23 Apr 10 | Re: Decision of national import
There’s an election coming up here in the United Kingdom, and I have the vote. One of them. And so it is that I find myself in the happy position of considering voting for five different parties, all for positive reasons. This is unprecedented, so let’s take a look at those parties and reasons in more detail:
- Labour. I consider myself a natural, proper Labour supporter, so of course I detest Brown and Mandelson and anyone who wields any influence in the actual Labour party as it is today. For me it all comes down to the candidate in my constituency: I would never vote for one of these smarmy New Lab careerists, but if offered a solid Old Labour candidate I am very tempted. Luckily this isn’t a safe Labour seat, so we’re unlikely to get a real Gordo crony parachuted in on us; the Labour hopeful here in Cambridge is one Daniel Zeichner, a Unison man, whose pamphlet suggests that he may be my kind of person. If so, I’d be pleased to elect someone who would support John Cruddas or another lefty type in the inevitable post-election leadership struggle.
- The Liberal Democrats. Our present MP is a Lib Dem, but he’s standing down. That’s a shame because he’s done a good job and I’d be quite inclined to re-elect him given the choice. His prospective replacement I’m less sure about, but his campaign leaflets make the point that Lib Dem MPs are good representatives and local campaigners, which I think is important. So I’m considering him - I just hope this Clegg popularity thing doesn’t go too far and end up giving the Lib Dems a distracting dose of real power.
- The Conservatives! I’m yet to receive any campaigning material at all from these layabouts, but I do find myself intrigued by their ideas about letting people set up ‘free’ schools, sending the current state education system into complete meltdown. Maybe it would work, and a plurality of small schools run by jolly, benign busybodies would appear, resulting in an attentive, diverse, well-rounded education for all, and thence a bright future for Britain. Plus I do think Labour (and Thatcher before them) have centralised power too much, so I like Cameron’s proposals for government to do less. He’s not the only one advocating that though.
- The Greens. I’m as keen on the environment as the next person, and it looks like Cambridge is a key target for the Greens. If they’re going to get an MP anywhere it would be quite likely to be here, I think, so why not try to be a part of that? I’ve seen lots of Green posters around the place, so I wouldn’t be the only one to pick them.
- The Socialists. Yes, here in Cambridge we have the rare opportunity of voting for a straight-up socialist as well. Obviously they won’t win, but I don’t buy the notion that a vote for a tiny party is a wasted one. You might make the difference between them losing their deposit and keeping it, which is just about the biggest difference one vote can make in the vast majority of constituencies.
Sorry, UKIP. My face is not yet nearly red and jowly enough to vote for you.
Posted by NICK CLEGG at 18:56
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