March 21 in the UK is Budget Day. UK Coalition Chancellor George Osborne will present to Parliament a budget which should be fair and aimed at encouraging growth in the UK. He will not be able to please everyone of course. Already there have been various sections of the UK demanding such changes as a cut in fuel duty, scrapping the 50p wealth tax and more. Those who live on a tight budget will be hoping that there are a few scraps left on the table for them too. With a pay freeze hitting UK Public Sector workers but an ever increasing cost of living, some belts are being tightened beyond belief. The latest news that parts of the UK are experiencing a drought will add to increased grocery prices in shops.
Yesterday March 13, 2012, David Cameron, wife Sam and Foreign Secretary William Hague hopped over to the US for a jaunt. Now you could say that they have gone on a much needed political visit to debate some of the World's woes. Well if that is the case how come Sam needed to be in tow? Surely with a family at home she should be there caring for her children like most women in the UK would have to. Sarcasm has to be the order of the day today.
David Cameron has already given some thought to tax breaks for working women who want to build a career. The tax break would come by way of a break for employing a domestic to clean your home. In the same breath though an increase which would help the lowest paid workers has been ruled out. The "domestic" tax break was considered as a positive to encourage more women into careers. It simply went a way to prove how out of touch Cameron and his front bench are.
Whilst the US may foot the bill for Cameron's State Visit to their country associated costs to the UK will be high. Security and the like will end up costing what to most people is a small fortune. Whilst World leaders must by nature meet at times they should be acting more wisely in the current climate. Modern conference calls and the like minimise the need for expensive visits. Perhaps they need to be talking secretly, doling deals behind closed doors, where there is no chance of being overheard?
Add to this the environmental damage caused by limousines and Air force One flights and you could feel like throwing in the towel.
One fact sure to rankle some is the fact that David Cameron is not the Head of Sate of the UK. He is not even the leader of a majority government. To this Republican that does not matter but it will to some around the World. It will seem a snub to other leaders and in the UK may seem that way to Royalists.
In general the "word on the street" as far as the UK goes is that America, or rather President Obama and his politicians want something. Could it be Syria? Could it be Afghanistan? Could it be Israel, Iran, Pakistan or any one or more of a long list of problematic countries? One thing is for sure, it will cost the UK. If that is the case money will flow as if it was going out of fashion. Strange that isn't it. For a country, namely the UK, that has financial woes of its own money is always there when it suits.
Then again perhaps President Obama wants to reaffirm the US/UK strong bond to help his 2012 election campaign? That would seem odd to this blogger but could it sway some US voters? Perhaps the President is simply being ill advised by his inner sanctum?
No matter what your political affiliation, if any, though the ongoing waste of money by politicians must gall. They continue to follow that childhood adage of "do as I say not as I do". Does that mean that they think we are all children or should that be sheep?
Europe is in ruins yet frivolous EU meetings continue. World economies crumble but the G8 continues. World leaders jet around the World with no thought to the environment. Need I go on?
Whilst the Occupy Movement may not have it right it is easy to see where they are coming from. Disenfranchised youngsters tend to go one way or another. They either just give up or become politically active. As such expect to see an increase in extremist groups and extremist views. Occupy should be the least of any governments worries. More worrying will be a rise in the extreme right or fascism. Sadly that has already begun in some countries.
If you have managed to read this far where do we go from here? It is hard to say. We should all remember waste and more come voting time. However do we really have any better alternatives than our usual bunch of politicians?. Many in the UK will say no, having a non minority government in power currently.
However governments such as the UK Coalition should see the "writing in the wall" as they say. The government needs to get its act in order and lead by example. British people are sick and tired of watching the shenanigans in Parliament. The politicians involved have often had one or two glasses of wine or beer in the Commons bar, paid for in part by the UK taxpayer. This must mean that their work is frivolous and not important? After all how many other occupations would allow alcohol during break times.
So President Obama, David Cameron, Stephen Harper, Angela Merkel, Nichoas Sarkoxy and the rest of your gang start to LEAD BY EXAMPLE. You owe your people that much at the very least. Shame on you all!
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog