Who are you currently planning to vote for in the 2015 UK General Election (Jan 2015 edition)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs & Debate' started by RobotBoy, Jan 14, 2015.

?

Best of the worst?

  1. Conservatives

    11.4%
  2. Labour

    37.1%
  3. Liberal Democrats

    14.3%
  4. UKIP

    2.9%
  5. Green Party

    14.3%
  6. SNP

    11.4%
  7. Other: Please state

    8.6%
  8. I am not planning on voting for any of this shower

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. lolly

    lolly Rowena? From Kuwait?

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    Quite a few of my facebook friends are Lib Dem activists in and around Somerset, and they are sharing that far and wide on facebook. I presume because I get the impression they are afraid that a lot of the disenchanted voters who they lured in last time are favouring the Greens this time around.
     
  2. Kate

    Kate she's for the streets BITCH

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    Just seen this on Facebook.

    http://kathleenkerridge.com/2015/01/28/the-upsetting-reality-of-modern-day-poverty/

    The Upsetting Reality Of Modern Day Poverty.

    This is a post about a subject very close to home. My home. It is about politicians who wouldn’t know poverty if it chewed on their overpaid arses.

    It’s about Jamie Oliver.

    Now, to put this out there, I loved Jamie. For years and years, I idolised the man. He taught me to cook, when I could barely operate a Pot Noodle and we lived off Smash (dehydrated potatoes) and pasta (we even overcooked that). I would watch all his shows and learn, slowly, from the TV. In less than a year, I was able to cook a three course meal for 15 people. Gourmet became easy and I was soon laughing my way through 3 meat roasts and cooked-from-scratch curries. I owe my skill in the kitchen to Jamie. I have a lot to thank him for.

    Jamie Oliver was good to watch, when I had money. Before I had six operations, culminating in a partial mastectomy of my right breast. He was great, before I had a heart attack–caused, in part, by the amount of strain the constant general anaesthetics put on the organ. Before I was diagnosed with Unstable Angina (that’s the bad sort, if you’re interested. It means there are days when rolling over in bed causes my heart to seize up and my oxygen levels to fall drastically–on these days, I can just about, with the constant administration of GTN spray, make it to the loo). Jamie was excellent, before I had to leave a well paid job and fall back on the State to help me survive.

    I lived well (too well; that’s also what contributed to the heart attack) and we wanted for pretty much nothing. We were young, in our late twenties, with well paid good jobs and four beautiful, if a bit spoiled, children. Life was good.

    Until it wasn’t good and all I could do was watch, helplessly, as it spiralled down the pan. I was laid out on the couch every day with a sick-bucket as my constant companion. They don’t tell you that part–heart failure makes you puke. A lot. I couldn’t walk to the shop, 100m from my front door. I had to stop and rest, sitting on my neighbours walls, every couple of feet. Work was an impossibility.

    Enter the recession. Goodbye Hubby’s job…thank you and goodnight. We were now, without question, in the deepest shit it was possible to get into. Then our landlord sold the house from under us and we were homeless as well. Luckily, we found another house and my husband found another job pretty bloody quick. It’s important to feel as though you’re earning money and not sitting on your arse having it handed to you. Trust me, I know this from experience; it is a major reason I started writing ‘seriously’.

    My Food Budget? About £45 a week. That’s for five days worth of packed lunches for four people, two lunches for five at the weekend, and seven evening meals. £45.00. I was over the moon, when I saw Jamie had a new show on 4oD (yes, I know it’s not *new*, but I don’t watch a lot of TV). Food on a budget, that sort of thing. “Hooray,” I thought, “he’ll show me how to feed us all on the money I have.”

    Nope. Not a bit of it. You see, to Jamie Oliver, a £20 shoulder of lamb is ‘cheap’, because it can do two meals and it’s not the leg, so costs less per kilo. Two meals, Jamie? For twenty bloody quid, I want at least four meals. It’s a sad day when I get angry at Jamie Oliver for being a pretentious arrogant prick.

