Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

Have a look at these two articles, if you aren’t already aware of what’s been happening lately:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/12/lib-dems-tuition-fees-clegg

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/12/mcdonalds-pepsico-help-health-policy
Firstly, what’s that I hear? Is it the sound of all the Lib Dems remaining credibility flying out of the window? Turns out that the Lib Dem’s tuition fees pledge didn’t fail because they met with too much conservative resistance in the coalition, but because the Lib Dems had decided not to bother with it months before the election, in March. Yet they still continued to promote their ‘plan’ to abolish tuition fees as one of their central manifesto promises. Clegg posed cheerily for pictures like these whilst holding no intention to follow through with the ‘promise’ on tuition fees.


“Politician lies? What a shock!” I hear many of you saying, and yes indeed, its hardly unheard of for a politician to lie. The sad thing here though, is that Clegg and the Lib Dems managed to politically energise so many younger voters, who were previously apathetic towards voting and politicians. Even some people who were too young to vote were energised and excited, such as my little brother, who did door to door canvassing for the Liberal Democrats. Ideas of a ‘New Politics’ abounded, and there was a lot of optimism in the air 6 months ago, including from me. And now, we see not only that the promises have been broken, but that there was never even any intention to keep them in the first place. No new politics here; instead, the old politics  are shown to be stronger, and more broken, than ever.

So the next time a politician tries to appeal to an apathetic youth, I suspect they’ll have rather less success. Clegg and co. have ensured that this generation stay jaded and cynical towards politics long before their time, because nobody likes being let down completely by something or somebody they have invested in. They won’t risk it happening again. Cheers for that Nick; you can say goodbye to all student votes from now on, and god knows how many other voters besides. Well played.


The other piece of news regards a new government policy that sounds like an actual joke, which would go something like this: “Hey, imagine how funny it would be if major corporations such as McDonalds, Pepsi and Mars (amongst others), the same companies that represent a significant part of the problem of public health and obesity in this country, and who are driven entirely by a desire to sell as many of their products as possible,  were given a significant role in deciding the country’s health policy?” “HA HA HA HA HA HA WHAT A RIDICULOUS IDEA THAT IS SO FUNNY!!!!!!” is how you might reply to such a joke. Except (and here’s the twist), it actually isn’t a joke, its the policy of the coalition government! “HA HA HA HA WAIT A MINUTE WHAT THE FUCK????”

Yeah, pretty much. The plan is now to ‘work with’ big businesses in the writing of UK public health policy, because of course these corporations have the public’s best interests at heart, not their shareholders (as any economist will tell you). Sense is clearly being made here. I’m not going to go into too much detail here, as the article linked to does a good job of that, but suffice to say that my opinions of the coalition government are not high right now, especially when added to other government actions like the plan to sell off many of Britain’s forests, charge £9000 annual tuition fees whilst devastating university funding, ignore tax avoidance, hit the poor and unemployed hard with larger than necessary cuts… It. Goes. On. The idea seems to be to deliver so much bad news at once that people just collapse under the weight of it all. And this is only the first 6 months in government…

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