Thoughts on politics from behind the sewing machine

french sticks at 50p Day two of extreme linen bodies sewing draws to a close. Got more done today than yesterday, as I finished the cutting for the outer layers of linen, and then did the sneaky sewing machine version of pad stitching for the lining layers after dinner.

I did all this while musing on things like politicians and the price of bread.

Ed Milliband embarrassed himself by not knowing how much his family spends on groceries weekly. Is it £70? Or more? Later on he tried to say that that was the basics, fruit and veg, which opens up a whole batch of other questions. And one set of reactions that I heard to this was that it’s ridiculous to expect the leaders of a country, doing important political type stuff, to have time to shop and know how much things cost.

No, it isn’t.

We ought to be capable of sharing the work around so that everyone has time to actually live. There is no reason that any one person is so important that they haven’t got time to take time off. And the people at the top should know that more than anyone, as people who are overworked make bad decisions.

Also, the politicians at the top absolutely should know how much they are spending on their own day to day living. If they can’t understand how that works for the vast majority of the population, they are again going to be making decisions that hurt so very many people. I think this detachment is what causes the current government to be able to make decisions that just wipe out people’s support system, because they do not understand, really understand, feel inside them, what that means.

They don’t understand not having a family to run to to bail you out. They don’t understand not being able to walk into another job if the one you’ve got falls through. They’ve no clue what it means to send in 40 applications and get no response, to walk home five miles to save the bus fare, as the one thing you’ve got on your hands is time.

I don’t want this kind of situation to continue. I’ve read through all the political leaflets that I’ve been sent, scoured political websites, read analysis, followed people on twitter, thought about it all and discussed it. In the Euro elections, I’m voting Green as being the only party who actually have a coherent, positive vision that they are fighting for. I don’t agree with everything they stand for – the home education section of their education policy has disturbing overtones of Badman – but they are anti fracking, anti TTIP, for basic income, and it seems to me, for individual responsibility and against corporate excuses.

That will have to do for now.

Basic income. What will it take for that to become a mainstream, properly discussed idea? How do we get people to value people, instead of constantly looking over their shoulders for someone coming to take away what they have?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. And I’m out of words and ideas to sway anyone further on it tonight. Open to suggestions, in the usual place.

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 14 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

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  1. I saw the clip of Ed Miliband and the weekly shop, and it was pretty mortifying. It underlines everything anyone has ever said about how out of touch politicians are. And you’re right, he should know, and he should have time to know. Another great post x

  2. Good points.

    It always amazes me that Politicians are meant to represent the people, yet (particularly the Conservatives) have a history of not knowing the basic cost of things are…. like milk.

    I think they should all have a week operating like the ‘secret millionaire’ where they really have to go back to basics and survive on a pittance. Some of them will freak out after being in a comfortable Fulham flat for years…

    … don’t get me started.

    The trouble is, the more we pay them, the more elevated they become!


  3. I could not agree more – you have summed up exactly how I feel.
    I live well on 40-50 pounds a week for 4 of us. I do not understand how you need more than 80 for basics, when I get everything for much less.
    It’s a sad state of affairs when the people making decisions don’t know how we all live.
    Great post, you have said exactly what I think xxx

  4. Politicians should be more in touch with everyday people and how they live their lives.

  5. Politicians should understand the people, scrap that, they should also represent the people, and also…be them! We have a number of local parties run by local individuals who I truly believe do know the value of goods, they know how hard it is to raise a family and live their lives as ‘normal’ families can – but they are not in power.
    Do politicians get corrupt as they climb the ladder? Who knows.
    All I know is that the people that I had in front of me to vote for – staring up at me in black and white on the ballot paper – they do not represent me. They do not stand or me, or understand our needs, I don’t know what the answer is. But your post shows just how we feel.
    When will there be an alternative?

    • Jax Blunt says:

      Maybe only when we find a way to have a democracy and a media that doesn’t rely on cash and lets ordinary people be properly involved?

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