    The reality of poverty is not what you might see on TV, with those delightful characters from Benefit Street (Channel 4). It isn’t all about common people, cursing loudly in the street with a fag in hand and their pyjamas on, while they scream at little 2 year-old Albie to get ‘the fuck indoors, ya little shit, or I’ll faaahkin slap ya, innit!’ It’s not sitting around on a bench with a can of Special Brew, unwashed and stinking of urine, roll-up in filthy fingers. I don’t smoke. I can’t afford to smoke. I don’t know many people who can. I have bars of soap next to my sinks and I am able to use them to good effect. I am not dirty. I am poor. There is a difference. It’s not even about food banks, because I don’t know what the hell you have to do to get referred to one, but it’s complicated, a long process. I have a fear the food banks might be linked to Social Services and I, like most of my peers, were raised to avoid them at all possible costs.

    The reality of poverty is counting the 5p coins saved in a bottle, and sending a 10 year old to buy a packet of cheap pasta and a tin of tomatoes, because it’s embarrassing to have to pay with coins. The reality is eating plain boiled rice and pretending to like it, so the kids don’t know there’s no other food except for what is on their plates. The reality is having an electric meter, running always on emergency credit, because you can’t afford to get out of the cycle you’re trapped in. It’s making the choice between putting the heating on for an hour, or going cold and being able to buy a pack of sausages and some potatoes.

    The reality of poverty is going to the butcher and asking for a pound of mince to be separated into three bags for three meals. You’d be amazed what I can do with mince. The reality is going to the supermarkets just before they close, and buying all you can for a fraction of the cost, because it’s going out of date tomorrow. That’s okay–you’re eating it tomorrow. It’s value priced peanut butters and cheap cuts of fatty meat. It’s poor-quality chicken and eggs from barn hens. It’s learning to mend, reuse, recycle and go without. It’s washing your hair with washing-up liquid, because it’s all you have until Wednesday, when the Holy Grail of Child Tax Credit hits your account and there’s £50 for shopping.

    The reality of poverty is the shame of always having to say, “Sorry, I can’t afford it.” It’s calling your mum, in tears, because there are bailiffs pounding on the door, because the BBC demand a license fee. It’s drinking so much water you feel ill, simply so your stomach isn’t painfully empty.

    So, Jamie, forgive me for not watching your show. Forgive me for breaking up with you. You’re as clueless, you see, as those politicians you hound into raising the school meal standards. I can’t afford for my kids to eat school meals–not at £2 per child per day (that’s £20 I simply don’t have) and we can’t get them for free, because we’re not ‘on the dole’. I suggest, before churning out the tripe you film, you come and spend a day in my world. I’m so cold I can’t feel my fingers as I type this blog about poverty on a computer bought for me by a friend. I will let you sit next to me and we’ll laugh at how you can see your breath misting in the air above my charity-shop desk. I’ll show you which needle is used to stitch a hole in the toe of a canvas trainer. I’ll make you a coffee, but only if you don’t have sugar–that’s a luxury we only buy in if we’re going to make a cake. You can help me scrub some of the mould from the walls, before it takes over the house entirely.

    We can do all of that. Then, maybe, you’ll realise what poverty is.
     
  3. big ron

    big ron Nude inspector

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    Awaiting RBs input.
     
  4. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    She's right to point out that it's not just those on Benefit Street. Living in Brighton (my choice) I was super poor. Not having enough shampoo until payday is a reality those who never face that kind of thing ever think happens. A yes Jamie Oliver is painfully out of touch, as are great swathes of the media.
     
  5. Indie

    Indie Great Tits IN THE SNOW

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    I have sympathy, absolutely, for the woman. Not really sure how it's Jamie Oliver's fault though. Don't like it? Don't watch it.

    Also "because it’s embarrassing to have to pay with coins" is the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard (today)
     
  6. Kate

    Kate she's for the streets BITCH

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    I don't think she's saying it's his fault she's poor... he just triggered the piece.
     
  7. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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    I don't give a fuck about paying with coins. Although I'm more of a fan of depositing them all in the coin machine at HSBC.
     
  8. Sharla

    Sharla The Resistance

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    Battery hen eggs and value brand peanut butter? Not just poor, poor and COMMON.

    But she is exactly who food banks exist to support, hopefully she'll be advised that her kids won't be taken into care if she asks for help. Pride can be as debilitating as cancer, sadly, as I know too well from my own childhood experiences of poverty.

    And can any of the teachers confirm when the working poor's children stopped being eligible for school dinners? I've worked with people in minimum wage jobs who qualify.
     
  9. Kate

    Kate she's for the streets BITCH

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    Doesn't bother me but I can understand how paying for your dinner in 5ps, then waiting for the cashier to count them all, holding up everyone else in the queue is not ideal.
     
  10. Indie

    Indie Great Tits IN THE SNOW

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    No, but why say anything about him then?

    I suppose it draws more people in to read it.
     
  11. Kate

    Kate she's for the streets BITCH

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    I would imagine that free range organic eggs are a BIT of a luxury when you have £45 to feed a family of six for a week.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  12. Kate

    Kate she's for the streets BITCH

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    She's using him as an example of how well-off people haven't got a clue what it's like for poor people and shouldn't act like they do.
     
  13. Indie

    Indie Great Tits IN THE SNOW

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    I'm sure that a lot of well off people, including Jamie Oliver, don't have a clue about what it's like to live off a shoestring budget.

    But the audience target for his shows isn't people who are living off the breadline and it doesn't pretend to be. It's a silly target to get angry at.
     
  14. Kate

    Kate she's for the streets BITCH

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    The particular show she mentions was supposed to be for people on a budget. Jamie's Money Saving Meals or something
     
  15. Penelope

    Penelope SMIRKING LESBIAN MOON

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    I've always been a bit mortified every time I've had to pay for a shop in silvers and coppers, counting them out in front of everyone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  16. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    It's a bit infuriating that she doesn't confirm which benefits she's entitled to/surviving off. It would be helpful to understand.
     
  17. RobotBoy

    RobotBoy BANG BANG

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  18. That One

    That One User

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    I think she sounds a right cunt and I don't believe a word of it.
     
  19. Sharla

    Sharla The Resistance

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    About the author

     
  20. Sharla

    Sharla The Resistance

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    This is one of her responses to the comments on her blog

    Lots of kind people are offering their support and giving cheap middle class recipes from that Jack girl.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  21. That One

    That One User

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    Why would she not be entitled to any disability benefits if she's so ill she can't even get out of bed some days?

    How fortunate for her though that not being able to work has allowed her to pursue her lifelong dream.
     
  22. RobotBoy

    RobotBoy BANG BANG

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    I don't really get how she considers herself as too ill to work. She IS working. Writing novels demonstrates a far better work ethic than I possess. Good on her. I hope it starts making her money soon.

    The article, and the contempt for Jamie Oliver, who has never as far as I'm aware pretended that he has a solution to poverty, is completely misjudged and overly ranty. She was dealt a shit hand and she can't afford luxuries as a result. At least she is still alive and no doubt received absolutely fantastic life saving healthcare, free of charge. We have so much to be thankful for in this country but we all just moan that we can't afford loads of expensive material possessions.
     
  23. Kate

    Kate she's for the streets BITCH

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    :D Are you ACTUALLY Katie Hopkins

    Perhaps no-one is willing to give her a job if she has no way of knowing whether she is going to be able to get out of bed on any given day until she wakes up that morning. Self-employment is presumably the only way.
     
  24. Sharla

    Sharla The Resistance

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    If that's the case then she'd be able to claim benefits, although she might have to go in for one of those awful assessments for them to see just how ill she really is.
     
  25. Sharla

    Sharla The Resistance

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    This woman's facebook page seems to have been hacked by someone posting lots of homoerotic soft porn.
     
  26. VoR

    VoR #Justice4JLo

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    Isn't that essentially the same argument that people use against gays who want to get married.

    "You already have so many liberties. Stop asking for more and be thankful you don't live in Uganda".

    Also, making any kind of living from writing novels is extremely unlikely. It is nice that she can find time between coping with what sounds like a horribly debilitating illness and trying to feed her family on a hugely restricted budget to do something she enjoys, but I'd hardly describe it as a dream job.
     
  27. VoR

    VoR #Justice4JLo

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    I also must have missed the part in her essay where she moaned about not being able to buy a new flatscreen TV.
     
  28. Slave

    Slave User

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    I felt a BIT mean for saying it, but she wouldn't have anyone banging on her door for the licence fee if she didn't watch TV. Personally, I would probably go without food for a week in order to watch Eastenders, but I know a lot of people now and indeed when I was growing up who managed perfectly fine without a TV - and they weren't even in situations as dire as the one she makes out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  29. VoR

    VoR #Justice4JLo

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    Oh COME ON!
     
