International.

What does such a statement have anything to do with the UK general elections? Everything. In fact if you can’t connect why I challenge you in that you have failed to completely inform yourself on the merits of what you ought to have considered before voting. Before you clap me down on the various policies the party of your preference put forward that were right for the country, indulge me for a moment to explain.

Running a business or even a group of people towards a common goal is a tough feat. A feat most of us are never really prepared (rather trained) for through school and takes a tremendous amount of resilience to stay the course with in establishing success. It is very easy to make jabs at a company on how they could do x,y,z better but when you are in the driving seat and realise that if you want to increase your staff pay today (in the short term) it means you cannot also afford to increase their pension contributions (for the longterm). What a perfect world and an easy job it would be if you could just do both and “always perfectly” make your employees happy… right? Except the reality is you can’t. Often we have limited resources to contend with. In the same way, how nice would it be for you to be able to go on all the extravagant holidays you wanted in a year and pay your rent or mortgage at a far down the line future date instead and just well…enjoy yourself! Sounds a tad too ridiculous? Well it is! You have to (not suggesting you do or even considering you do but have to!) make sacrifices and choices, planning for the future and putting off some wants today in future anticipation you can enjoy them better at a later date, or not…the choice is yours.

Now take on managing an entire economy. What makes you think that compromises are not inevitable? Put aside whether you are more socialist or capitalist and come to terms with this – we are where we are. Explanations are good for us to learn from and that but to move forward we will have to make sacrifices in building the future economy more of us will thrive in. There are merits to policies on either side but they both have consequences to face now and in the future. Lets take the NHS for example. I for one I’m immensely grateful to have access to a largely reliable yet imperfect medical system. There are countries in the world (and yes even developed ones) where access to such facilities can only be dreamt of. There is a part of me that feels we ought to be more grateful for what we have, because there are people out there that work even harder than you do and simply don’t have that privilege.

The NHS as you can imagine is a socialist concept. The idea that we all chip in our bit and have access to good quality healthcare regardless of social class or background is a novel and brilliant idea. Now thats all well and great, here comes the hardwork that requires thinking…how do we pay for it? Before you open your mouth to rant on about how it needs to pay more, do this more and do that more, try something that although difficult will help in galvanising these ideas more clearly. Think. How do you pay for it? Well we all chip in our bit through taxation. So naturally, if you want to get more out of the system what could you do to “make it better”? Tax more! Now who would like that? So we all want to get these tremendous benefits but how many are willing to pay for it? There has to be a place for understanding that the pressures of running a large scale, national socialist welfare system where you allow people not work to chip in their bit (with the exception of those unable to i.e. disabled, babies e.t.c.) means you go to the other extreme where you start to penalise people that do work hard, earn their kip and then decide they should put way more into the system to support others that won’t. On so many levels that is wrong and just bad manners and a thoroughly poor way to train up the next generation. Stop looking for someone else to pay your way through that is “privileged” and do your bit. Then here comes the next question, well there are lots of hardworking people who really shouldn’t be taxed anymore than they are as it will continue to squeeze their standard of living in the same way those people that work really hard and are fortunate to accumulate their fortunes should have the option afforded them to be able to choose how they wish to spend their money. Well since we can’t go abolishing the NHS completely,  instead of  taxing everyone, we could tax the rich but will that ever be enough? And isn’t that argument just tired already? The reality is we have to look at ways to make the system more efficient and less wasteful. This is where the privatisation of the NHS kicks in or at least elements of it. Please stand up now and offer a better idea other than taxing more, abolishment or privatisation if you have one and if not then try to understand. You cannot take out of something you do not put into. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices now for a better tomorrow. The truth is, selecting even an alternate party into government does not guarantee you a better economy for the future in the same way that Labour’s Tony Blair discovered. Whilst he campaigned against the privatisation of the NHS by the Conservatives prior to his ruling term, he quickly had to do a u-turn after his second term and continue down that path of “modernisation” because the realities of running such a significant welfare system that is in many ways imbalanced in its inputs eventually puts pressure that common sense solutions must prevail even if they do not satisfy all.

Avoid being encumbered by press stories that seek to appeal to the intellectually inept who fail to do any thinking of their own and are easily swayed by the opinion of others without doing any research or analytical thought themselves. I saw someone in support of an alternative party, annoyed they had lost push a press story that listed all the reasons that we were in trouble as a nation because Conservatives were in power. What this person failed to realise is a quick scan of points 1 to whatever highlighted consistently an opinion based on “they plan to sneakily do this and plan to sneakily do that”. When you understand this is a real job you couldn’t even dream of being able to handle for a day, respect those in power whether you agree or not and do your bit to make it a better tomorrow for the next generation. What that means, I leave up to you to decide after some careful thought and analysis of your own.




October 2013