Friday, October 7, 2022

Thomas’ Blog: Why I didn’t vote…….

Blog by Thomas Stronach

“I can declare that for the very first time in my life, since I became eligible to vote, I have NOT placed a cross on the ballot paper.

I did attend the voting station, I had an internal struggle with myself for about two minutes, I then folded the ballot paper and placed it in the box, without marking it!

There were four candidates on the ballot for South Ockendon, they are;

Barry Johnson
Conservative

David Paul Shirley
Liberal Democrats

Maggie O’Keeffe-Ray
UK Independence Party

Martin Christopher Kerin
Labour

One of the most striking things, for me has been the complete lack of electioneering by all of the candidates, where I live, or maybe they are just out and about when I am at work. I visit Ockendon Market and Shops EVERY Saturday, without fail and even there I never came across any of the candidates out and about and engaging with the local populace, why is that, or is just that I am even more short sighted than I thought?

I have met Barry Johnson, once, during the last round of elections when he did turn up on my doorstep and we had a long conversation about a multitude of issues and I was quite impressed with him, but he lost to a teenager from Labour Aaron Kiely, who as far as I was and am concerned was a complete waste of space and his head was so far up his ….. well never mind. So, at least one good thing about this years election was that he didn’t appear on the ballot paper.

But, like the other three candidates Mr Johnson also displayed Scarlet Pimpernel like tendencies in that voters would seek them here and there, but never find them… not the best way to get people to vote for you….

Party literature through the letterbox…. In our house my wife doesn’t deal with post, not something we have ever discussed, she picks it up from the floor and dumps it on my desk for me to deal with, even her own. I don’t mind, not really but it does irritate, slightly, that when picking up the stuff that has been pushed through the letterbox that she puts it all on my desk for me to sort, read, respond, bin or shred; even pamphlets and what is quite clearly crap such as pizza pamphlets and discount sale leaflets, ISHBEL THESE GO STRAIGHT IN THE (RECYCLING) BIN for goodness sake woman….

So, if there was any electioneering literature IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ON MY DESK and I could at the very least have read these works of literary fantasy, but, the only one that found its way to me, and that was on TUESDAY OF THIS WEEK, was from the aforementioned Mr Nice Barry Johnson. But, do you know what Barry, by then it was to late. I didn’t even read it. If I had and I had questions would there have been enough time for us to enter into a debate, or would you have been to busy on the hustings, I have no idea but to my mind waiting two days before the polls open to put out something doesn’t sit well with me, but I suppose at least you did, where the others seemingly did not……

So Thursday came and people up and down the country were having to make a decision, ‘Will I vote’ and if so, ‘Who will I vote for and why?’

As I said, this is the first time I have not put a cross on the ballot. In one respect, I feel quite liberated. In another I am full of disappointment!

I am disappointed that I am living in a so called civilised ‘democracy’ where the people who want to be involved in politics, local and national, feel that they can do so little for me that I will continue to come back and vote for them, come what may.

I am disappointed that I am living in a civilised United Kingdom that Petty Politics and Prejudices and hurt, over things that happened hundreds of years ago are leading to the break up of the UNITED KINGDOM

I am disappointed that I am living in a civilised United Kingdom that sees new FOOD BANKS opening up in every part of the Kingdom to help to feed the poor of our civilised country.

I am disappointed that I am living in a civilised United Kingdom where our Governments continue to sell of assets that should always remain in the public domain, such as utilities

I am disappointed that our Government, the Coalition now AND Labour before them are dismantling our HEALTH SERVICE and selling it off to the highest bidders

I am disappointed that the divide between the rich and the poor continues to grow and that those governing us will always be part of the former and therefore no matter what they say those at the poorer end of the spectrum will never see any relief to their plight.

I am disappointed that no one in politics seems to recognise or wants to admit that the days of mass employment are over. Technological advances in manufacturing and production have taken away the need for massive factories employing three shifts of workers round the clock, and so there will never be the jobs created to give the all of the people of working age a job and so the ranks of the poor will always increase – no one is saying that, why not? And why are we not now thinking of ways to make everyone equal in life as a result?