  30. Sharla

    Sharla The Resistance

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    When someone suggested she got rid of the TV she had this to say.

    I do agree with her, although she's made it clear she needs broadband to be able to work as a writer, so she could ditch the licence and stream everything legally.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  31. VoR

    VoR #Justice4JLo

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    What a SELFISH MATERIALISTIC BITCH
     
  32. Slave

    Slave User

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    You don't have to "go without" though. There ARE ways around needing a TV licence if things are THAT bad, which absolutely don't deprive you of a range of services (on-demand, catch-up TV) that would entertain kids. Well, that's assuming she has the internet.
     
  33. Slave

    Slave User

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    Anyway, I really don't think the TV licence is the crux of the issue. But I'm sure she'd be grateful of an extra £12 a month.
     
  34. Penelope

    Penelope SMIRKING LESBIAN MOON

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    Are we really at the point in society where we're expecting people to just be happy with their lot if they've been dealt a shit hand and resenting them having access to BASIC ENTERTAINMENT when things are shit just because it could get them an extra £12 a month?

    YOUR POVERTY ISN'T PURE ENOUGH, WHY ARE YOU COMPLAINING
     
  35. Penelope

    Penelope SMIRKING LESBIAN MOON

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    Yeah, things could be worse, but is the idea that objectionable of making things for people at the bottom slightly better, or making the conditions for welfare that bit less stringent? Heaven forfend we pay a SINGLE PENNY MORE in tax to make life that bit less shit for someone!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  36. Penelope

    Penelope SMIRKING LESBIAN MOON

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    Have you not heard about the whole ATOS test thing? Being able to walk across a room and raise your arms above your head is sometimes enough to clear you as being fit for work if your disability is physical. They aren't the most understanding of tests at all.
     
  37. Slave

    Slave User

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    I'd just like to point out that I don't actually object to this lady having a television and a licence fee.

    I was merely highlighting that if she's going to raise the fact that there are bailiffs banging on the door for her licence fee money as one of the stressors in her life, there are ways to make that go away. And they don't mean she has to sell her TV or deprive herself and her family of access to the content.
     
  38. VoR

    VoR #Justice4JLo

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    I love how once again we're reducing to picking holes in a single case rather than looking at the bigger picture.
     
  39. Slave

    Slave User

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    Well, yes.

    I'm not entirely unsympathetic to this woman, as it may come across.

    However, I think the thing that maybe makes me a little unsympathetic is the contribution that her own self-pride has to the rather bleak image she paints. The whole thing about the fact that she won't consider food banks because she was raised not to doesn't sit easily with me when there are kids involved.

    I totally agree with her that there IS a stigma surrounding benefits and food banks, but if your kids are suffering, surely sometimes you just have to swallow your reservations and look into those sorts of things. It might only make a fraction of a difference, but when you're counting out coins to buy basic food, I think it's very difficult to justify that your pride is worth more than a meal for your kids.
     
  40. Penelope

    Penelope SMIRKING LESBIAN MOON

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    Oh, it was more of a general point - I only mentioned that in particular as you raised the point. It's definitely become a real noticeable trend the last couple of years in the rhetoric around all this that people at the bottom are being criticised for having *anything* remotely nice ('you have an iPhone on top-up credit and are poor? WELL UNLESS YOU SELL IT YOU CAN'T BE THAT POOR THEN AND HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN'), without any consideration that actually, when life's that shit, having one or two things like that are one of the few things that makes being poor as shit tolerable, and selling that so you could temporarily have an extra £100 isn't really that appealing.

    Yeah, constant absolute 'starving everyday' poverty is thankfully pretty rare these days, but since when did that mean we should just be totally happy with how things are and not want to improve things for people in relative (but still really shit) poverty in general, rather than boiling down everything to individual cases and 'this person could have done this/that', which pretty much buys into the myth that everyone can have a happy life and live fine if only they just try a bit harder. Which is utter fucking bollocks under a capitalist system really (and I say that as someone in favour of capitalism as a system) - there will always be people at the bottom in a capitalist society, there will always be people doing drudge work, there will always be people unemployed. What's so wrong with the idea of making the lives of people in that situation a bit more tolerable?
     

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