On the eve of the General Election

6 May 2015 by Jennifer

I have a sense of dread about tomorrow’s election. I can’t imagine a plausible outcome where I’m feeling anything like the optimistic hope I remember from 1997.

  • Tories: About 70%-80% of my dread is a fear that Cameron et al will get back in. Their unnecessary, callous austerity measures mean that if they continue in power, more people will die and suffer. More people will become homeless. More disabled people will be confined within four walls for lack of a bit of assistance to get around. More people will be stuck in abusive situations because they’re economically/practically dependent on their abusers. More women will turn to sex work, when they don’t want to but it’s better than losing their home or seeing their children cold or hungry. More already-rich people will get richer at everyone else’s expense.

  • Labour: less bad than the Tories.

    Don’t get me wrong: if the only two choices are Labour or Tory, I’d pick Labour.

    And yet…

    • Labour, Tory and Lib Dem manifestos all support TTIP, the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”.

      To my mind, society took a wrong turning with the invention of companies as legal entities with no conscience. There’s vital ingredients missing from them; shareholders’ profit is inadequate as an organising principle for our lives. In particular, with its limited incentives for long-term thinking, company structure is a poor framework for treasuring the living world around us.

      TTIP is about giving more power to corporations, and less to elected bodies and ordinary people. How is that going to turn out well? It’s not, is it?

    • There are many other areas where Labour and the Tories agree, and do basically the same things. Most MPs in both parties are white blokes who will get well-paid jobs afterwards from the businesses they helped while in power.

    • I don’t feel I can trust either lot’s relationship with on-the-ground reality. That is the other 20%-30% or so of my dread. Maybe I’m setting the bar too high, but I would like people in government to care whether they are being told accurate facts, and whether they are repeating accurate facts.

      I saw the legislative process up close with Labour’s badly-researched, trample-footed plans for regulating non-school education (likely to rise again if they get back in). I’ve not forgotten.

      How about the “war on drugs“? Or the weight loss industry and its tenuous relationship with the relevant evidence base? Can we trust our government’s competence on anything involving technology? :-/

    • No I have not forgiven Labour for the war in Iraq, either.

    At least we have Lilian Greenwood as our local MP, and I am a fan of her on the whole.

  • Greens: If we had single transferable vote, I’d likely vote Green first every time. They don’t support TTIP. They ask themselves questions about sustainability. My natural tendency is to think long-term, and, of the current choices, I feel the Greens are closest to “my natural party”, even if I don’t agree with every detail of their plans.

    I think there are a lot of other people who would vote Green more often if the voting system were fairer. The parties still upholding “first past the post” are warping the system for the sake of their own chances at power.

  • Lib Dem: I did vote for them last time, even being pretty sure they wouldn’t get in locally… and look how that turned out! I wanted them to do something good with that little bit of influence that was my vote. Instead they became austerity-cut colluders.

  • A party I will not even name here. I am angry at the BBC and other media for repeatedly elevating this lot into prominence. Creating familiarity is a form of granting power. They could have done that for the Greens, who have a comparable claim to attention, and instead they did it for this lot of fearmongers. Shame on everyone who took the choice to foreground them for the sake of “a good story”.

Tony Benn’s famous thing about democracy included “How can we get rid of you?”

But what if we want to get rid of more than one of them? The democracy such as we have in reality right now doesn’t give us that, does it? It just lets us switch from one main predictable lot to the other.

I’m not saying there’s no difference between Labour and the Tories. No indeed. There is a difference, and such as it is, it’s important. But it isn’t as big a difference as I would like, by a long way.

Appreciation, criticism & new ideas all welcome...

Optional HTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Comments are moderated. Please no name-calling; please speak for yourself from your own life, or else say where you got the info. Thanks :-) Why these commenting guidelines?