I am disappointed that the Coalition are still harping on about ‘affordable housing’ . If people haven’t got jobs, affordable housing is a nonsense, social housing is needed now.

I could go on, but suffice to say

I AM DISAPPOINTED

14 COMMENTS

  1. Great blog Thomas and it highlights the problems with the current crop of political candidates, in my ward all we got were pamphlets through the door, the NF were seen posting their ones but seemed to not had the bottle to knock on doors for whatever reason.

    The simple truth is that we are now looking at lazy politics where the prospective candidates will sit back and wait for the votes to come in based on people normal national party vote; however, this was not about National policies this was for the local government and having just under 30% turnout should be a big wake up call to ALL the parties that the locals do not want or trust any of you, no single ward councillor can sit there and say they won anything based on the amount of votes that were returned.

    Maybe the next ballot papers should contain a box for None Of The Above after all None that were selected got a majority ward vote.

  2. I greatly enjoyed the great blog from Thomas nad the comments from Lambo, I am 67 years old, and I have many opportunities to cast my votes at local and national elections, over the years, but up until now, this local election was the worse election I have seen, with nobody from any parties electioneering and giving out leaflets about what plans they have for the future, and once the election is over, are forgotten by all parties, I think the great people of Thurrock have just had enough of this political Bull###T, and want real action to get them out of this never ending spiral of debt with no real prospects for the future, unemployment is rising, people are becoming homeless and are going hungry, I have to ask myself is this really 2012 or 1900’s, we seem to have gone around in a circle, and are suffering what our great grandfathers suffered from run away inflation with no ending to it, all our freedoms are being eroded one by one, the biggest mistake was to join the EEC without any conditions, good old Edward Heath, the Tories have sold off all of our utility companies, then they sold off all of our transport companies, to their friends such as Arriva, First Bus- and so on, then British Railways was sold off piece by piece again to the highest bidders, and here we all are twenty odd years down the line, with a divided and badly run railway and bus services, just look at what become of London Transport Underground services, the private companies didnt spend a penny on new stock or modernisation, so after some twelve years of miss management, the government had to insist that the present owners had to modernise the underground, which they have with numerous money hand out from the government, our pockets, the cost of food as also doubled in some cases, this because years ago the Tories stopped food arriving from Australia and New Zealand and other African countries, because they were not getting enough revenue from them countries, and that resulted in us paying more for our food, the only cheap clothes that we can buy are imported from, sweat shops employing child labour for 5p aweek in China, we really have come along way, since I was born, what I think our local and national politicians forget is that we have memories, and we can remember them for what they are, usually waiting for there pensions and there yearly expenses from TBC, one councillor was telling would be voters that, she couldnt be bothered if she got in or not, that was labour/Sora Sue Gray for Belhus Ward, perhaps the 18,000+ expenses a year helped make her mind up, not bad for doing nothing!

  3. My thanks to Danny and Lambo for their kind comments on my first blog for Your Thurrock. Reading the replies and the other blogs and comments surrounding the local elections It is equally disheartening to note that I am not the only one disappointed with politics, both National and Local….

    Maybe we should band together and create a new party ‘The Disappointed and Disaffected’ but I must stress that it would need to be inclusive and everyone would be expected to take turns in making the tea and coffee and to do the washing up afterwards!

  4. Great blog Tom I think u speak for the vast majority of us who are totally disillusioned by the calibre of candidates, and politics in general.

    Fortunately for me there were no elections this year in my ward therefore the difficult decision to vote or not was taken out of my hands.I would have had to think long and hard dependent on candidates whether to vote,however i do believe our forebears have fought long and hard in World Wars to protect our demcratic right to vote and free speech and therefore reluctantly I probably woud have voted,after all if u don’t vote then don’t complain.

  5. Apparently if you mix the colours red yellow and blue you get varying shades of grey and brown depending on the mix. This probably isn’t significant but i’m sure that most people looking at what has just taken place could probably relate this unfortunate mix with most of what the main parties spout on a regular basis. Who knows whether a greater force is trying to give us a sign.

