Until recently, I’ve been dreading the election. For most of my voting life I’ve been a LibDem (or whatever they called themselves at the time) supporter but after Charles Kennedy was given the boot for being a bit too fond of the home-brew, their policies began to drift away from my own views. So for the past year or so, I’ve been listening to what all three top parties have been saying and consequently started to panic.
I’ve tried to keep an open mind during this time but it’s been hard. I grew up under a Tory government and felt (along with the majority of the British population, I expect) completely and utterly screwed by Thatcher and her band of evil weasels.
And going by the plane-grounding clouds of sulfuric, pumice-filled gas emanating from David Cameron’s mouth (don’t let anyone kid you that it’s fallout from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano), I don’t believe that the Tories have changed much since then. Thatcher’s greed culture is already showing itself in Cameron’s anti-Labour speeches about a “…class war on aspiration…”. Is he so ignorant of the fact that an enormous percentage of the population don’t share the Tory view that success in life means earning (or acquiring) more money than they can possibly spend and paying as little tax as possible? The Tories are only banging on about class because they know it’s still very much in existence and that as there’s far less of ‘them’ than there are of ‘us’, they have far more to lose if people vote within class boundaries.
But my favourite bit of David Cameron’s agenda is his aim to cut ‘waste’ in public organisations. Anyone who has ever worked in a company of any description will know that cutting said waste usually ends up with the company spending more money than it saves and that it’s really just a game involving figures on a spreadsheet. Funny how he fails to mention the impact this waste-cutting will have on all the people who will lose their jobs. And their families. And the services and retailers who rely on their custom…
As for Labour, I feel their intentions were once fairly sound but they seem to have become increasingly distant from the people who voted for them when they won the election back in 1997. Perhaps this is what happens when a party has been in the top seat for so long – they all become institutionalised politicians, forgetting what it’s like to be a ‘real person’. It might go some way to explaining the fraudulent behaviour of those MP’s involved in the expenses scandal – and parliament’s ‘Scullions’ who encouraged such antics.
So back to the LibDems – certainly not perfect but, in my opinion, still the best of a bad bunch. Until the TV debate the other day I was facing the dilemma of whether I should vote for them or vote tactically for a party that I have little respect for in order to ensure that the other lot don’t get the job. Now, thanks to his performance (but not to his Jackanory-worthy anecdotes), the media are getting all excited, saying Nick Clegg is ‘almost as popular as Churchill’ and that the election is now going to be a three-horse race.
So let’s assume – based on past experience – that the majority of promises politicians make during election times are just spin or, at best, wishful-thinking. No-one knows what the future has in store and taxes will go up if needs be. Cuts will be made if needs be. Besides, isn’t it the Civil Service who run the country anyway? (I’m guessing here that Yes Minister was based on some pretty sound research). And if that is the case, does it really matter who gets the big chair?
If not, I suggest that we all take a risk and follow David Cameron’s advice to ‘Vote for Change’. Not Tory, not Labour but Liberal Democrat.