Voting

There’s so much politics going on in the world. But what’s worrying in a lot of these elections is the idea that if a party lose they won’t accept the result. Clearly there are some states and countries where elections have been rigged. This is usually in dictatorial states where the regimes never change and the results come out with votes for the incumbent party getting more than 90% of the vote. Places like Russia, China or North Korea spring to mind.

What is more important than some form of fair elections? Free and fair must be the goal.

But recently accusations of stolen elections have occurred in countries where ballots have been normal and peaceful. If the incumbent official lost they generally accepted the result, but not any more. Like spoilt children they cry out ‘its not fair’ , or ‘he cheated’ its almost like leaders have temper tantrums. Weird conspiracy theories are thrown about and as humans are great at storytelling there is a tendency for some of these accusations to stick even where it has been proved that no corruption occurred. There are even attempts to change the rules to disenfranchise some voters.

So where now? People need to be grown up about it. Stop pretending that vote have been miss cast. Allow the real majority to take the chance to rule, and let’s have some sanity. Lying to the public and causing violence and disruption and distress is clearly wrong.

Boris isn’t standing!

A cartoon I did of Boris Johnson while I was doing my Illustration MA. I wanted to discuss the underfunding of arts at school.

Anyway after a couple of days of conjecture and speculation it turns out Boris Johnson has decided not to stand for Conservative leader and Prime Minister again. When I heard the new I actually whooped with joy!

His Conservative backers, including Jacob Rees-Mogg were saying he definitely had 100 MPs supporting him (the threshold was raised from 20, which it was for Liz Truss). So what has happened? Could it be he’s had a change if heart, or maybe he realised that there Ed too many things adding up against him? So it is now likely that Rishi Sunak will become Prime Minister although there is another candidate. We do live in interesting times….

Possible power cuts

As the Conservative party in the UK try and decide on a new prime minister there is talk of power cuts in the winter so that there will be enough energy to go around. The talk is about it being cut for three or four hours each afternoon. This is madness! If we need to save energy there should be advice on what to reduce, either by reducing the flow rate on combi boilers, or discussing the merits of part cooking food in a microwave or a slow cooker, or even advising on the energy efficiency of heaters. Of course some of this is moot because if you can’t afford to put your heating on in the first place you can’t make that choice. So, we wait and see who is the next leader, but what about the population who have not been offered the choice?

Elections?

Votes early, vote often?

Reading a friends blog about the mid term elections in the USA it made me wonder about the whole thing. I posted this response to her post:

Interesting news on the ‘tinternet’ I keep seeing videos of what people are up to in different states but I saw one where republicans who include some ‘oath takers?’ will be guarding ballot boxes, especially between midnight and six am, to make sure no one tries to put lots of votes into the boxes… An extention of ‘stop the steal’? And they said they might carry guns!! Weird, is this democracy? No pun intended.

I seem to be getting more and more commentary about the elections, but in a way I’m quite interested, I know it’s none of my business, but there are so many world issues including war and global warming and climate change isn’t it about time the world’s largest democracies had a grown up and serious discussion about the whole world instead of soap opera style politics.

New Prime minister

Our new Prime minister is a woman. She is choosing her cabinet at the moment which is very diverse. That’s great, but most of them are her supporters. Where are the people to quietly tell her that her ideas may be wrong? Sycophantic behaviour is not good for running a country. There are dictators who have yes men telling them their ideas are wonderful. But at this time of crisis we need people who are serious about changing things, taking sensible decisions rather than populist policies that grab headlines. I know I’m being political, but sometimes you have to say something.

Things she needs to deal with: inflation, cost of living, the environment, national health service, climate change, social care, crime. Who would want the job?

New prime minister (PM)

Our PM is finishing tomorrow. Another PM will replace him. He or she (probably she) is being chosen by 160,000 Conservative party members not the British electorate. We might have a general election until next year or the year after. Our old PM has been found to have lied and broken laws. His popularity meant his party got an 80 seat majority in the 2019 election and are changing electoral boundaries to make it difficult to defeat them. It also seems Scottish voters may try and go for independence making it virtually impossible to get the Conservative government out of power.

I think of our PM as a Trump mini-me. He even thinks he can get back in power! The new PM will probably be Liz Truss. She does not seem to know what she is doing. It seems the rich and entitled rule. The rest suffer.

Cartoon I did last year of our PM as a schoolboy, I was protesting the lack of support from his government of the arts.

My city

Should it be steamrollered?

I just wrote this reply to a local Councillor who has explained that a court case against the owner of a listed building in the city has been postponed again. The sections in brackets have been added later to explain the situation.

“Having seen the report on Midlands today (a local TV programme) about zero tolerance to owners that are letting the cities heritage deteriorate (including buildings being set on fire) I find this very disappointing. I’m also concerned about the councils proposal for Spode. (to partly demolish it and build a large amount of apartments on the site). I’ve put in an objection. The idea that places should be partly demolished goes against the cities heritage. Surely there could be sympathetic restoration like along the canal between Shelton and Etruria (two bottle ovens have been restored and incorporated into a housing scheme) or let places be rebuilt like at the black country museum? (a large industrial heritage museum in Dudley, West Midlands) Instead we get the headline of a twelve million pounds black hole in the city finances and the prospect of more cuts. Is this levelling up or just levelling the city? (levelling up is a bidding system where cities try and get funding for specific work granted by central government). I came here over forty years ago and the place just gets worse!”

It seems that industrial heritage is not wanted in thus country. We should use funds to restore buildings, but making sure they are carbon neutral, instead we seem obsessed with ‘growth’ despite the damage that can do in a world of dwindling resources.

History being made.

The debate over politics continues. Boris Johnson has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party but remains as a caretaker Prime Minister for the next three or four months while his Members of Parliament decide who they want to select as their new leader. Several ex ministers have been suggested and some have even said they will stand. This will be the fourth Conservative Prime minister in six years. They have been in power for twelve.

Why write about this as an artist? Because things are getting worse not better. Cost of living, less rights, more poverty, poorer education. We keep getting told things are getting better? Really, I do wonder?

Ukraine suffers

Ukraines South-eastern area is now being bombarded by Russian heavy artillery. This includes thermobaric weapons that when they explode create a vacuum to suck all the oxygen out of the air and then burn it in an intense fire. If the Ukrainians are not burnt or blown up they can be asphixiated by them. They are also using something called Thermite. This is a chemical mixture that is sometimes used to weld steel. It burns at high temperatures and destroys what it hits. The images look like massive rains of fireworks but they are deadly. If you pour water on it the stuff burns even more.

Russia, the Russian army, I mean. Is continuing its cruelty to the civilians of Ukraine. The country of Russia is not under threat. They are not being bombed back to the stone age. Russian troops are now facing war crime trials. One soldier has already been found guilty of killing a 62 year old man by shooting him in the back of the head. He has been sentenced to life imprisonment. But it is their leader President Putin who is leading this evil. He should be bought to justice. We will not forget we cannot forgive!