You know I should really be writing my trip diary and in truth I have six unfinished posts from before and during Greece. I never seem inspired enough to polish them off though. I don’t think they are that interesting. Perhaps it’s because I need to get this out of my system first.

Last time I posted about a vote it was to express my disgust at the result of the Brexit referendum, I voted remain. Before that it was a last minute plea to tell people to vote with their heart on the Scottish referendum for independence. This time it’s not much different but I’m writing this earlier maybe to persuade people who are undecided or maybe just because I need to write this for certain members of my own family.

The post was only meant to be a reasoned argument about “Why you should vote for Corbyn’s Labour Party”. I’m no pinko-leftie I just think his policies inspire hope and will, temporarily at least help the economy more the Conservative’s cack handed policies have. Also love the catchphrase for the many not the few. I’m no longer mincing my words. So you can skip the reasoned argument below if you’re a Tory voter and just read why you’re an arsehole. For the rest who are undecided carry on reading.

Here’s my “reasonable” argument

First I want to express two sentiments: disgust at the state of our media and democracy watching from afar here in Turkey it feel like a tyrannical regime trying to stay in power. Okay so hyperbole its my blog so whatever.

Why vote at all let alone for Labour you say? How naive are you… dreamer, fool, vagabond. How dare you tell me who to vote for you don’t even live here you exclaim. Nope, you’re right on both counts I don’t have a right to tell you who to vote for and I don’t live in the UK currently, nor do I see a reason to move back, so why should I care?

You can vote for the Tories if you want. You can spoil your vote or vote for the Monster Raving Looney Party. You can have Thatcher-lite as your Prime Minister. I choose the other guy. I’m voting Labour by proxy because despite my own cynicism and proclivity for Russell Brand’s fuck the system ‘don’t bother they’re irrelevant’ revolution – I know in my heart that the only way to change things is to get involved in the way things are now so that maybe we can mould a better future. Since I started writing this even Brand has said to vote for Corbyn – whatever most people don’t take Brand seriously anyway so lets move on. Call me a fool if you like but just about every argument for not voting Corbyn makes no sense and here’s why…

1. He’s unelectable.

This is the number one claim the media keeps trotting out. He’s been elected twice in not one but two leadership elections drawing thousands of new members to the Labour Party. Why? I don’t know maybe it’s that he’s a man of principle who has voted with his conscience in every important parliamentary vote and been on the right side of history every time. Could it be it’s because he clearly stands for all the people of the UK and his policies and rhetoric have been consistent for decades. Perhaps it’s the fact that he looks like the geography teacher you had at school or somebody you might have debate and pint down the pub with. Maybe it’s because he’s likeable, approachable resembles a human being and he listens to us. Maybe its because you know where you stand with him like a good mate or a mentor. He seems a good bloke and pretty capable leader and people see that. More importantly young people really believe in him as a person and in his message. That is when they get to hear it unfiltered instead of through the lens of the rabid right wing media, who are so wrapped up in the idea that they are the makers and breakers of popularity in their contest of personalities. Does he have Blairs charisma? Nope and be thankful for that because who the fuck likes Blair now I mean his name has become synonymous with teflon because not even the truth sticks to him.

2. Corbyn’s policies would ruin the country.

Right well when you hear statements like that in the press translate that to “Corbyns policies will hurt the rich”. As if they country is doing so well with the Tories helming it. We currently have a 1.5 trillion debt as opposed to the 1 trillion the Tories inherited. And thanks to Osborne’s austerity program mixed with more borrowing we lost our triple A credit rating! The austerity program has ensured little to no investment in infrastructure (apart from HS1 and a few doomed and over budget nuclear power projects not to mention the building of two massive penis extensions… sorry I meant aircraft carriers). There are a million people using food banks in a first world country, what an embarrassment! People on benefits are basically told take any shit job even if you are worse off on the crap minimum wage because it’s your fault you’re poor. If you’re disabled, mentally ill, in elderly care or you’re a former convict basically we’re gonna amputate you from society like you’re gangrenous leg if you can’t swallow our medication.

Implementing IMF style austerity measures is proven to be useless in the face of an economic crisis and in fact are likely to be more damaging as our stagnating growth and real wages has proven. Yet despite efficiencies and saving the rich and the old ain’t getting any poorer. Cuts just perpetuates poverty and provides no means for escape, no social safety net. The national debt is unpayable  in the short term and due to future borrowing will never ever be fully paid off. Any reasonable economist will tell you an interest based money system means that you can never ever repay all debts anyway because someone somewhere has to owe something to someone. Mark Blyth has one of the best analysis of this you can watch a video about how the financial crisis and the politics of money here. Hes a great speaker but you need an attention spanner longer than a gnat but if you’re reading this then you care about taking the time to get the facts. We actually have to transform the money system itself if we ever want to be truly ‘debt free’ and if you think the Tories will help with that you’re in La La Land.

Hell even Ian Duncan Smith quit because he couldn’t take the misery of doling out this Victorian doctrine on to the people. Evidently he had a heart and could see the damage his government was causing. The Conservatives want to abolish free school lunches, regulate what we can see and do on the internet, privatise the NHS via the backdoor, cut benefits and social care and keep tuition fees. They also haven’t ruled out tax rises for middle and lower classes (since I drafted this Fallon went on record saying no tax rises but if it ain’t in writing then it’s basically hot air and even it was in writing you might as well have written it on toilet paper). If we get a ‘hard brexit’ we are likely going to have to lower corporation tax in a race to the bottom that will leave us bankrupt with nothing to invest in the future.
So far so Tory but what about Corbyn’s policies?

Okay so let’s examine one or two. Renationalise railways – I think anyone who has ever taken a train probably agrees with him that and the fact that we subsidise the railways to the tune of 4 billion. That’s more than double what it cost to run them publicly in the eighties. Remember Railtrack? They were the private company that racked up millions in fines for being late with maintenance and other lovely examples of private management putting their wealth above the risk to passengers lives. Network Rail is publicly owned and does a fairly decent job of coping with our aging network but could do better with more investment to deal with year of Railtrack mismanagement. So why don’t we do the same with the rolling stock companies and stop these ridiculous franchises that only drain money out of the rail network instead of being used to invest in better tracks, more new and faster trains and automated safety systems.
Ah but private industry is more efficient – sure provide me with the figures and I’ll believe you. If the industry could stand without being subsidised then I would believe but it can’t.

Tuition fees – freeze and abolish while creating National Education Service for EVERYONE of any age. Anyone who disagrees with this is basically an elitist who thinks people don’t deserve to be educated let alone educated for free. Almost all the people in parliament had a free education so what right do they have to pull up the ladder behind them and declare it too expensive. It’s nonsense and it’s yet another example of the establishment maintaining a position that keeps them from being threatened by an educated electorate. When Gove (coincidentally an alumni of mine from Robert Gordon’s) a privately educated prat, declares we should have selection all that does is removes the good students creating a social elite and harm the learning for others. Children learn from each other too so it’s important to mix up classes to aid better learning. But don’t listen to me why not listen to Sir Ken Robinson or Sugata Mitra to experts in education and pedagogy. Oh yeah “we’ve had enough of experts” so let’s just go with unproven or worse disproven ideological arguments instead and trust that it gets results.

Education is a massive investment in the future of our country – we simply cannot afford to be left behind in the information economy and a highly educated workforce is probably the smallest part of the investment that should be made. One only has to look at Macron’s manifesto to see how much emphasis and money he is willing to put into innovation, re-skilling and education to understand why people in France voted for him instead of a right wing xenophobe. The Tories would rather support a failing academy system reintroduce selection in the form of grammar schools and ignore thousands of teachers who are saying that our education system needs investment and reform. They would also rather test our children until they are so stressed they no longer enjoy learning. Something’s got to give and I’d rather it was not our children’s futures.

“But his policies aren’t costed!” you say. Well to quote the shadow chancellor “the only numbers in the Tory manifesto are the page numbers” which says a lot about how confident they think they are that they don’t even fucking bother to count the cost or consequences of their insane proposals. I’m not even going to comment much further other than to say he’s going to tax the rich to pay for this – its called wealth redistribution. Its required in an interest based money system due to the ‘losers’ becoming somewhat malcontent. The Tories want to do the bare minimum to stop social unrest Corbyn actually wants us change they way we think about wealth, money and society that’s nothing short of revolutionary. Dare I say it he might actually be the new Nye Bevin if the NES proposal get done. If you’re rich reading this and worried about your cash – your cash ain’t doing you or anyone else any favours sitting in a tax haven. It’s just making you worried that you don’t have enough or that you may lose it. Either do something with it or expect a good government to appropriate some of it and make that choice for you. Money is grease in the machine when it stops moving the machine doesn’t work. If your poor thinking being rich will solve your problems you have issues.

