Mandolins and the 0.2 percent

For complicated reasons, this is a bit of a rant. If you are offended by rants about politics, you may want to read other, more entertaining posts, like the last one I posted with fictional rules for tea duelling earlier in the week. I can’t say I blame you if that’s the case, go off and enjoy yourself…

Okay, for everyone who didn’t run to the hills let talk Mandolins… Yes I know I said politics, I’m getting to politics, but we have to start with Mandolins. Mainly because I just bought one, an electric Mandolin to be precise, with a dark read/ black sunburst sound box, mahogany fret board, polished chrome fittings, its a beautiful thing…

Here it is on my mantlepiece, next to my drinking horn. Isn’t it pretty…

Now here’s the thing, of the drinking horn and the Mandolin there is only one of these items I have a hope in hell of using properly. I hands made for pit shovels and quaffing, which is like drinking but you spill more. I have big hands, and thick fingers. Not the kind of fingers you need for delicate fretting. So while I bought a Mandolin, I did so in the full knowledge that while I might wish to learn to play it like the troubadours of old… I am more likely to tune it for a slide and hack at it on occasion for larks and giggles.

That said, as both my guitar amps are apparently shot and need some TLC, I tried it through my Bass amp and by the gods the low roll of thunder had a quality of awe to it…..

The point being, I can’t really play any of the guitars, and assorted other instruments of that ilk, I have around the house. They spend most of their time gathering dust and my owning them is the epitome of frivolous. Yet I have a large collection of such things to which my beautiful new mandolin is but the latest addition. So you may ask, why do I buy them?

The simple answer is they make me happy, they are good for my mental health. I like having them around, in much the same way I like living in what is effectively a library these days. The more complex answer is because I am lucky, because unlike many of my friends and people I know, I have no real debts except a small mortgage, and through the day job I earn more than I need to live, and have few aspirations to move to a bigger house or buy a faster car. In short I have a reasonable proportion of that mythical thing oft referred to as disposable income. This allows me to buy musical instruments I can’t really play because they look nice…

It also allows me to spend my money supporting good causes both in terms of charities and individuals though things like patron, Kickstarter campaigns and occasionally whimsy’s like buying them a coffee, or just buying books and other things… In short, while I chose where to spend my money, I try to spend it in the cause of joy, both my own and trying to bring a little joy to others.

I would be also equally happy if I had a little bit less, because I paid a little more tax, if those taxes went to things like the NHS, and decent wages for working people who aren’t moderately well off in the way I am. I wrote on that subject a few elections past, just after I had bought the cherry red Epiphone guitar which is my pride and joy (and deserves an owner who can actually make it sing rather than me). My argument then, much like now, is that the reasonably well off can afford a little more tax. The rich and company’s like amazon can afford a lot more tax, but the reasonably well off can afford a little more too. I’m not talking about taxing us into oblivion, but if I had to put off buying a new guitar, or electric mandolin by a month to save up rather that just buy it impulsively, that would not be a terrible thing…

Surprising as you will doubtless find it my impassioned plea to tax the reasonably well off a little more fell on deaf ears that time round. The Tory party was duly elected and kept right on blaming the problems of the poor on the poor… Giving tax cuts to the rich and the reasonably well off who are their base…

In the next few weeks the UK will get a new prime minister, who will be in power for almost two whole years before they face the electorate, as the next election is likely to be in May 2024. Certainly with the Torys flagging in the polls, but sitting on a huge majority, they are not going to rush to have an election early. So our new prime minister is going to be chose by the 160000 members of Tory party. Which in case you are wondering is where the 0.2 percent in the title of this blog post comes from.

0.2% of the population of the UK will chose the next prime minister and while I can not say for sure I suspect the majority of the 0.2% are people not entirely unlike me, in that they are fiscally secure and of a certain age. There however I suspect the similarity ends. I doubt a single Tory party member is going to elect anyone who would increase taxes on them for the benefit of the masses. I suspect they will look to their own interest and expect ( and get, which they have ) candidates who don’t care about the poor and the working classes, or about the middle classes struggling in an increasingly hard economy.

This is not an election for the soul of the country, this is an election for who gets to keep on punching down, and keeping the masses in place, and the better off better off.

So what’s my point?

Well there is an argument to be made that I could do better things with my money than buy musical instruments I can’t play just because I like to have them around. I would argue that I already do just that, but its not an unfair point.

However, I think there is a much bigger argument to be made that the governance of a nation and its leadership on the world stage should not be decided by 0.2% of that nations population.

Now all that said, I’m off to play my new Mandolin badly and not read the news for a while, because playing the mandolin badly will be good for my mental health in the way thinking about the tory leadership constant will not be…

This entry was posted in big questions, blogging, depression, humanrights, humour, pointless things of wonderfulness, politics, rant and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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