  6. I feel that Perman is right, it took two world wars to give us free speach and freedom to vote for who we chose, its just a crying shame, that there was so little choice, UKip did well, the Tories took a bashing because of national politics and not for local issues, the less said about the LibDems the better, and the lack luster Labour party, really deserved to be thrashed, for there terrible attitude to electioneering and leafleting houses in the TBC area, in my ward, nobody has seen our three councillors for the last three years, for some reason, only known to them, they wont help or support any residents in the Stifford Road area of Belhus ward, only UKip posted any leaflets, and didnt want to knock at peoples homes in case, they were asked to many questions about the forth coming local elections!, I have spoken to residents along Stifford Road, and Fulbrooke Close, and they are completely disgusted with the three councillors, for abandoning them during the dispute with Howard Tenens and the old ex Marley Tiles yard, in Stifford Road South Ockendon, they were willing to vote for anybody but the Labour party, I know alot of the people didnt bother to vote at all, instead of posting a non filled in voting form, I wonder how many people wasted there vote, because they couldnt trust, any of the people asking for there votes.
    I for one would join your new party Tom.

  7. Perman, thanks for the feed back and the only thing I would argue with you over is ‘if you don’t vote, don’t complain’ Why not, our forebears may have fought to protect a democratic right and free speech, but I think there was more to it than that, maybe also fighting to stop other defenceless nations being slaughtered and subjugated under the bullying jackboot of oppressive dictators. And don’t vote don’t complain is a bit like saying women who didn’t have the vote should just have shut up and stayed in the kitchen and the bedroom and remained voiceless chattels to their male counterparts, would your mother approve of that view, I wonder?

    So, no I didn’t vote but that is not going to stop me from complaining about the system and not should it…..

  8. Valen, thanks for your comment. I have no idea why no one responded to your posts I certainly would have had I visited, but I am new to this site although a proud (Scottish) resident of Thurrock since 1992.. Keep chipping away, if nothing else it lets you vent and that is really why I do it too

  9. No Voice, hi, thanks for commenting although I do always find it easier to respond to a name rather than an acronym.

    Having said that, I do wish that the signs you refer to were a little clearer then we might all understand better what the grand plan is for all of us at the bottom of the pile.

    If the birth rate keeps expanding in the way that it is and technology is having a negative effect on the number of jobs available, then the only sure outcome is that the unemployed will outnumber the employed with the taxes raised from the latter exceeding the needs of the former, but no one in power seems to be recognising that fact and that is not just in this country but across the world. so my disappointment increases exponentially!

  10. Tom I think you are taking my comment too literally.Of course people can complain what gets my back up is when they continualyy gripe about the current situation both nationally and locally,when asked did you vote invariably the reply will be no.If enough people who have the same viewpoint vote collectively things will change,just look at the shareholders revolts over executive pay at recent AGMs time was a few years ago when people shrugged their shoulders and just said oh well!

    Anyway what colours shall we adopt for our new party?!!!!

  11. Perman Yes, but the companies who’s shareholders voted against pay rises are under no legal obligation to adopt that vote! Foolish if they don’t I grant you particularly if the majority of the shareholders are funds, who if they switched their fund somewhere else it would harm the overall share price. I doubt if the majority of shareholders voting against the rises was made up of small shareholders, if the company chose to ignore them, whether they would then get a mass revolt by those small shareholders then selling them, especially if they return to generous dividends.

    The same with elections, the candidates will tell you what you want to hear and then invariably they get elected and find that the bigger political machine steamrollers over them and they can do nothing about it, ergo we are back to square one, where the electorate is ignored.. cynical, I am

    And while I am not opposed to independents standing, in reality what do you get from them? a token protest against the establishment. As an independent they have no power unless of course it is a hung election and one or two of them join with the main parties to form a council or a government, but as independents their views will probably differ from the other independent, if it didn’t then they wouldn’t be independent(!) and so as a protest vote I would have voted, if one had been on the ballot, but with no expectation that they could change anything.

    British Racing Green has always been a favourite.

  12. Tom it would be a great honour to make the tea or coffee or both at your meetings, but could we do it on a rota system, but I think people would be to busy Venting their own opinions, to drink, they would choke trying to do both!.

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