Welborne, The General Election, And Why We Can’t Trust The Media

Weekly please Mister Woodward.

Weekly please Mister Woodward.

On the subject of the proposed Welborne development – 6,000 new dwellings to be constructed on a greenfield site – this will be Café Spike’s final eve-of-election foray into this territory. We have a few things we’d like to say before we close the book on this subject and get back to posting a mix of comedy and articles which we think you may find interesting. We hope that as you read this article you’ll consider having a look at the other material our site has to offer. We mainly set out to entertain and amuse, but being based in Fareham we feel it appropriate to express our opinion over Welborne and local politics.

It’s pretty much a given that the Conservative party will take Fareham’s seat in Westminster, with Suella Fernandes as our representative in Westminster. Ergo, as surely as night follows day Welborne will become a stark reality Along with that will come the increasing burden on our infrastructure, with additional pressure being piled on our NHS, traffic chaos, agency jobs, a less than vibrant town centre, and essentially a future not as a community in our own right; just a dormitory community for London and other large centres in our area.

Which begs one to pose the question: Why is Fareham such a safe Conservative parliamentary seat?

We can afford Welborne, we can afford nonsensical traffic “solutions,” we can afford to do things like install pedestrian crossings a few yards away from an existing crossing, (Think Highlands Road) we can afford to charge extortionate parking fees, we can afford to have our town centre homogenised into a clone of every other town centre, totally devoid of any trace of local character, populated my multinational chains that most of us have no interest in using…and on and on.

But we can’t afford to keep our roads in good shape, we can’t afford to have weekly bin collections, and we can’t afford to fully inform our own people about proposed developments which will have far reaching effects on the lives of the people in our community.

Surely there’s something wrong somewhere? So how does this happen?

In fairness, most people who vote in general elections vote in order to influence the bigger picture – the national picture. People vote for the government they want because they feel that by doing so they’re doing what’s best for the country as a whole. Which is what makes this election crucial in our constituency, because the bottom line is that a Conservative vote will deliver Welborne. Thus local and national issues become inextricably entwined.

There are going to be people from this borough torn between their local and national political overviews, which is an unhappy situation.

Which is where I come clean and nail my underpants (stains and all) to the mast.

I was brought up in a safe Labour seat, and I could never see the sense in that either. People would vote Labour in spite of the evidence that their town was spinning into freefall decline everywhere they looked, but they seemed insanely oblivious to what was going on around them. So why do we vote blindly? Why do we take the safe option?

The media. That’s the simple answer.

Readers of the Times, Sun, Mail, Express, Telegraph and viewers of Sky News tend to vote Conservative. Readers of the Mirror tend to vote Labour. Guardian readers tend to be left of centre but seem to be too busy plucking fluff out of their navels to be arsed even voting at all. My point is that voting trends are heavily influenced by the media, whether we like it or not. Even the Independent is supporting a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition. So it isn’t actually as Independent as it would like to think.

Media owners have a vested interest in whoever may be incumbent in Number Ten, because they want to protect their wealth, maintain their power and influence, retain their virtually zero tax responsibilities and drop the odd crumb here and there to make Joe Public feel like he’s getting a fair crack of the whip.

If you think that’s a biased assumption, it might pay to remember how Ed Miliband was relentlessly ridiculed, how the media twisted the public perception of the Labour party into one of a paedophile/grooming gang sympathising nest of vipers, how Nick Clegg has been castigated for selling his party down the river, when the reality is that having entered into a coalition agreement he had little say in the matter. And what of UKIP and the Scottish Nationalists? I’m no lover of UKIP – I detest extreme right wing politics as much as I detest extreme left wing politics, but the smear campaigns against Nigel Farage and Nicola Sturgeon carried out by the media have reached pantomime proportions. It’s out of control, and people can’t seem to see beyond that.

Yet the Conservatives – despite having the worst record of any government in a century – are somehow looked upon as our saviours?

What we’d advise is that when you vote, you vote for the candidate best equipped to do the job you want them to do. Matters not if that be Conservative, Lib-Dem, Labour, UKIP, or Independent. What we’d say is to go with your heart and mind and vote for what you truly believe in, the candidate who wants to work for the community, and not what Rupert Murdoch or any other media mogul tells you to do, because they don’t give a damn about you, or your loved ones. It’s all about the money, the power, the megalomania.

