Monday, 27 April 2015

The Writing on the Wall: Thoughts on the General Election

Southmead Hospital
It really makes me cross that the General Election is the only time when I feel like I have a voice concerning the important matters affecting this country. I keep hearing about how I can make a difference with my vote, how if I don't vote, I won't be able to help change things, but I am not sure if it's enough. The cross on the paper is all very well, but are the candidates really aware of what I am saying with my vote? I have been wishing for some time that I had a medium to be heard, some way to make the government listen to how life is on this side of the fence. It's not that I think I am more important than anyone else, the opposite in fact. It's not about me.

It's about the homeless I walk past in the street, it's about the queue outside the foodbank, it's about the friends who speak of their despair, because they can't earn enough money and they don't understand their Tax Credits award. They are petrified that it's wrong and they will eventually get a huge bill, because they didn't 'declare' that it was wrong, because even my local MP struggles to understand them!

So, here it is. My writing on the wall. It will probably never get read by anyone with an ounce of clout, or even importance (except you of course, you're important.) but I need to say these things, because I don't feel anyone in power is really listening and, if nothing else, I will feel better for finally saying them! I would like to offer an opportunity to anyone else who doesn't feel the government is listening, you are very welcome to add your own thoughts or rants in the comments. This can be your wall too. A wall for everyone, even if it is a bit small and maybe a little too purple for some tastes! Get it out there, it might make you feel a little better too!

As I sit here today, writing this, here are some observations I can't help noticing:

1. There is a four to six week wait for a basic doctor's appointment at my surgery.

2. There is a six month wait for a follow-up appointment after tests at our local hospital.

3. In far too many cases it is not possible for a man working full time to support his family without         Government handouts.

4. A single pensioner's heating allowance is now £50 less than it was five years ago.

5. Many students are afraid of what the future holds, because it is a struggle to find any kind of work, even after working hard and doing well at school.

6. Students are being denied the opportunity to go to university, because it is impossible to finance.

7. People on low incomes are being forced to pay full Council Tax, even though they have been assessed as being too poor to pay their rent, leaving them at risk of CCJs or even eviction.

These are my seven and I am sure other people will have their own, but in the interests of fairness, I have only talked about the issues I have had direct experience of. All of these, in my opinion, are issues that are wrong and, to a degree, fixable. There will never be a society that is perfect for everyone. There will always be elements of society that suffer more than others, but when you can work hard all day and still have to apply to the Government for a handout that could end up leaving you in thousands of pounds worth of debt, there is something very wrong with the system.

Is it possible to find someone who has the guts, determination, and common sense to make the changes that are necessary to make our NHS work again? Someone who can make it possible for a working man to earn a decent wage, without a zero-hour contract hanging over him? Only time will tell, but it is going to be a tall order for whoever takes the reigns after May 7th.

Interior of Southmead Hospital, Bristol
Southmead Hospital, Bristol 



  1. I think you should turn this in to a linky - I will do mine in a mo.... This is well written, and I agree with everything you say. I have often felt there should be a 'normal' person committee chosen how jurors are; to comment on important issues and make suggestions.....

    1. That is a brilliant idea! You could lead the committee! The people's PM!!

  2. my son has just asked what a coalition, I think the voting age should be higher.
    brilliant reading, as always x

  3. good points ---- i have an extra one. Carer's allowance.... i care for two kids 24 hrs a day with extra needs night and day, yet can only claim for caring for one. I cannot hold a job down for their needs... carers allowance is less than minimum wage. Yet as far as i can see nothing is to be done about this because of the deficit

    1. That's outrageous, Kate. You shouldn't suffer that way for doing the best by your children, it's a scandal!

  4. Excellent post Lucy. I find most people feel the same, its doesn't where you come from or where you live. It is not just during the election but in general. The problem is whoever takes control and wins can never give the people what they want or importantly what they need. Its easier to take from the poor, they have so little, losing a little more will make so difference.

    1. They also have no power to fight either. The people with money have a lot more influence, unfortunately.

  5. Great post - Enjoyed reading it. I agree with everything you say. The poor really suffer and I think one of the bad things is the bedroom tax. Some people have lived in the same Council house all there married life and then lost there husband or wife and the kids have left and then they have to suffer for it.

    1. Yes and also, no one can afford to move and there are no smaller council properties available, it's hopeless!


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