Someone expressed surprised that I hadn’t blogged about the election – which most of us are now sick of already – but maybe it is worth doing… you can be the judge of that!
Use your vote
I will be voting the same way I did last time, when I was at university and getting to know hundreds of new people (and, clichéd as it is, myself) – that is, for the Lib Dems.
Why did I vote for them then? Peers convinced me it was a far more sensible thing to do than to vote for either of the other two. We’re all used to politicians being weird and untrustworthy when what we want is to look at the decision-makers and see people like us. Unless you’re rich and a total bigot, that’s not what you tend to get with tories. With labour… well, the picture is a bit better, but I find the LDs contain both the least crazy/scary individuals and the most sensible, likeable ones.
Both Labour and Conservative are always trotting out the ‘we’re just like you’ type of pitch but I feel this applies most to the LDs.
This year might be rather special. The power of the internet to disseminate information and allow people to have meaningful and informative conversations is playing its part. The introduction of televised leaders’ debates has shown people there’s an alternative. For as long as I can remember, it’s always been
“I don’t like either of them, but I’m going to vote for the one I despise slightly less”
So why not vote for the third? It’s really quite sensible!!
“Oh but they won’t get in will they”
Illustrated by a wonderful quote I’ve just seen on Twitter:
Voting Conservative, because you’re angry with Labour is like sawing your balls off because your trousers are too tight.
Going on some Yougov results, about 49% of people would vote LD if they thought they had a chance of winning. Half the electorate. Come on! Perhaps it will finally happen.
Another favourite promise of both the ‘old’ parties (to steal Clegg’s label) is change. Now, voting conservative if you want change is utterly (oxy)moronic. We’ve had labour the last two terms, so that’s not change either. There is only one option remaining and now the “well they don’t have any policies” line doesn’t hold as much weight, I’m optimistic (for once) that we might actually get some of that elusive stuff that’s always promised to us but never seems to materialise.
The main problem we’re facing this time is: people don’t want to keep labour because of the economical balls-up. People are voting tory in protest (when they needn’t). Why isn’t this a good plan?
Well if you don’t like the gays and the ‘ethnics’, you want to save as much of your already sizeable fortune as possible whilst not really giving a shit about anyone else, you’re married to someone of the opposite sex and/or you want christianity calling the shots then they’re probably for you.
Lib Dems have the best science policies and as I’ve said before, supporting science is essential for our economy and our place in the world. Labour has drained science funding, chemistry depts have been closing down all over the country, now it needs to be supported more than ever.
What the papers say
The TeleTorygraph has come out in force trying to make the LDs look bad. Christina Odone’s blog has been somewhat hilariously attacking Dr. Evan Harris (our favourite pro-science, anti-discrimination, generally sensible Lib Dem!) and she whined about people calling her on her unfounded vitriolic comments, dubbing them his ‘spooky posse‘ of supporters, claiming that there was no room for discussion in the LD camp. Er, if commenting on blogs and trying to have some productive discourse isn’t discussion, what the hell is? She just didn’t like it. Funnily, most of the supporting comments came from homophobic evangelicals and, even more hilariously, BNP supporters.
Reading down her entries, she spews contradiction after contradiction (clearly a massive hypocrite) and baseless accusation; the comments are mostly populated by whinging christians insisting that they’re being discriminated against by the BBC and no other religion would ever be treated so horribly, that homosexuality is being ‘deified’ (I actually read that, wtf?!) and other Daily Mail-esque rubbish.
The Guardian have recently switched to support the Lib Dems, which is telling.
One of the many sinister things about the Tories is their affiliation with the Murdoch family; Rupert Murdoch, head honcho of Sky, The Sun etc. runs 40% of British media (according to The Independent). This is apparent from all the ridiculous poll-fixing and censoring that’s gone on. The Sun’s political editor was reported to have said
“It is my job to see that Cameron fucking well gets into Downing Street.”
Not to mention the fact that Lord Ashcroft and his minions have silenced the media, preventing a full exposé of this non-dom’s dispicable antics (which hopefully we will find hear about fully at some point, though no doubt by then too late) – how can the public make an informed decision when the money men are preventing people from disclosing the facts? The chill at work again.
I could spend ages picking out reasons why voting conservative is a bad, bad thing. Instead I’ll just ask you from the bottom of my heart not to vote for them, for the above reasons and more, if you would like to see the UK do better for itself and our neighbours. I’m not a student of politics, I’m simply concerned that they are a backwards, elitist party that too many people will vote for simply because they’re fed up of Labour.
I come from a fairly conservative area, the South East of England – it’s one of the most expensive bits of the country, therefore lots of people who can afford to live here (not on scabby council estates like our neck of the woods, anyway) tend to vote for the tories.
My memory of the 1992 election in which John Major somewhat surprisingly won consists of most of the houses on our road having Labour billboards outside. Upon talking to someone at my (primary) school about this, she loudly announces [Kent-chav accent]
“I fought labour was ‘avin’ babies!”
Which, to her credit, is of course not untrue.
From 1997 when Tony Blair got in and ‘Nu Labour’ started, I don’t remember much except for maybe Major moving out of No. 10. I do remember people at (secondary!) school refusing to stay in for lessons, preferring to sit outside and protest us all being taken to war with Iraq. Then there was our headteacher dreaming up plans in case Dunkirk power station got bombed and we’d all have to live on beans and bottled water in the school for a few weeks. complete with gas masks. This was heavily lampooned in end-of-year assemblies, of course.
The only thing I ever agreed with the tories on, really, was not abolishing grammar schools. I don’t know what the three party positions on that is now, however. Yeah, I went to one but most of the country doesn’t have them anymore anyway. I just know from personal experience that putting everyone in together, ignoring innate learning abilities and preferences, does not help anyone; it doesn’t encourage those slower on the uptake, it bores the higher academic achievers and often makes them misbehave out of boredom, with the others misbehaving from frustration. Encouragement is necessary across the board, pretending everyone’s the same isn’t helpful at all. The whole get-50%-of-people-in-university has been a disaster and now we see unis raking in the cash from foreign students to prop up all their overstretched departments; no one is winning. Cameron, however, does not seem to plan to improve schooling, just support the kind of education he had and provided for his own kids.
When you’re young, you absorb a lot of your parents’ views. I’m not proud of a lot of spiel I regurgitated over the years, but like to think that since they weren’t really my own opinions, maybe it doesn’t count… sadly it doesn’t quite work like that. But, now I’m living out in the ‘real world’ and am lucky enough to know people from a wide variety of places and backgrounds, I know I’m a better person for it and hold my own views (I am not a homophobe, I enjoy rather than fear other cultures and I have no tolerance for religion where it doesn’t belong – be it the science curriculum, politics or otherwise, for starters).
I now know that I cannot ever in good conscience vote Tory, even if I were to inherit a load of money, get married and find God.