In yet another nauseating attempt to bribe target voters, Jeremy Corbyn wants to promise free bus travel to the under-25s if Labour wins the next election. The stated excuse for the bribe is that “young people deserve a break” and the move will help them “travel to work, to study and to visit friends” Corbyn is to announce.
There is a proviso, of course, and the free travel scheme will only apply in areas where local councils bring buses under public control or take on franchises. Needless to say, unless local councils run by other parties agree to fund the deal and help Labour out with its election promises, we’re really talking about free bus travel for the under-25’s in Labour-controlled council areas.
‘Young people deserve a break,’ says Jeremy Corbyn.
And everybody else?
Has it ever occurred to Jeremy Corbyn or his Labour election planners, so busy fawning over special interest groups and bribing those they think might vote for them that what they’re really doing is saying “f**k you” to everybody else? Because that’s the reality of it.
I’m sorry but I’m sick to the back teeth of politicians offering special treatment to anybody they think will vote for them. Free bus travel for the under-25s? How about the rest of the population? Don’t enough of us vote Labour?
My father is 57 and currently unemployed, having seen the company he worked for lay off the bulk of its staff. Once considered a typical Labour voter, working mostly in factories that have since moved to the far East, and then high street shops that have seen their customers sucked in by out of town shopping centres and supermarkets, he can’t afford to travel.
Living in rented accommodation which he moved in to before losing his job, he receives income support. He gets £70 or so in unemployment benefit and Basildon council pay approximately £560 a month of his £900 monthly rent. Presumably, they expect him to use £340 a month of his £280 unemployment benefit to make up his rent shortfall, persuade someone to supply him with free gas and electricity and obtain free food from somewhere.
Are people on benefits expected to steal?
I’m sure there’s charity that helps people who don’t have money for food somewhere in Essex, but he doesn’t have the money to travel there to fetch it, and in any case it’s probably all reserved for claimants who also have kids.
He hasn’t had his own home since he divorced, or earned enough to get one. He admitted years ago that he was never going to be able to save enough money for a deposit as he barely earned more than he needed to live. He’s now close to getting evicted from his apartment because he can’t pay the rent. Neither myself nor my sister can offer him so much as a bed, so he’s up a gum tree there. As far as the local council is concerned, he’s not a housing priority, being a single male of working age, so they’ll refer him to a bench in the local park when the day arrives.
He has an old car, worth maybe £500 but can’t afford to insure it, so it’s off the road now. He might be lucky and be able to sell it, but he hasn’t managed that yet either. Luckily, he has a mobile phone, a basic non-smart phone, but only because I took over paying the rental for him. I wish I could afford to do more.
With nowhere to store his furniture, he’s going to be forced to “sell” it (effectively give it away) on ebay, or leave it out on the street until it has all been stolen or ruined. Without any cash savings, he won’t be able to rent another place because he won’t have the money for a deposit. If he’s lucky, he might find someone willing to rent a room to someone on benefits, but he hasn’t found one yet. Most of the available rooms in the area are being offered out by youngsters who don’t fancy sharing with someone close to pensionable age and the rest have nice big ‘no benefit claimants’ warnings.
I think he now qualifies for a half-price travel card by virtue of having been unemployed long enough, but that counts for bugger all if you can’t afford half-price!
Bribes, not change
But Jeremy Corbyn can’t see beyond political dogma electioneering. If you’re one of his target voters, he’ll promise you the earth. Just don’t expect genuine, meaningful change.
Britain has the most expensive public transport system in Europe. Prices are totally insane. You can buy a used, polluting diesel car for less than a long distance train ticket and still have change for tax and insurance.
Politicians of all parties spout the same bullshit about wanting to cut pollution, encouraging people to use public transport and helping the poor, but the only thing that ever happens is prices go up, standards come down and unions make people’s lives a misery with strikes.
By all means nationalise the railways and buses (it didn’t work out well last time, with unions able to blackmail the country every time they fancied a pay rise) but let people use them for seriously affordable prices. Give everybody earning less than £40k free train and bus travel, with no ifs and buts. Give people a proper reason to use public transport, don’t just talk about it.
But that’s never going to happen. With so much money wasted elsewhere and so many bribes to pay, there’s never enough money left to do anything else. So politicians just stick to ‘caring’.
Mr Corbyn, your refusal to deal with the real problems that affect people outside your interest groups is bad enough, but when your electioneering includes plans to spend around £13 BILLION on bribing the under 25s to vote for you, do you know how it affects me?
It makes me want to vomit.
Contributed by Jamie
Author notes: My name’s Jamie and I live on the fringes of East London (or in Essex, depending on how old you are) and work in a busy call centre selling telecoms services for a pretty well known company. I don’t like my job and I don’t earn a whole lot, which means I’m no different to anybody else.
I’ve voted twice in my life but gave up when I realised all politicians are the same – self-interested hypocrites who’ll say anything if it gets them elected. These days I’d rather vote for the Kray twins or the Loony Party.
I believe people should be taught to stand on their own two feet and not spend their lives living in the state’s pocket, but also believe that if the state is going to help those in need, it should do it properly, not just go half-way. Just like repairing half a road, or sanctioning half an operation never helped anybody, pretending to help never helps.