Saturday, 23 May 2015

Election 2015: Vandals Never Win!

How best to sum up the unexpected UK general election result?  Bermondsey’s newest graffiti ‘artist’ did the job in six words: No More Homes For the Rich!  In vandalising the perimeter wall of a local churchyard containing arguably Bermondsey’s finest building, this local thug exemplified the politics of blame and envy that caused England to say ‘No’ to the ideological indulgences on offer from some political quarters.

St James' Church, Thurland Road, SE16 (Photo taken by @LondonAye)

Not content with defacing public property, Mr or Ms Graffiti-Artist also daubed their motto on a nearby residential property.  But, unbeknown to them, their six short words say so much about how not to win an election...

Webb Street, Bermondsey SE1
Let down working-class people at your peril

Class war does nothing for the poor.  It's failing schools, a welfare system that promotes dependence and a broken housing market that denies local-homes-for-local-people that harm the life-chances of people in Bermondsey.  Have the highest of expectations of ordinary people, and provide them with services and opportunities that transform families and create genuine social mobility.

Don’t be selfish by playing around at the fringes

Damaging other people’s property with spray-paint scrawl is extremely selfish.  So is indulging in far-Left or Right wing dogma, playing games with politics while poor and vulnerable people suffer - and you stay in opposition!

Include everyone

Our society works best when we value others – including the rich.  Aiming your political message at your core vote, alienates others.  Demonising others does nothing to foster community cohesion.  Build more homes for the rich, those in the middle and yes, for the poor.

Create an aspiration nation

Most Brits would love to be rich (or at least comfortable).  Failing to appeal to people’s aspirations, hopes and dreams is like denying our inbuilt desire to prosper and succeed.  Home-owning wins votes, as much as apprenticeships and training programmes.  Thankfully, the politics of envy and entitlement was given the heave-ho on May 7th.

Say it like it is - listen to what ordinary men and women think

Bland, autocue politicians appeal to no one – neither does ignoring the views of working-class people, whether on immigration, nationhood, the EU, housing or schooling.  Cutting tuition fees for the middle classes is not the top priority for most ordinary people in Bermondsey.  Taxing the rich into oblivion doesn’t help anyone either.

It’s the economy, stupid!

Earn the public’s trust on the economy.  If you’ve spent too much, say so before the election, not the day afterwards.  

Tank at Pages Walk, SE1
Are they learning?  It seems not.  For they’re still at it: sniping from the sidelines; excusing economic failure; refusing to accept responsibility for past mistakes; promoting policies that sound good but achieve little for those who really need it.  Bermondsey people need politicians who will call a spade a spade.

So, thank you Simon Hughes, for 32 years of dedication. 

And, congratulations to our new MP Neil Coyle -

stand up for everyone in Bermondsey, and you’ll do alright.