Well another election has passed and gone. No real surprises to me. It appears that the Britsh public had some angst against Tony Blair, but not enough to vote him out of a job, (I nearly said office then, going back to my time in Texas). A couple of the seats they lost were obvious protest votes and a few more were deemed to be as a result of the Iraq war. Labour either lost seats to the Conservatives, or the Liberals mainly. Now that seems an obvious statement, but my point is the Liberals didn’t lose many to the Conservatives and vice-versa. The Liberals did the best that had done since the 1920s and are calling themselves the new real alternative to Labour. Not quite in my opinion, but maybe after the next election it might all change again. The decision by Michael Howard to stand down before the next election was inevitable. The only people who voted for the conservatives were the old staunch supporters from many years ago. He didn’t appeal to the younger generation as much. They probably gained support from the business sector again, but only the big corporate guns. So now we have another Labour government for the next 4 years. I didn’t get to vote in the last election because we had just moved to Texas and were not around, or had a chance to vote by post. I don’t know if I will be better off under the Labour government or not, but I do know that the UK is fast going downhill. Our manufacturing industry has been torn apart by Asia (read China mainly). Offshoring of the main bulk of our Engineering jobs is climbing fast. We have some of the best engineers in the world in the UK, but when I can hire 4 or 5 engineers of lesser quality for the price of one UK engineer, greed takes over need. If I could leave the UK tomorrow, I would do so without looking over my shoulder. I don’t blame the Labour party for it, since they just happen to be the ones in power when all this is happening. No goverment would be able to stem the flow of our skills out of this country. It makes business sense to reduce costs and thats all you can say about it. Companies have to compete to survive and this is the only way we can do it. I don’t blame Labour over the Iraq war. I don’t think they handled the management of it very well, from the keeping the public informed down to the deployment of our forces. Yes, we were there supporting the US, and no, we wouldn’t have gone in if they had not done so. Yes there has been innocent lives lost, but in my opinion, more lives have been saved as a result. How quick we can leave Iraq will determine how many more innocent lives will be lost. Could you walk down the street and pay no attention to the innocent victim being mugged, raped etc? Would you walk on past and ignore the situation. Would you walk on past knowing that you could be the next intended victim of the attacker(s)? Someone had to go in and sort out Iraq. Whether the US and the UK acted legally in their actions, I don’t know. There will always be talk of War for Oil, how much of it was pre-planned. How 9/11 was just an excuse to go in and finish the job. No WMD’s were found, but does that mean that they never existed? What part did Syria and France play in this? Way way too complicated for the likes of me. In my mind, a dictator was removed and the people will be better off. I just want an end to the violence, and for our troops to come home. The Labour party will and should spend the next 4-5 years recovering from this. Let us hope that they also concentrate on getting this country back on its feet. Luckily, no BNP candidates suceeded in gaining election in the UK however they did atract a larger number of votes than ever before. Let us hope that the government see this as a warning that an increasing number of people are not happy with the immigration policies as they stand right now rather than the fact we are becoming a country of racists. Many people voted BNP on the immigration policy alone without considering the other darker side to the BNP. Let us not see a repeat of this next time. The Liberals need to add more detail to their taxation policies and give a clearer indication of what they would do if in power. In my mind they didn’t provide a better alternative across the whole board. They alienated the typical Conservative voter with the threats of higher taxation, but that didn’t really effect the bulk of the electorate. If the Labour party don’t clean up their act and seriously improve the status of the UK, I really believe that the next election will result in a hung parliment. The Tories have some serious work to do before they give an image of a party that could lead this back to prosperity. But I also believe that this will be increasingly difficult as Europe continues to expand and as more and more jobs transfer out of the UK. The only careers open to us before too long, will be defence based contracts that we could not really have carried out offshore. The service industry will be the biggest single employer within the UK. We will cease to be leaders in innovation. We are already seeing a rapid decline in skilled personel, which in my opinion started with the demise of skilled apprentiships. No longer are there non-service orientated trades where you have to serve your period of 5 years before you enter the work force. Already wages are falling nationally for the first time in decades, and they will continue to fall as the skill level required to work in the UK falls lower and lower. Software engineering will reduce to a level of support. Hardware engineering will reduce to a level of service. It makes me wonder what will we be known for? What will the UK provide? I reckon that in less than a decade, the UK’s greatest export will be its people, and we will be leaving for Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Americas etc etc. I don’t think any party elected will be able to control this, because they are not the ones in charge of businesses. My message to the Labour party would be, take the most of this chance you have been given, and get this country back on its feet. If you don’t, this will be your last chance for a very long time.