3. He’s never managed a large organisation.

This one is plainly ridiculous. Half the bankers responsible for the crisis in 2007/8 were arts graduates with no understanding of economics and the ones with an understanding still managed to sink the global economy. They’re all pals with the Tories and the right wing of the Labour party (Blairites I’m looking at you). And since when did actually having qualifications make you a good leader? You need a leader to be inspiring and have vision of hope and optimism for the future. Corbyn is a figurehead for something we all dream of. Its up to us and his party to help him make the country into what it could be. The Obama presidency showed that, if nothing else, one man can’t be responsible for everything you need everyone behind him to make shit happen. Both men were and are good community organisers but they’ve been portrayed in the press as lacking qualifications for the top job. How’s May doing at it so far? By most assessments its bit of a shambles at Tory HQ otherwise known as U-Turn central.

4. He’s a terrorist sympathiser and is unwilling to use nuclear weapons or the armed forces.

What the actual fuck – he wants peace. He’s willing to negotiate with people because he realises that usually people only take up arms because they have legitimate political goals and are not given a voice in the system. So what if they have taken a somewhat misguided and horrific approach to achieve their aims. Look at ISIS – many fighters are British born muslims. Perhaps they’ve become so alienated by our country’s hypocritical foreign ‘interventions’ or maybe its they way they are portrayed, treated or ignored in the media. Maybe some have mental issues and are susceptible to ideology. The Tories don’t want to change their minds or talk to them. They are terrorists (Islamic terrorists to be exact as if that’s ten times worse than just terrorist). At least Corbyn understands that you can only make peace with your enemies and for that you need to engage them, to talk to them and understand them. He’s not handing out blow jobs to our enemies it’s just a conversation. Theresa May on the other hand doesn’t bat an eyelid about dropping a Nuke… well whooptido she just played the I have a big dick card, shame on her we already know she does it just resides on her head where her nose is and engorges when she tells more lies. Maybe we should just let her play Civilisation so she can simulate her leadership style without hurting anyone else and she can drop all the Nukes she likes.

5. He can’t negotiate Brexit and immigration will go up.

On the first point the fact that we have to negotiate Brexit is crazy but at least Corbyn will do his best not leave us at the mercy of international bankers and greedy corporations with tax cuts that leave us in a race to the bottom. May wants to gamble with leaving us with WTO rules. Go to any African country and ask them if they like WTO default rules. She’s playing brinksmanship when she doesn’t have to. We have to show a mutual respect at the bargaining table something Jeremy has shown he can do. He’s wary of Europe and the EU and always has been. To a certain extent the EU is dangerous – the single currency is a disaster for the poorer countries (see Mark Blyth again) but in other respects it’s a shining example of international cooperation. He voted against the Maastricht treaty but he understands the need to remain part of the single market for the sake of our economy now that we’ve been a part of it for so long. We’re so dependent on Europe that a hard Brexit would leave us worse off and what follows would be yet more austerity and uncertainty under May with a viscous circle of a shrinking economy.

On immigration he’s pragmatic he won’t commit to cutting to a specific figure because he knows it’s not possible nor is it advisable. The Tories know this too but they’re are willing to pander to their base and pretend they will cut immigration to play along for the votes knowing full well they will disappoint the public later. The NHS depends on foreign workers. They take the jobs we don’t want like cleaning, hospitality and agricultural work and they add more to the economy than they take. All the ONS stats prove this. Most of the people complaining about not having a job aren’t even qualified to work in a McDonalds because of chronic underinvestment in education and adult retraining. I don’t blame them I just think they are uninformed, disenfranchised and lack the help they need.

6. He won’t achieve anything in the manifesto.

Well on that one you’re about half right. A manifesto is just a set of goals. It’s something to aim for not an instruction manual but even delivering just one promise in his manifesto will help more people than all of the policies set out in the Conservative manifesto. If we truly believe in the vision Labour have set out for the country we need to back it all the way against the propaganda and the money machine that will do everything it can to undermine this grand project. Many of the rich moguls out there would rather sink the economy than allow ‘the threat of a good example’ to succeed – Noam Chomsky’ analysis of Western interventions in socialist regimes makes for good reading. Fucking up the country won’t affect the 1% too badly but it will make us angry with Labour. Look at all the left wing leaders in third world countries – coups, assassinations or payoffs then compromise and then finally the IMF and World Bank step in with loans to keep them forever in debt. But just to be sure install a repressive regime or ten to make sure they keep servicing the debt.

Corbyn needs us to struggle with him to get to the place we all want to be and it is not going to be an easy ride but trust me in the end bringing back the commonwealth and natural monopolies of our country into public hands and caring for everyone will make us all better off socially, economically, culturally and spiritually.

You know it makes sense but you dismiss it as fantasy without considering that you can make it real. It’s one vote and then a whole lot of hard work from all of us. So yeah call me a dreamer but I’m not the only one and thankfully there is another dreamer, someone in a position to help us realise the dream of a lifetime. Everything you see was made by us, all the political systems, wars and peace processes, successful companies, stock market crashes, everything. We can make the world what we want it to be instead of accepting our fate or thinking we are just a cog in another persons machine.

I chose to do something that to most people I know is either a fantasy or insanity but I’m making it real 70km per day or more. The struggle is hard and it’s not all fantastic views and great experiences. A lot of the time I’m cold, wet, tired, sore, lonely and questioning myself all the time. I know that even when I reach the destination it will all have been worth it and then the next big challenge will come along and it will take everything I have and more to achieve it. Life’s about the journey and it doesn’t end till your dead, you just find another place to head towards it.

And finally what you’ve actually been waiting for…

Why you’re an arsehole if you vote Tory

Perhaps it harsh but it’s true you’re an arsehole if you vote Tory and here’s why.

You’re an arsehole because you’re probably voting about a single issue. Either it’s your money; the right to think your kids deserve better education than others; stopping the flow of foreigners; you have big contracts for the NHS (yeah Branson think we don’t know about that) or plainly for ideological reasons.

Your an arsehole because you haven’t weighed up the consequences for others.

Your an arsehole because you believe in individual responsibility but you want the government to protect your property and riches from the poor.

Your an arsehole because you want to reap the benefits and profits of privatisation  but collective the debt of the negative effects on the taxpayer.

Your an arsehole that hates the nanny state but will vote for a Tory government that will tell us what to think and see on the internet and is a happy to provide incentives to married couples but not single mums or same sex couples because you don’t think it meets your idea of normal.

Your an arsehole because you haven’t got a heart. Instead in its place is just another arsehole pumping shit round your veins giving you the mistaken belief that you’re entitled to more than everyone else because well you’ve made it. You’re a big shot now and its proof you were always made of better stuff. All the while forgetting that society helped you get where you are and all the money you made was result of many people working for you who were educated by the state or buying your products and probably worked hard for every penny just to buy your bullshit.

You’re an arsehole because you lack the eyes to see the damage done to this country in the name of austerity but really for the sake of free market fundamentalism which has seen the sell off of the commons, caused the alienation of us from each other, and will lead to environmental catastrophe, social discord and the disenfranchisement and disenchantment of nearly everyone.

There is hope though. You don’t have to be an arsehole though. You can be human. You just have to ask yourself. Do you want a country that is fair and just and that leaves no one behind? Do you want opportunities for your kids and for all children? Do you want healthcare to be the best it can be and free at the point of use? Do you want to know that you will be taken care of in old age or if you have mental illness? Do you want the country and the world to be more peaceful more stable? Do you want to cut crime through better rehabilitation to stop reoffending? Do you want clean air and a thriving natural landscape? If you’re rich are you willing to contribute just a little more to ensuring all of that happens? If you’re poor will you pitch in your time and effort? Do you want free but fair trade? If you want any of those things you’re not an arsehole… unless you vote Tory because if you do you won’t get any of those things and you’ll still be just another fucking arsehole.

You might not like what I say probably because I’m a bit of a dick. Dicks sometimes fuck arseholes. But if you’re offended then I’ll paraphrase a famous Tory – you madam might be offended by me calling you an arsehole but on June 9th I’ll wake up with a clean conscience knowing I’ve done my best for the country while you will still be an arsehole.

The choice is yours. But seriously don’t be an arsehole.

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