This election seems to be rather big. Which means, for a change, my politicised blinkered rantings may actually have some point to them. So that's nice. This is a beer blog, however, and my political views ought not to interfere too much with the reviewing of ale nor your ability to discuss my thoughts on ale.
So, with that in mind, if you are not really wanting to read politics from someone you come to in order to read beer reviews, I shan't be the remotest amount offended. Equally, if you have strong political views and you would like to argue with me, then by all means do, know that I am unlikely to take things personally as long as they are not meant personally and I am likely to argue back. Which is fine, I don't think politics is worth losing cordial relations over. However, this may not be your bag. In which case, hit the link marked 'beer review' in the cloud of tabs over to the right and carry on! This post will not be on the main page for long!
There's plenty of advice on who to vote for, but not much else. I am not impartial. My ramblings will begin after the line break and only proceed if you really really want to know!
I'm going to go a different way. In my constituency we have the following (in alphabetical order) standing:
So, what do I think?
I can't vote for the economic illiteracy of the Conservatives who have consistently tried to create a narrative that blames welfare and government spending for creating a deficit and huge national debt whilst creating twice the amount of national debt and increasing the deficit at a faster pace than all previous Labour governments combined (as a percentage, not in cash terms). Not only does this not make economic sense, it ignores the role of the Financial Crash in 2008 and it is counter-factual. No, I won't support this. I won't support the transfer of wealth into private hands at the top of the chain at the express disadvantage of the many.
Greens. Well, there's the environment. But that's not even the whole thing, is it? In fact, it may not be the main thing. At least, not immediately. I find that they plan long term, which the media dislike intensely, and they tend to avoid speaking in absolutes, which the media dislike intensely. I find them talking about the now and how to transfer that to the future, which the media dislike intensely. They are economically literate, which sometimes means that they are counter-intuitive, which the media dislike intensely and this may explain the antipathy they come in for.
Labour have been a bit of a disappointment actually. They are as wedded to the neo-liberal austerity as the Conservatives and seem Thatcherism-lite since 1994. Okay, it won them the election in 1997 and, as someone in education, I cannot deny that they did positive things in office. But increased privatisation, increased use of PPI and PFI, deregulation and a lack of willingness to turn their backs on these failed neo-liberal economics, mainly because they sound so very 'ticing, means that I find them a hard prospect. And this saddens me because the history of the party is full of excellent ideas, bold experiments like the NHS and some failures (the 1970s). I want to support them, but their insistence that there won't be a coalition worries me as does the fact that they voted with the Conservatives a lot in the last Parliament on measures that they said they wouldn't agree with the Conservatives on. Eg: voting system reform.
Since 1945 the Liberals have been the naked party. Virtually every good idea they have had has been stolen and subsumed by the Conservatives or Labour. When Labour went New Labour in 1994 they stole much of their new middle ground from the Liberal Democrats. And, finally, in 2010 the Lib-Dems had a decent stab at government. I think they have acquitted themselves with honour in tact, showing maturity and a desire to stick by what they agreed to do in the coalition agreement. Much, I fear, to their detriment as the unfairness of the coalition was that their partners did not. I want to like the Liberal Democrats. They have some excellent MPs who have shown themselves full of integrity (often at the expense of their careers as politicians) and ready to make sacrifices for what they believe should happen. They are, in many ways, honest and open. I do rather feel that they have been given a poor treatment this campaign. But, then, they also support neo-liberalism and austerity and have said as much.
UKIP are the ones that say what most MPs actually think. They are not the alternative that they paint themselves as. Most of their backers and donors are ex-Conservative grandees who have quit the party or been thrown out for misconduct. They are incredibly neo-liberal and though they try to sound all British and common sense they rarely make it to the end of a sentence before going a bit frothy and semi-intolerant. By the end of any question they have blamed all of societies ills on immigrants, LGBTQ people (if they even know what the letters stand for) and the 'political establishment'. To which they usually belong. Our local candidate was sacked from the council for financial mismanagement and used his last meeting to call a vote of no confidence in the council based on the things that HE was accused of. He then lived in the United States until this year, when he came back to stand for UKIP. Yers. He's not unusual. Still, their rhetoric seems to go down well with the disenfranchised and disempowered.
Actually, you can probably tell who I am going to vote for and who I am not.