First of all, I'd like to offer a very warm welcome, and thank you for joining me for my very first blog!!!
My name is Karl Davis. I'm 30 years old, married, and I live on the south coast of the UK.
I am a train driver by profession, and a member of the Liberal Democrats. I am also a proud member of the train driver's union ASLEF.
I support Hull Kingston Rovers Rugby League team (expect to see mention of them here!)
This isn't just a political blog. I am somewhat new at this, so I will learn how I go along in terms of sorting through posts and generally keeping the place tidy etc...
I will be blogging on anything and everything really. I promise to keep it as clean as I can (the writing, not the page!) and to be completely honest. I will try (and often fail) to be funny and engaging, but that is, I am told, all the fun of the fair...
I have to say though, that politics does play a major role in my life, alongside Rugby, Music, Writing, and most importantly of all, my beautiful wife and our dog!!!!
Over the last few years though, my political allegiances have slowly shifted from what they once were.
I have in the past, been a member of the Labour party.
Unfortunately, I like many others, have become frustrated and disaffected with the way in which the party has closed in on itself, staring into the mirror, when it should have been looking out of the window.
Time after time, I tried to connect with the party, to try and engineer opportunities to discuss the inherent problems with Labour, not just with national figures, but also on a local level.
These attempts came to no avail.
The Labour party is, unfortunately, made up of a network of local parties, full of good people who are, in my humble opinion, let down by the party they devote their time and effort to, whereby these local activists and committed trade union officials are routinely sacrificed in terms of parliamentary candidature in favour of London centric members of the 'chatterati' who are more familiar with the bistros of Hampstead, and the Coffee Shops of Kensington etc, than the problems facing ordinary hard working men and women up and down this great nation.
Don't get me wrong. I would not go so far as to say that these people are 'bad' What they do represent though, is a subtle shift that has been allowed to happen over years whereby politics has ceased to be a vocation, and has now become a mere step on a lawyer's, or a political science graduate's career ladder.
Gone are the days of true ideological difference, that once drove the respective members of the 'mother of parliaments'
Now we have a parliament that is populated by, at least in the case of the Labour party, middle and upper middle class public school graduates who have no sense of what life is truly like for those very people whom they claim to represent. The saddest thing of all, is that the minority of Labour MPs who are truly committed to the cause of local representation and parliamentary democracy are labelled by their own whips and political bosses as 'extremists' 'trouble causers' and 'the usual suspects'
In the case of the Conservatives, we have a party made up of tax exiles, eton graduates, predatory business types and toffs, who have even less of an idea of what life truly is like than the failed Lawyers over on the Labour benches!
Again, not wanting to be misunderstood, I have no problem with graduates from eton and the like. They have just as much right to stand for parliament as anybody else. We do have to bear in mind though, that these people are incapable of legislating in the best interests of the poor and vulnerable, largely because they have never come into any meaningful contact with them!
The Conservative party, I am afraid (or pleased) to say, are falling for the same mistake that Labour did in the 90's. They were desperate to be elected, and were so hungry for victory, that they were ready to do or say anything, and they engaged the media in a commensurately 'proactive' way.
Cast an eye over the latest advertising campaign from Conservative Central Office, and you will see that the Conservatives are doing the very same thing. Hollow words, in order to win the keys to the increasingly hollow and irrelevant corridors of power
David Cameron is just as obsessed with style and spin as Tony Blair ever was.
The man comes from a marketing background. It is in his blood, it is his modus operandi.
It is what he knows.
Depressingly, the next election will be fought on soundbites, airbrushing, purile insults, and suit comparisons.
What we should be discussing is; Health, Education, Transport, The future of our financial services sector, true and meaningful political reform, the conduct of bankers, the issue of bonuses, the badly needed green economy, jobs and how capital projects can provide them, fiscal policy, pensions, etc etc etc..
What we need is a real, proactive, responsive and robust plan to turn the country around, cut the defecit, reform parliament and local government in order to make it relevent once more, revive democracy, promote business development, promote and expand public transport and improvements to the transport infrastructure, provide equity in the taxation system, deliver fairness and equality in the workplace, grow job opportunities by shifting the economic emphasis away from the over reliance on financial services, and install a new balance of fairness, justice, pride, and a sense of right and wrong.
I cannot see Labour, or the Conservatives offering anything that is going to do achieve these things.
I am, as I have said, a Liberal Democrat. I can see the need to put things right, by offering real reform, and by having the courage to take some unpopular decisions in the short to medium term that will benefit us all in the years to come.
I will be talking about Liberal Democrat policies in my blog. I will praise and publicise them when I agree, and I will constructively comment and criticise them when I don't.
We have a broad church of views with the party, and that is the healthiest way for any political party to formulate policy. Freedom from big money backers of all backgrounds provides freedom to think, away from commercial interests, and allows the formulation of policies that are in everyone's best interest...
We have the power to effect some real change on the democratic workings of this country. I just hope that by the time the election comes, people will have the appetite to exercise that power...