The blog of Laszlo Bokor

The blog of Laszlo Bokor

Thursday, 18 May 2017

I will never vote for the Tories - A local fairy tale

Hi again,

About two weeks after the local council elections, I have finally managed to find some time and to shed my thoughts on the thing, but projecting light only onto my local, Shrewsbury (Quarry and Coton Hill) area.

Sadly, afterwards the elections, we can see a massive increase in support for the Tories across the UK which is, on the one hand, is due to the decline of UKIP whose supporters migrated and then merged into the Conservative party; while, on the other hand, apart from a couple of small alternative parties, there is almost no large opposition. Labour has shredded itself to bits by its constant fight for its internal power, and although Greens and LibDems are not strong enough yet, they are slowly making their way up and, hopefully soon, will be able to provide reliable alternatives.

As a Hungarian-born and not-a-British-citizen, I do not always have the chance to take part in elections in this country. This is such a selective thing, sometimes I am allowed, sometimes I am not allowed to vote. When the opportunity arises, I am pleased to go to the polling station and cast my vote. I am, however, hard nuts when I have to choose among the candidates as I have all sorts of political beliefs and values, thus I cannot fully say that I support a certain party wholeheartedly. If I, however, have to put myself in a group, I belong to the ‘left’ and I would never vote a right-winged, especially a nationalist, party!

At the moment, almost a year after the Brexit referendum and just before a rapidly called general election, there is a funny political atmosphere in this country and, like it or not, the Tories are literally the only ones who can stand up as a cohesive whole who has supporters from all walks of life and from all around the country. No matter what and how they say, people will still support them. Do not ask me how and why people do that though, but I bet there is something to do with fish and chips!

So I went to vote on the 4th May and I was very much pleased on the next day when I found out that in my local ward, the Tory candidate, Arlinda Ballcaj, burned down to ashes - and there will be no Phoenix resurrection.

On the Unitary election, I voted Huw Peach, because I know him personally and he would have been a great choice for the area, plus he was running for Greens, which is literally the only British political group whose politics is the most appealing to me. I am not saying I agree with everything they say or do, I find them ‘too left’, but come on, there is no political party that could fulfill all your wishes. On the Town and Parish election sheet, I ticked the LibDems (I find them way too left too), voted for Nat Green. But what’s funny that there was no other choice! Nobody could pay me enough to vote for Arlinda Ballcaj (who was stood there smiling and posing with a blue-white conservative ribbon on her chest when I walked into the polling station), never, and not necessarily because she was representing the Conservative colours. I think she is literally just the one who wanted to get a nice, juicy position in the council.

I am a progressive mind, with progressive values who believes that the planet is in a constant change; thus we, the society, should be in a constant change too to adapt ourselves to the new challenges. Locking ourselves into the ‘room’ or following old habits does not mean we are safe and secure against global forces. This does not mean that I do not support some traditions and that I would not have traditional values. I have my own traditions and values. This just means that I am very aware that many of the human traditions are obsolete enough to hate them and they are not serving our life values in the 21st century (like the whale killing in the Faroe Islands - just because it is a tradition). But yes, some things, especially good, environmentally sound practices should be conserved. For me, however, conservatism in this country means conserving neo-liberal, capitalists values which mean produce more, sell more, buy more, do more, get more credits, own more, and more and more and more whatever… and, in the end, be more dependent. This is what traditional means in this country. And for me, this is what the Conservative party wants to preserve, hence to ‘conserve’.

I was born in Hungary and if there are citizens in this country who want to remain in the past and carry on doing what their forebears did, that is fine for me, but that will not give them refuge against the global flow of ‘anything’. What, however, I do not understand at all is why foreign-born politicians - just look at, for example, the local MP Daniel Kawczynski (born in Poland), a pro-Bexit knowledge knight, or here is again Arlinda Ballcaj (born in Albania) - join the conservative party in the UK and campaign for values that is not their very own? I think I can explain this though…

I am lying if I say I do not understand this at all, but every time I think of it, I conclude that these people are just pure opportunists which I personally find irritatingly hypocritical. Of course, when majorly conservative values rule Shropshire, a posh English countryside, where else on Earth you, as a foreign-born, would have better opportunities to get near power? It is really worth having a look at Arlinda’s campaign letter, as well. She randomly stops beside an ambulance car, saying “Fighting to retain hospital services in Shrewsbury” - what? The Tories fight for the NHS? Or stop by a random police van and “tackling antisocial behaviour” - really? Guys, I think you should open some more coffee shops in Shrewsbury town centre (that you are also fighting for) as the over 150 places where you can purchase coffee and other hot drinks do not seem reasonable for me.

In this country, especially in places like the countryside, you can achieve a great political career with repeating anti-EU rhetorics and what the countrymen want - especially if you are a foreign-born. But good to see that people in Shrewsbury are actually seeing through nonsense, as taking photos in front of things will not make you a responsible, credible politician, Arlinda, and, I think, your campaign leaflet and manifesto is one of the reasons that you failed on the 4th May (not to mention the horrendous image quality and graphic design). I personally have high hopes that David will also lose on the 8th June.

Rant over for today. I am glad that I had the opportunity to fight against the Tories in Shrewsbury.

~ Laszlo