FOR you, what are the big issues at the heart of next month’s UK general election? For many, they’re immigration, the economy and the NHS.
But what we’ll inevitably see will be politicians talking at voters about their pet issues rather than debating policy amongst themselves, let alone listening to what Joe Public has to say. None of the mainstream parties speak for a majority. None speak from a position of strength because the mainstream’s exhausted and resorts to slogans and sound-bites.
They’ll all be on the defensive about one issue or other: the Tories about immigration and the NHS, Labour about the economy while the Lib Dems have the ingenious idea of improving any government by blocking the other parties’ policies.
Well, let’s look at one of these issues from Joe Public’s perspective: immigration. Recently we learnt that 40 illegal immigrants are detained every day thanks to the ‘hostile environment’ the Government’s created.
What’s meant by ‘hostile environment?’ Immigrants are detained and invariably released, so back to business as usual? Perhaps they’re detained in an asylum centre with beds, showers, food and leisure facilities too?
Some have indeed had a hard life in their native countries. But wouldn’t it be better if they stayed and sought change there?
Otherwise those left behind genuinely seeking change have less of a say. Anyway, isn’t this the point of the UK’s foreign aid programme (itself due to outstrip the defence budget within 15 years, the UK already the world’s second largest aid donor)?
The UK can’t continue being the world’s destination of choice. As a lifeboat, it’s already beginning to sink under the weight of these arrivals. Something’s got to give otherwise everyone goes down.
We, the voters, can’t offer a handy cut-out-and-keep guide for the next government. Quite reasonably, it’ll view taking advice from Joe Public a bit like taking parenting advice from Britney Spears.
But our response to this is simple. If illegal immigrants can’t be deported immediately (it’s their Human Rights, stupid!), then threaten employers with very heavy fines, if necessary close their businesses. At least that would stop them employing illegals and help curb the flow.
But the most effective deterrent of all: withholding benefits? Sorry, still a pipe dream…
Yes, the parties talk a lot, but are they saying anything?
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca.