Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Election Selection

David Cameron is determined to interrupt my naptime. This morning was my first lie-in in nearly a week and I was particularly anxious to get plenty of rest today as tomorrow I intend to stay up all night watching the election results come in. However, Cameron has other ideas. In a last ditch attempt to secure my vote he has sent out an army of canvassing leafleteers to shove economically narrow-viewed propaganda through my letterbox. 

My letterbox is currently fastened shut with blu-tac in an attempt to stop it banging metallically against itself in every gust of wind. Our postman has been informed of this and happily re-secures it with a firm tap before whistling his merry way upon his round. But Cameron's faceless minions do not stop for a friendly chat. No doubt they have targets to meet. They hurriedly thrust their glossy lies into my life and leave me to the torture of the arrhythmic clang. Should I rise, pyjama-clad, unlock the door, fasten the letterbox, relock the door, pop the propaganda in the recycling and return to bed? I'll give it an hour, see if the wind dies down. 

The Conservative Party have no chance of getting my vote but they have secured the support of local hotel group that I shall call LIA (For those of you who like riddles - LIA is an easily solveable caesar cypher) in case any of what follows is libellous: 

The 'Beaches' hotel on 'Eerlham' Road
The LIA business model is to buy up hotels and remove all the features that make them pleasant environments and providers of local employment. When they took over the Beaches Hotel (sic - still worried about libel) near where I work they removed all the curtains and replaced them with whitewashed windows for that really classy look. They sacked all the onsite staff, replacing receptionists and night porters with keycode panels on the exterior and room doors. They stopped doing food and drink altogether. Breakfast chefs and waiters and bar staff all laid off. 

The resultant unstaffed hotel was cheaper but unpleasant. I started getting miserable looking customers coming into the pub invariably wheeling hand luggage. They would complain (to me - remember there is nobody onsite to complain to and they would repair to the nearest pub to wait for the manager to answer his mobile phone) that they could not gain entry using the keycode panels or that when they had finally gained access the rooms had not been cleaned sufficiently by the zero-hours-contract cleaning staff employed by a separate company. One guest showed me a picture on his phone of a healthy crop of toadstools that he claimed to have seen growing in the corner of the shower.  "Staying at LIA?" I would ask. "Can you recommend anywhere else nearby?" they would plead. "Sorry," I would reply, "LIA own all the guesthouses around here, now."

And then the prostitutes moved in (not just hearsay, here is the Eastern Daily Press report). With rooms for rent for as little as twenty pounds a night and no staff it made a logical and hopefully a safe base for them. I doubt these were young businesswomen keen to take economic advantage of their bodies for a short time in order to fund a better life. There is a good chance where there is organised prostitution (according to the article a woman was arrested and cautioned for controlling prostitution for gain) that there is some amount of exploitation going on.

This all actually happened. It is not some convenient metaphor for Britain under the Conservatives. But the owner of the LIA group has plastered his hotels with Vote Conservative signs and I deplore what he has done to the local hotel economy in the name of profit. And I deplore the ideological choices the Conservatives and their Liberal partners have made in the name of deficit reduction. 

Who gains?



   

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