The following posts have no fixed theme or style, but I hope you enjoy reading them!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Saturday, 12 June 2010

They asked for consultation...

And that was all I gave them. But I have wanted for a long time to write a bit about the election.

People have written masses and masses about the parties and the coalition and how the election happened as it was coming up, but I didn't vote for a party, I voted for the policies. Unfortunately my manifesto would never be the manifesto of the ruling party, but I feel very strongly about certain things and wanted to put them down somewhere

The last two posts are two of those points. In addition, I wanted a government that dealt with our high levels national debt by tax increases as much as by service cuts. And I wanted a government that would really put environmental issues at the top of the agenda.

The environment seems to have dropped off the radar. We can't built wind farms because there are too many opponents to having them near where they live. The government has already introduced multiple bins for segregating our waste. But is that really all we wanted from the government? I want to see them tackling power generation, transport, pesticides, over-use of fertiliser, consumerism, industry, home improvements (solar powered water heating, insulation, etc) and developments to technology. Discussion of the environment has fizzled to nothing recently. Maybe it's because I don't have many friends who worry about it, or because I live in the wrong part of the country (I know it's sounds silly), but the problems have not gone away.

None of the parties would have offered me all of these things on education, national debt, finance and the environment, but perhaps the lib dems share at least some of my ideals so if they are in the coalition then I can't be too disappointed. I can only hope that by the next election there will be a party who really fits what I want from the government

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

They asked for consultation...

ON EDUCATION, I sent the government the following:
The previous government succeeded in many areas, but in my view it failed on schools. There are four major problems that I see, from talking to teachers around the country (I have a lot of friends and family who are teachers). In no particular order:
1) Exams are getting easier. We need to keep the same standards, and I believe the best way to do it is to sign up to an international programme like IGCSEs and International Baccalaureate
2) Parents do not support teachers. They question the teacher's judgement and do not allow teachers to put children in detention, for example. I'm not sure how you can solve this problem, but it is a big problem and needs to be tackled somehow.
3) Class sizes are too large. Schools need new investment, because they have suffered under previous governments when there were significant cuts in school budgets.
4) There are too many initiatives. Teachers are intelligent people who want to be enthusiastic and creative rather than sticking to rigid guidelines and curricula.

I'm glad to see that your programme mentions some of my points. However, I would like to see these being the priorities rather than the side-notes. Please do not make education a major area for cuts.

We'll see what they make of it. If you would like to add your opinions, go to, or put them in the comments here of course!

They asked for consultation...

so I told the government this about DEFENCE:
We need to give the armed forces whatever they need to finish the job in Afghanistan, and we need enough of an army to defend the country.

But we don't need a nuclear deterrent because it doesn't help us and only legitimises other countries building nuclear weapons. We need to show that we are serious about nuclear disarmament rather than spending billions making new weapons.

The problem with our armed forces is that they are not used for defending our country, just meddling in other countries' affairs and making the problems in those countries worse rather than better. Wars kill people, and they kill a lot more civilians than those in either army. I find it much more tragic that an Iraqi civilian dies than a British soldier because it is part of the soldier's job to put his life at risk but the Iraqi civilian is caught up in a war he has not caused. If we need our armed forces purely to defend the country, I believe our defence budget can be significantly cut, but ultimately there are people who are better qualified to make that decision than I am.

Finally, we should only be calling soldiers "Our heroes" if we start recognising all the other heroes in our society - social workers, carers, police, teachers, doctors, nurses. They are all heroes as much as the average soldier, who is in the army because the lifestyle suits the life they want to lead and not because of a sense of duty to the country.

Why do I not think that I'm going to change the government's mind?