| by Victor Cherubim
( April 29, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is no secret that the working class can make or break governments. Equally it is an accepted fact, that football supporters can remove their Managers.
The Working Class vote is declining quite dramatically not only in UK but also in Sri Lanka for Middle Class political parties, according to political analysts. This is a trend, they say – a long term trend, around the world, due to the current cost of living crisis. But is there more to it than meets the eye?
Intrusive questioning in personal living called the “Affordability Test” recently introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK for mortgage lending, has perhaps caused voter disillusionment or anger, This has resulted in a lending clampdown with Banks and Mortgage lenders delving into working people’s personal lives, from their plans for intimacy in parenthood, to how they will spend their hard earned cash in their old age.
Snooping on working people’s spending habits has been going on over time, but now their life plans have to be disclosed, which could incriminate them from social service benefit and could also affect their ability to meet mortgage repayments.
“Allocated funds” released to Banks and lending institutions by the Conservative/Liberal coalition in UK, for home buyers have been scuttled into the coffers of many institutions to add to their waning reserves instead of being used for lending to keep the housing market buoyant.
With the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) recently introduced stringent criteria for home buying for young working people is a readymade excuse for still further clampdown on lending. Is there a plan to keeping working classes off the property ladder as“Buy to Let” mortgages for the rich are exempt?
Alienated Vote Bank
The suggestion is that these very people who are earners, who are in jobs, don’t see their political parties as representing their interests. As claimed by the media, some sectors of the public may have been alienated, but the reality could be rather different.
The same may very well apply in Sri Lanka, where under the ruse of an independent candidate standing in the forthcoming Presidential election, the working class is being targeted by the media and social media with offer of “miracles” to take place to change the standing of the working classes.
We are told that an independent Opposition candidate could deliver more than the present incumbent, that the Executive Presidency can be overnight changed to a Premiership that this scenario is the best of all evils. Working people are perhaps been driven to believe, or could be that they are being driven up the garden path instead, on the basis that “the grass is greener on the other side”?
The “gut feeling” of working people
It is common to working people all over the globe that what is tried and tested is best. No one, doubts the intelligence of the “working electorate”, whether it be in UK or in Sri Lanka.
In UK, the United Kingdom Independent Party,(UKIP) is riding high at the moment in the estimation of pollsters, for the European elections in May. But working people are under no illusion that “promises, promises”, can hardly deliver policies for the betterment of the working class, without massive upheaval in their standard of living.
Similarly, in Sri Lanka, working classes are aware that with such an overwhelming majority in the present UPFA Government, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has not deemed to effect a change in our Constitution, perhaps for a reason?
“Experience v Expediency”
Executive Premier or not is a matter of timing, as many would agree. The vision propagated in Sri Lanka that “new broom sweeps clean, “but is it paradigm in politics?
A strong leader is needed after the near 30 year war to bring stability and development. We are being told by some news media that the vote of the working class is being siphoned off now in the hope that Sri Lanka is moving to a new era where expediency is paramount.We are being told that patriotism is bad for the country, that with a new President, our ills will melt away?
Social media archaeologists
Social media archaeologists are being employed to try and disillusion the working classes. It can hardly be conjecture that most ordinary working masses cannot be fooled with intimidation, or inducement, to accept a change in their circumstances without appropriate guarantees.
For to deliver progress takes time, takes courage, takes persistence and perseverance and things are not what they seem.