Friday, May 08, 2015

Black Friday

click photo to enlarge
It was my intention to post today a shot of dappled sunlight falling on a path through the woods, but the "success" of Lord Snooty and his pals (or is it Little Lord Fauntleroy) in the UK general election has soured my mood and so here is a black and white conversion of a shot of the small, old and battered church of St Michael at Martin, near Horncastle, in Lincolnshire, that was the destination of one of our recent walks.

The British electorate as a whole has little interest in politics. Consequently it is frequently persuaded to vote against its own, the wider community's and the country's interests, by the Conservative party and its wealthy and influential backers in the press, the City of London and elsewhere. It will do this even against the evidence because it takes little interest in factual details and is much more interested in, and influenced by, "personality", scare stories and downright lies. So, the fabrications spun by the Conservatives and shrieked daily by the press take the place of facts in the minds of such people and become the reason for voting for them. The result is that the most inept and deceitful government of my lifetime has been re-elected, this time with a majority. Any non-UK readers looking at the table below must wonder what sort of ridiculous electoral system we have whereby securing a mere 36.9% of the vote can give a majority in parliament. They will be gobsmacked to hear that a system of proportional representation to replace it was rejected in a referendum less than 5 years ago. Truly, the idiocy of our electorate knows no bounds.

So we are consigned to five years of austerity, demonisation of the poor, privatisations, marketisation of the public sector, handouts to the rich and daily political incompetence. Not until the Conservatives have demonstrated their ineptitude repeatedly, in ways that impact at an individual level, and in ways that the press cannot disguise, will electors finally vote for a change of government. I'm not holding my breath.

What I'd like to see is a compact between the new party leaders of the non-Conservative persuasion coming together to argue loudly and clearly for proportional representation and an electoral system that produces a parliament that reflects all the disparate political views. Fat chance!

                                         Seats in Parliament           % of votes
Conservative                              330                               36.9
Labour                                        232                               30.5
Scottish Nationalist                      56                                 4.8
Liberal Democrat                           8                                 7.8
UKIP                                              1                                12.6
Green                                             1                                  3.8
(Other parties not shown)

We cannot keep disenfranchising a large section of the electorate by producing outcomes like that shown above. It's simply wrong.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 27mm (40mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On