It was interesting to hear the UK Prime-Minister, yesterday, indicating he wanted to support pensioners (who represent the most significant voting group in the UK) and, unsurprisingly, that a similar spin came from the Opposition. So, the politicians are focussed on next year’s election and there will no doubt be a series of short-term initiatives over the coming months. This initiative was closely followed by an economic “doom and gloom” speech from The Chancellor, who indicated lots of budget cuts following the next election (I am not sure that tactic will win votes though) and, in the meantime, most of the country is floundering though some of the wettest weather any winter has brought us!
As one of the voters who the politicians are “chasing” I find the current views on what amount to important political issues very strange. There is no doubt in my mind that the weather systems of the world are starting to change (as predicted by those who have described the effects of global warming) and that the adverse weather we have seen recently will get worse, but the politicians do nothing to address this issue. This is a classic symptom of short-term thinking that governments are driven to by the nature of the five-year term (something that led previous governments to ignore the problem of pensions for the baby boom generation). It is clear that storm damage is already affecting the economy and that if things go on as they have been for the last few weeks that the total cost will escalate. This is a classic case of a need for a long-term scheme to improve infrastructure. It is no good the Prime Minister pushing blame, and who should provide solutions, toward local government, the problem of the impact of global warming needs to be addressed in many ways and one of these is to improve water management – this means solve issues of flooding as well as improving long term storage issues. This would represent an ideal opportunity for industry (the Water Companies) and Government to work together over a twenty year period. This would also be an unusual political gamble that would require the usual opposite views to be put aside and the main political parties to agree to discuss details in a constructive manner – something that I think might encourage young voters to vote!
So, stop trying to woo voters with short-term offers that have little or no real value and start to look like a truly altruistic Government. Bring the Opposition on board with the aim of creating a mechanism for long-term schemes to be financed properly and I for one might change the way I vote! Invest in the infrastructure of the country and strengthen the economy through jobs and reduce the impact of disasters.