As I said earlier, as of Friday our elected parliamentary representative will be Suella Fernandes – that’s a given. Some will be unhappy about this, and many won’t even realise what it actually is that they’re voting for. They’re just going to put the cross where they always have done. Which is precisely why we have safe seats. People don’t know any better. They aren’t thinking for themselves. They’re letting the media do their thinking for them because it’s easier that way.

And with that, Café Spike will back off with the serious stuff and get back to doing what we usually do – which is quite frankly just silly. But no sillier than the lies we’re all drip-fed on a daily basis.

Use your vote wisely.

Martin Shuttlecock.


How Do We Solve A Problem Like Suella?

Taking the piss out of the electorate since 2010

Taking the piss out of the electorate since 2010

With an election looming ever closer on the horizon, and with many residents of this fair borough feeling isolated and left out of the decision making process which we loosely describe as ‘democracy’ we here at Café Spike would like to pose a few points for consideration.

There has been a wellspring of well intentioned cynicism directed at our Conservative candidate, Suella Fernandes, in what is essentially a safe Conservative seat. Essentially, the local populace have viewed Suella’s selection as a candidate with deep suspicion, probably based on the assumption that her mission purpose is to get the thumbs up for the Welborne project with full support from the local borough council, and that our prospective member of parliament will take very little interest in local affairs once the deal is done.

The truth is that we have no way of knowing how Suella will interact with her constituents post election. Setting aside personal interests, and the way Suella has apparently closed down any kind of interaction with constituents who have criticised her on social media – given the depth of feeling – maybe it’s time to take a step back in order to assess the situation.

On a personal level, a massive development project has its pros and cons, so here at the Café we have no vested interest either way. Suella has been brought in to achieve an objective. She’s been drafted in to get the Welborne project up and running – but she shouldn’t be castigated for that. She’s just doing a job, and she can’t do that job without the approval of the electorate. It’s up to us. The bottom line is that we either give our approval to Welborne or we don’t.

I’m going to digress here, and I’m going to do a little bit of straight talking.

Today I attended Queen Alexandra Hospital with my wife. She had cancer surgery early in 2012 and a subsequent CT scan showed up an anomaly. We’ve had the best treatment and care that anyone could hope for, and all we can do is be thankful that we have the best doctors, nurses, surgeons and staff anywhere. Today my wife had to have a more intensive scan – a CT/PET scan.

We got the best treatment and the best staff we could wish for. But there was one disturbing aspect – the scan was conducted by a private company, presumably one who sends the bill to the NHS. We can only assume that tax payers’ money used to pay said bill also pays dividends for the private company concerned. We could be wrong, but the alternative makes no sense.

Make no mistake – your vote on Thursday will have a resounding effect on all of our futures – and no, before you start harrumphing this isn’t a fucking party political broadcast.

If you vote for Suella, you’re voting for the most deceitful, incompetent government in a century. (Research the figures, this is not political spin.) If you vote for Suella you’ll get Welborne, and on a higher plane you’ll get increasing privatisation of our treasured NHS. You’ll also get minimal workers’ rights, the most vulnerable in society targeted and basically the same bum deal, lies and spin you’ve been subjected to for the last five years.

Do we have a political objective here at Café Spike? In a word, no.

I’ll come clean here and freely admit that being born and brought up in Lancashire, my politics do lean slightly towards the left. I saw first hand how Margaret Thatcher destroyed communities and introduced the welfare culture so despised by so many Conservatives today. Yet they were the party who founded it all – and somehow Thatcher has achieved a status approaching sainthood amongst the Conservative faithful.

This won’t go down well in this constituency, but vote for Suella and you will get Welborne. There will be no turning back.

I’m going to vote Labour, but I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to do so. Labour are no different to the Conservatives – they’re all career politicians and all completely out of touch with ordinary people. I’d rather be boiled alive in my own urine than vote UKIP, and the Greens are just stark raving bonkers. The Liberal Democrats in this area have quite a good reputation, and their councillors do a good job, so maybe that’s the alternative. It’s a point worth pondering.

In closing, what I would say to the electorate here in Fareham is, don’t vote Conservative if you don’t want Welborne and you want QA to be available to take care of your health needs.

I appreciate that most voters in Fareham are dyed in the wool Conservatives, but Suella and co really aren’t about to do you any favours at all. They’ll deliver all right – more housing, more strain on the already creaking infrastructure, more traffic jams, more chain coffee shops, a diminished NHS, higher taxes and more benefit cuts.

And Welborne – Mr Woodward’s ‘legacy’

It’s in your hands. Suella is just doing a job.

Martin Shuttlecock.