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Election fever has started in the UK. Much akin to the people who put out their Christmas lights in October, the real “keenos” have been putting up their posters, haven’t they David Cameron, in preparation for the big day. I remain sat in my bah-election mood exhilarated by the prospect of the smarmy one, the getting in touch with his emotional side one, and the other one. Only joking Nick, I don’t want to be accused of political bias. Well, not yet anyway.

Labour's Gruesome Twosome, Brown and Darling

Politicians are voted for by people who formulate an opinion based on a 6 month popularity contest, thus making the posturing and bravado a very important part of modern politics. There is an added emphasis on this 6 months because the past 2 1/2 years has been all about the Blue Team basically being a Government in waiting, however now that we are getting down to the business end of the political cycle more people are beginning to realise that maybe they don’t want the baby faced assassins taking control of the economy and that maybe boring Brown drab Darling are a safer pair of collective hands.

But Brown and Darling have had their chance surely? Brown’s vision for the UK started in 1997 and 13 years later we should be in a better position than we are currently. Brown was the Chancellor who failed to bring in more transparency for investment banks that resulted in the UK being hit by one of the most severe recessions in recent times. Now before you frog march down the street with your Brown OUT posters we have to consider the alternatives.

Cameron and Osbourne – Sounding like a Jermyn Street tailors these two have consumed over £250,000 of private school education (inflation adjusted) but are very keen to be men of the people. Cameron wants to be your mate, he’s trying to manoeuvre himself in to a them and us position. Them being the big bad incumbent Government and him the people’s champion. In reality he’s just plastering pictures of his very smooth face up and down the country telling people he is the change you want to see in the country

Vince Cable, he's not young but is he able?

Clegg and Cable – This Lib Dem

Duo sound more like local tradesman than Jermyn Street outfitters. The Lib Dems have impressed many people and seen a rise in polls as voters become disillusioned with the main two parties. However that’s hardly a banner upon which to launch your election campaign, “We’re the least disagreeable of a distinctly average bunch of alternatives”. Old Vince Cable had a good showing in the live debate of the chancellors elect and really showed himself to be a safe

pair of hands, but has he got the legs for a long and stamina testing campaign trail? And more importantly the lasting power to bring in the changes that would be required to fix the Economy?

In all likely hood the Lib Dems are not in the picture to take over power but the potential of a hung parliament puts them in a very strong position to make a significant impact on the future Government. But after the “We agree with Nick Debate” he must be wondering if there is even more available than the decider in a hung parliament. I for one will be steering clear of all the madness though after finding out my vote has 7 times less influence than the average voter in the UK.

I’ve had a bit of a sledgehammer to the conscience recently whilst reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, the level of oppression that he and Black South Africans faced beggars belief. Even before the apartheid the oppression existed in very real yet much more “manageable way” for the ruling government. Black South Africans were thought of as savages and mentally unable to do the same things as white South Africans, and the only way they could “develop” was according to the ideals of Europe and already developed nations. The Apartheid brought with it a whole new level of oppression that squeezed and restricted the rights of Blacks even further.

This attitude to develop our way or suffer is a form of oppression that still exists today. The interruption of developed nations actually serves to slow down development. I am not trying to regurgitate existing arguments about foreign aid ruining, it is more the hypocrisy of giving aid and then expecting crippling debts to still be repaid. We didn’t save the banks in the financial crisis by giving them bailout funds, only to then charge them unmanageable levels of interest. We give this foreign aid as developed countries but are not prepared to remove the crutch (the debts) that makes the poor countries reliant on us.

Why developed countries choose to maintain this economic crutch is morally inexcusable, as it often comes down to things like access to cheap raw materials and cheap labour. There is a real economic advantage to keeping the poor poor for the rich. Now to a lot of people this will sound like a lot of socialist and almost communist nonsense, but my arguments are not for that but for a balance in consideration of the hardships that developing countries have been put through by rich countries. The UK would not be the country it is today without it’s Empire, the extraction of raw materials and use of cheap and often enslaved labour of its colonies played a pivotal role in our economic development. And now we play a pivotal role in theirs.

Economic factors like those come hand in hand with the social factors and often it is difficult to separate the two, Mandela talks about South Africans believing that they were just second class citizens and that was just the way things are. Social oppression creates and maintains this stigma; making it difficult for change to occur. Mandela mentions his own struggles to get on in a white man’s world and how he tried to change his fellow South African’s opinions about the way they should be treated. Now there aren’t many “colonies” out there that are still under oppressive regimes at the hands of the British, however there are still plenty of former countries around the world, especially former Soviet states, that are in that situation and whose people are still denied basic human right. And who, although being technically free of their imperial rulers, are still very much debilitated by attitudes that view the people as inferior citizens (think Chechens and Bosnians).

I will be mostly using this blog to write down my journey from internet enthusiast to internet whizz. I’ll shall be reading and reviewing internet literature as well as researching topics that other people may have already covered but trying to offer insight that is not always obvious to the layman my self. This blog will try and filter the information that I try and take in to the most useful bits when trying to take your internet knowledge from beginner to confident user.

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