Political Apathy 8: The black post – proud to be locked by the force

AV or FPTP:  Over the last few days I have had several discussions with various  people on the referendum on changing the electoral voting system from  FPTP to AV. I have taken one thing from these discussions, there is a  very real need for a series of televised debates on this subject. A lot  of the people I’ve spoken to have no idea what AV is, no idea what FPTP  is and no idea which one of these we currently use. The outcome of the  referendum will effect every single general election we have from now on  and the facts need to be presented in a forum where people will  struggle to avoid them.

Cosmetics testing: You may not know that the European Union promised that from 2013 the sale of animal tested cosmetics would be banned. However, now the people who make the decisions want to push this back by 10 years!?! Forgive me for engaging smug mode here, but my MP, Caroline Lucas, had tabled an Early Day Motion on this subject before I even knew about it. The EU cannot be allowed to kick this commitment into the long grass.

Fuel  duty: I’ve read so much recently about fuel prices. Yeah, crude oil is  getting more expensive and yeah, fighting in countries like Libya is  going to make the price somewhat unstable, but get used to it, this is a  fact of life that is here to stay. As oil reserves run out, there will  be more demand and prices will increase. But what’s with increasing the tax on petrol? That’s just kicking folks when they are down, especially with VAT having been increased to 20%. I agree with Caroline Lucas that the government shouldn’t subsidize the price of petrol, but it’s wrong to suggest that not increasing the tax even further equates to a subsidy. I understand the logic, that the government could raise additional money from the increased fuel duty and could use this to ease the strain of the cuts in other areas, but it just doesn’t follow that this should come from motorists. Maybe some money could be clawed back from the bankers who are already back to getting bonuses, or companies like British Gas who are announcing record profits whilst insisting that record prices are beyond their control.

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