Yes, I know, Christmas hasn’t happened yet, nor the New Year hangover and the credit card bill, but, very soon, whether we like it or not, in May there will be a General Election. Yep, just after Wales win the 6 Nations 😉 I wonder which political party will claim that as their victory?
OK, so why spoil things now? We’ll have plenty of time in the Spring to get frustrated, annoyed and disillusioned with the political class putting the boot into our oppressed Welsh nation, just like they have for the last hundred years or more. Well, I have a one-word answer – Scotland.
No-one could have escaped the hysteria caused by the independence debate in Scotland. Sixteen year olds voting, the terrifying prospect of North Sea Oil not being there to pay for America’s wars, a proposed pension fund for all people, social equality, high paid jobs, greater tourism, European currencies, ditch the Queen (and her fascist regime) and more whisky – oh, if only all polling days could be this exciting!
Well, they say a week is a long time in politics and so it proved to be last time around here in Pontypridd. Local ‘Marmite’ hero, and many people’s favourite to become an MP, Mike Powell, would have walked it. Should have walked it. But, we hadn’t banked on Clegg the Tory (Clegg joined the Cambridge University Conservative Association between 1986 and 1987), the posh, public school educated Deputy PM with Russian aristocracy in his family tree. Yep, he spoiled it for everyone who’d put their misguided trust in him and his party.
Those Lying Democrats! Breaking their promises on tuition fees amongst other things. And so, with one small step for his power-hungry ego (into a government coalition) here is one party that no-one will ever vote for again. Ah, but will we? Surely, ‘Ponty’ is about as far removed from Westminster dodgy deals as Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are from the real world. Although to be fair to ‘not Red enough’ Ed he did at least go to a comprehensive school in London.
OK, so back to ‘Ponty’. Kim Howells, artist, former Trotskyite and ‘massive majority’ former Ponty MP had Thatcher to fight for much of his career and so we all loved him (or tolerated him) as ‘one of our boys’ at least. And then came Owen Smith, our current MP, born in Morecambe, England, son of Dai Smith, Head of the Arts Council in Wales. Mr Smith, former BBC radio producer and worker in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry is also a keen Ponty rugby fan (can’t be bad)…
His majority was slashed last election to 2785. So what you might say? Well, the consensus of opinion on the streets, pubs and rugby club is this: if Mike Powell ditches the unelectable ‘Lib Dem tag’ and stands as an Independent he’ll win! No ifs, no buts! Shit! Really?
Well, normally this would be a two horse race, Labour donkey with red rosette versus local, outspoken underdog but, at the time of writing, the UK (and I include Wales in this) has been gripped by some sort of political fever that almost rivals that of the Scottish election. Yep, you guessed it – UKIP. The party that would raise the tax threshold to £13,500 for us ordinaries but would also allow fracking, more nuclear power stations and a lowering of the minimum wage! The jury is out on privatising the NHS (although we know the Tories will do this if voted in again).
Here’s just a few UKIP policies, just in case people were seriously thinking of voting for them:
- We would review all legislation and regulations from the EU and remove those which hamper British prosperity and competitiveness, i.e. lower the minimum wage
- Inheritance tax will be abolished – tax cut for rich
- We will introduce a 35p income tax rate between £42,285 and £55,000, whereupon the 40p rate becomes payable – tax cut for the rich
- UKIP supports the development of shale gas – earthquakes R Us?
So in conclusion, and assuming Plaid Cymru don’t get their act together I can see three nags heading down the final furlong. Question is do you vote for the horse or the jockey? Think about it.