Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Keeping my head down

I've been trying to avoid the news lately. I can see how depressing this new government is going to be. It seems sorting out the nation's finances won't involve asking the rich and super-rich to cough up their fair share. A friend has been regularly tweeting how he's constantly pulled down by everything that's going on around him, that the world seems unremittingly bleak, run by evil people with no hope of his values - which I share - ever coming to fruition.

I did wonder if he was being a little melodramatic - after all, we're in for some hard times as we try to get our public finances back into shape, as I've talked about on more than one occasion. You can hate the Tories, but when it comes to the economy they seem more adept at running it than Labour, who - after all - are the reason we're in the mess in the first place.

I've been selfish recently - keeping my head down and concentrate on me and my family. That's mostly due to circumstance - the closure of PC Answers last September blew a huge hole in my finances which have so far been plugged to some degree by cutting back and getting the odd bit of lucrative work through the door. Plus, of course, with two young daughters, one of whom only started sleeping through regularly a month or so ago, I've been too knackered to pay much attention to the world around me. That bubble is a little stifling, but when you dare to pop your head up over the parapet the landscape is so depressing it's enough to drive you insane - unless you duck back down and turn inwards again, which I'm afraid I shall have to do.

Both Tories and Labour are dead losses, but what's the alternative? Some of the government's plans - sell off the forests, privatise the NHS by stealth and now turn this country into a tax haven (see Monbiot's latest exposé here) - will test my resolve towards the Liberal Democrats too. Will they meekly go along with these frankly hideous plans, or will they be able to stand up to some or all of them? I don't expect miracles, but if they don't at least try then I'm left with the option of finally following my conscience and turning Green. The problem there is that the Greens have no sensible plans for cutting the deficit and the debt, which means their economic competence (which like it or not you need) is questionable at best. So do I join the growing number of people who've opted out of politics all together? Is that why they stopped bothering to vote? Because no one truly represents them any more? Or will I have the courage of my convictions and at least turn up to spoil my ballot paper with a "none of the above" scrawl?

Of course, I could always consider emigration, but at what cost to my family? They're settled here, and I am too, but does that make the prospect of living under a series of incompetent or corrupt governments more palatable or not?

Best to duck down again, before I go mad.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Good lord.