"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Friday 8 May 2015

The 2015 Election

On 7-8th May 2015 the voice of the people was heard giving Cameron a Tory majority government, in what has been a surprise to everyone, including senior Tory politicians.  

With all seemingly unhappy with what the Tory led government has done since 2010 - nurses, doctors, teachers, students, police, lawyers, migrants, British citizens and residents with non-EEA family, EU citizens, the poor, disabled, vulnerable - why have voters given the Tories a clear mandate to govern, something they didn't do even in 2010?

I believe it's more to do with what the other parties did than what they Tories did.

Lib Dem supporters felt betrayed by the party opting to form a coalition with the Tories in 2010 when the natural and expected ally would have been Labour. (Incidentally, a Lib Dem peer admitted to me in 2013 that Lib Dems had gotten in bed with the wrong partner.)  This error was compounded with the introduction of student tuition fees.  Lib Dems copped all the blame for this, despite it being a coalition decision and amongst all the broken promises made by all the parties, this one remains the most high-profile.  Nick Clegg apologised for this again and again and again, but the loss of trust was too bitter a pill to swallow.  The Lib Dems were expected to keep the Tories from pushing through exactly these kind of policies.

Labour tried too hard to adopt a Tory-like stance, abandoning its traditional voting base.  Taking family immigration rules as an example, they were passed through parliament with barely any protest from Labour, failing completely in what I think the role of Opposition should be.  In doing so, Labour accepted they were, as accused by the Tories, of being too relaxed on immigration.  Rather than be taken in by the anti-immigration rhetoric whipped up by Tories and UKIP, Labour had the opportunity to take a moral stance and stand up for the positives of immigration; point out more forcefully our economic woes were not caused by immigration but a global financial crisis.  Labour preferred to cower in a corner and say sorry, reinforcing Tory propaganda (oh Lynton Crosby, you evil genius!).

The line between the main left and right wing parties became so blurred that voters were left with the choice of wannabe-Tories in Labour or the original Tories.  With the latter at least you got what it said on the tin.

Cameron has apologised for nothing, not even net immigration (a target which is an own goal if ever there was one) which has soared under his leadership, despite it being one of their flagship policies.  No apologies for the record need for food banks. Instead of apologising for dividing families, Cameron praised his party for cutting non-EU migration.

My biggest peeve with Cameron though is not just that he refused to take part in the debates, but that each time he did take the podium, he referred to 'my disabled son' in a shameful exploitation of his deceased child.  Surely he, his wife, his other kids who are alive have also benefitted from NHS despite not suffering from cerebral palsy?  Why then use the example of his deceased child?  He'd have earned some respect if like the other leaders, and like he did with his other kids, he didn't use his dead child for political goal scoring.

In a nutshell, Tories won because they remained true to their values (loose definition) whereas the other parties got scared and betrayed their traditional voter base; Tories apologised for nothing, whereas the others constantly said sorry even for things they should not have been sorry for.  A voter therefore would have been left with the feeling that whoever they voted for, the policies they'd get were inevitable - why not vote for the party being up front about what they would do?!

Tories will understandably take this result as a mandate from the people to continue to implement their manifesto promises.  Scrap the Human Rights Act resulting in uncertainty for those who are in UK on grounds of human rights, outside of the immigration rules.  An EU in-out referendum to come, though unlikely to impact those already in UK under EEA regulations - but who knows whether the application will be retrospective.  The very vivid image I have of Theresa May rubbing her hands in glee at the prospect of being able to divide more families and 'finish the job' is horrifying.  But whilst we are the proverbial turkeys who voted for Christmas, there are still things we can do to.

Budding Surinder Singhers may wish to exercise treaty rights and move to another Member State to be with their family soon if feasible.  We must keep a close eye on the MM case, still awaiting permission for a hearing in the Supreme Court which I hope will be granted soon - perhaps the courts were waiting for a decision on the election despite the application being for an expedited hearing.  We need your support in our own legal challenge of the ADR rules.  Everyone in the country to try and come to the now traditional demo outside the Home Office on 9th July.  Children, posters, banners and family all welcome. Details here (Facebook account needed)

With so many people voting for parties other than the main two, it's a warning for all politicians to not become complacent; a case has been made for the need for electoral reform and a move away from the first past the post system.
So contact your MP - congratulate them but make them work for you.  Even let the party you would normally have voted for but didn't, know what they need to do differently to re-win your support come next election.  Maybe in 2020.  Hopefully sooner.


  1. I agree with many of your statements and sentiments, however do not allow yourself to be misled, Britain is a fully signed up member of the EEA (European Economic Area), this is quite separate to our membership of the EU (A Dictatorship), so when Britain votes to leave the EU Dictatorship, we will still have the following.

    The EEA Agreement provides for the inclusion of EU legislation covering the four freedoms — the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital — throughout the 31 EEA States. In addition, the Agreement covers cooperation in other important areas such as research and development, education, social policy, the environment, consumer protection, tourism and culture, collectively known as “flanking and horizontal” policies. The Agreement guarantees equal rights and obligations within the Internal Market for citizens and economic operators in the EEA.

    "The EEA (European Economic Area) provides for the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital throughout the 30 EEA Nations. The following countries are in the European Economic Area: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK".

    1. My view is that those who want us out of the EU do so on the basis of not wanting free movement, which as you point out is still a part of EEA. What do you see as the advantage of being part of the EEA but not the EU? You're still effectively bound by much of the EU rules but just dont get a say in them a la Norway.

  2. Is MM case in Supreme Court ??

    1. I asked a member of the legal team last week - apparently still waiting for a date.

    2. Thanks for the info Sonel !! When is it expected

    3. I was expecting it months ago! It really should be soon now. I'm thinking courts are clogged or maybe they were just waiting to see what the election result would be. If Scotland based, the Mirza case gives a lot more hope though for anyone impacted from there IMO.