ALL OVER BY THIS TIME TOMORROW
It is Thursday 6th May 2010 and today the people of this country can cast their votes for the candidates of their choosing. However, owing to our ludicrous 'first past the post' electoral system, the party obtaining the most votes may not get to have a majority of seats in parliament and a percentage of the vote will not be reflected in the number of 'seats' gained.
By this time (7.30am) tomorrow the nation will know what type of government has resulted from today's elections but one thing ought to be pretty clear; the working class and lower middle class will bear the burden of the current economic crisis.
Neither the working class nor the lower middle class caused the crisis. Bankers and financiers caused the crisis and, here in Britain, the New Labour government handed over 1.3 trillion pounds of taxpayers' money to bail them out. This has allowed the bankers and financiers to return to 'working as usual' and awarding themselves the odd million pounds annual bonuses.
Those who caused the crisis through irresponsible dealing should pay for the crisis but the government (whatever its composition tomorrow) will be after more money from the taxpayers and seeking to dramatically reduce government spending. Higher taxes may not be good news but reducing government spending by cutting out waste and making government departments more efficient is to be welcomed, is it not?
Just how are the vast sums of money to be raised? First up will be the sale of publicly owned facilities to the private sector. More schools will become private businesses. And privatising libraries might bring in a few quid, too. Services currently provided by councils can be flogged off and the National Health Service is well ripe for a good plucking. Prisons and associated penal and security departments also offer rich pickings. These are just a few of the areas that will be exploited for profit.
Then, of course, we have the 'savings' to be made by reducing public expenditure. There are too many sick people claiming sickness benefit so they must be examined to check just how sick they actually are and if some official thinks they are only a bit sick then they must return to work or lose their benefit. Same goes for the disabled. And the unemployed had better find themselves a job, too. There is just one problem: there are no jobs available that will pay a living wage. To make matters worse, there are to be mass redundancies in the public sector (education, social services, council employees, etc) and these will swell the number of unemployed.
Less people in work means less tax revenue. Less money in people's pockets means less purchase of manufactured products; less purchases lead to surplus of goods on shelves which means no profits for businesses which results in collapse of factories (production) and closure of shops (distribution). This situation is known as a CRISIS and it is an integral part of the capitalist system; this is the very nature of capitalism - BOOM followed by BUST (which the unelected UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown stupidly announced had been ended. Duh!)
It is very likely that pay and pensions will be 'frozen' despite rising inflation. It is almost certain that VAT will be raised to at least 20% and that books and children's clothing will no longer be exempt. It has been estimated that the price of water, gas, electricity and oil is set to rise by up to 25%.
It is difficult to predict just how the general population of Britain (workers and those on benefits) will react to the future government's severe austerity measures but, based on previous experience, it is unlikely to be anything like that of those in Greece. No, it is more likely to be as described in the words of the Pink Floyd album 'Darkside of the Moon' ...."Quiet desperation is the English way."
And so it goes.