I can’t remember a general election where I have found it so difficult to summon up the enthusiasm to vote, and I have voted in every general election since I was in my mid twenties.
Both May & Corbyn look and sound like geography teachers instead of British leaders in whom we might have pride. As of today, the polls lead for the Tories has dropped to 4% (Times) or 2% (Guardian) from 20% of a few weeks ago.
Theresa May is robotic in her endless “strong & stable” meanderings containing little detail and has no interesting vision for Britain. She has repeatedly shown she cannot handle ordinary people whereas Corbyn has scored well.
The election May has called was a blatant opportunity to increase her hold over the UKIP Tory wing, but it has backfired beautifully 😉
Jeremy Corbyn does have a vision and some interesting policies (of which more later) but is surrounded by hypocrites (Diane Abbot to name but one) and he himself is the other. I say that because for the last 30 years he has been anti-EU (as have I) and then U-turned when Brexit became a reality. Diane Abbot proclaimed the benefits of state education until she had a child, became a single parent family and promptly employed private education. Abbot’s manner is so damn irritating and pontificatory (Ed: Is that actually a word?) that I find it impossible to listen to her.
The only hope I saw for the Labour Party was it being led by Tristram Hunt, but he recognised a lost cause when he saw one and left politics.
The Liberal Democrats (my former intellectual and perhaps natural home) are currently led by a twerp who looks 13 years old, talks bollocks and thinks the EU is great. The Lib Dems were ruined by their former twerp of a leader Nick Clegg who managed to alienate a whole generation of intelligent students.
UKIP without Farage are pointless and direction-less. Nigel Farage was a brief, breath of fresh air in the smoke filled room of party political fog but he, like Tristram Hunt, knew when the game was up.
In short – we have no person in today’s party politics for whom I can vote with any enthusiasm.
A fact of which you might be unaware: Every government from Thatcher’s era onwards has managed to double the national debt they inherited from the previous bunch of incompetents!
Labour & Tory governments have both proved endlessly to be financially and economically inept, based simply on the evidence of their inability to sort out the deficit and debt!
So, I had a look at their future policies instead to find some direction …
Education: The Tory manifesto wants to massively increase divisive “free” schools and thereby promote societal disunity. Labour does too.
Economics: The Tories are being a bit more honest in their spending plans but are not proposing to tax the real criminals like Google, Facebook, Sir Crooked Philip Green and Vodaphone to name but a few. Corbyn has done even less well in explaining how his tax plans will actually provide the cash for his hugely increased public spending plans.
Privatisation: I have always found Thatcher’s privatisation of our Water and our electricity grid to be one of the greatest crimes committed by a serving politician see here. So, I am happy with Corbyn’s desire to renationalise the railways (as in many European countries, e.g Germany for one) and reverse water privatisation.
Defence: The Tories seem to have the more robust policy here but the reality of the matter is that we are minnows compared to the USA. Therefore, Britain having nuclear weapons is almost pointless. I don’t mind paying the USA a few billion to keep theirs up to date which is, in my humble opinion, more useful and realistic than either party’s policy. I might even fund NATO more, but the time when we could afford a British nuclear arsenal is long past.
Neither manifesto is realistic or addresses any of my main concerns over debt reduction. Both private and public debt are HUGE, at about £1.6 Trillion quid, and yet the banks are lending more with PPC (we used to call it Hire Purchase 40 years ago) but neither party has a plan to stop it.
So there we are.
If I vote, and I suppose must, I will vote for Corbyn and hope that someone comes out of the woodwork with some common sense and statesmanlike leadership qualities soon!
Acknowledgement: Peter Brookes for his insightful cartoon