Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Making a decision?

Mrs R has been finding it really difficult to make her decision, so she's looked around the blogosphere for a bit of inspiration. If you're still undecided why not take a look for yourself.

The Angry Walrus has put together a lengthy piece outlining his reasons for/against various possibilities.

Subrosa outlines her thoughts about older voters here

Daniel1979 says Don't vote Labour

Mark Wadsworth says, "Sod it!"to tactical voting, and gives reasons why.

Witterings from Witney discusses the end of democracy as we know it

Then there are all the newspapers and all the broadcasters, all rushing to push their final messages before polling day. Some offer dire warnings - "Vote for them and you'll die!" sort of stuff, others try to offer a more reasoned approach and look at history - which is the approach Mrs Rigby prefers.

The thing is that we Rigbys can only vote for Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative or Green. That's it, a choice of four candidates and a choice of four parties. It's probably because of local history and who's 'traditionally' represented the area of Rigby Town at Westminster.

Mrs R now realises she probably really wanted to vote UKIP - because she thinks Britain could cope very nicely outside the EU. That would be the only reason though and now, looking at the UKIP site, she sees that Lord Pearson likes the idea of a hung parliament. That's something Mrs Rigby thinks would be almost worse than Labour winning, because it could mean stagnation at a time when the rest of the world needs to know what Britain's going to do about it's spiralling debt.

If there'd been a sensible Independent, whose policies were based on Libertarian principles she might have voted for them - but there isn't, so she can't.

Mrs Rigby knows she won't vote Labour. It isn't only because of how they've behaved during the past 13 years, but also because of what they did during previous terms in government.

More senior Rigbys have often talked of what we now refer to as 'social engineering' disasters, that were painted as being socially kind, benevolent, at the time. Some of these policies included 'slum clearance' and the building of vast council/corporation estates in semi-rural areas that were miles away from where people had previously worked, miles away from what they knew, and miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life they had grown up with.

The population movement, according to some of the Rigbys, destroyed their own chances of ever 'making something' of themselves because, back then, few people could move somewhere else to look for work. They relied on getting a job, doing it well, and gradually working up the ladder to, maybe, being a foreman or something similar.

Flooding the local labour market meant more competition, more choice for employers (both private and public sector), and it also meant some people would never get a job, because they had the wrong skills. They were put on the dole - and some of those people's grandchildren are still drawing 'unemployment' benefit of one sort or another.

It's a pattern that's been repeated by the last government - but this time the incoming work force has arrived from overseas.

And Labour, of course, also got rid of Grammar Schools, even though the Prime Minister of the day had benefitted from a Grammar School education he removed that right from the electorate, claiming it was 'more equal'. Now we have "Academies" for Dance and Drama, because it's fun and cool. Forget about grammar, we don't need it no more - innit!

So, that leaves Liberal Democrats, Conservative and Greens.

The Greens seem to splatter their policies with the word "unfair". This or that is 'unfair' and they don't like it, but their actual policies don't seem to have a bite. (It would be rather churlish to say they don't flesh out the bones, but those words spring to mind.)

And, you see, Mrs Rigby is a denier - she denies AGW, although she acknowledges that climate changes, and has done since the ice retreated. Mrs R likes electricity and she likes central heating, she also likes her car - because it's more reliable than the local bus service. So Mrs R shouldn't vote Green, because it would be against her own principles and against her own lifestyle choice, although we Rigbys do garden organically (because we prefer not to kill the wrong things with slug pellets) and we compost and so on, because it's what we've always done. It's nothing new.

The Lib Dems? Errm, no! There are some 'working for the Lib Dems' people within the Rigby family. They're fine, lovely people - but messed up a bit at both school and 'Uni', and it's the only 'job' they could get after quite a few years of dabbling with bar work, playing poker, 'working' for relatives etc. Although she doubts if this pattern is followed right the way through the Lib Dems as a whole, Mrs R doesn't like the idea of any party being run by those who can't manage to get a job anywhere else. She also thinks Mr Clegg is a young 'career politician' who's totally enthralled by the EU - even though he tries to say otherwise, and she doesn't like that either.

That leaves the Conservatives, who've held the Rigby Town seat for years.

Is the (ex/hoping to be returned) MP any good? Actually yes. In the past few years several different Rigbys have written to this MP several times. Each contact has generated an immediate response, followed up later by a more detailed written reply and/or a telephone call. Sometimes there's been the answer to a written parliamentary question - which means that even if they may, personally, have thought it was a "silly and irrelevant question" (as "Kit" does) they realised it wasn't either silly or irrelevant to whoever had taken the time and trouble to ask it.

This MPs record on expenses? - They're clean. No untoward claims. No improprieties. No need to make any repayments. No need to sack members of the extended family.

Their policies? Hmm.

If they go ahead with the Great Repeal Bill then that's good. If they keep the promise of a referendum for any more changes in the EU constitution (having been stitched up by both Labour and the EU regarding Lisbon) then that's good too.

It would be good if they could acknowledge that Britain could pull out of the EU, if it really had a mind to.

It would be good if they could acknowledge that England has no independent voice, and did something about it. They could at least make both St George's Day and St David's Day into proper holidays. If the Scots and Irish can manage it, so can the English and Welsh.

But, we're told that election manifesto promises can be broken - Labour has destroyed that trust in politicians, Parliament and government.

Can the Tories rebuild that trust? Don't know, don't know if the media will let them. They might, if they get a decent majority and if the Unions let them - because the Unions still think they run this country.

It will be interesting to see who wins, both on Thursday and in the ensuing months. Let's hope Britain gets the strong, fearless government it needs. Mrs Rigby's single vote, if she does decide to use it, probably won't make any difference - but yours might.

Cast it wisely, and cast it for yourself, for your local area and for the good of the country as a whole - if you can.

Be strong and stand for your principles, whatever they may be, not for whatever somebody else tells you your principles should be.

The only person you can trust on polling day is yourself. Don't imagine that somebody else will 'vote share' - promises can, and are, broken.

So don't try to cheat, or beat, the system. We all deserve so much more than that, and we need so much more than that to get us out of a very deep hole.

And finally, because Mrs Rigby actually hopes that not many people will vote Labour, this quote from comments here
As I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord for a labour defeat...
- felix, east uk, 5/5/2010 9:24


Witterings From Witney said...

A nice post Mrs. R and thanks very much for the link - most kind.

Angry Walrus said...

Mrs Rigby,

Many thanks for the link. I can't disagree with anything in your post, very wise.


John R said...

Very wise indeed.....but what a terrible state our elected representatives and their leaders have brought our politics too!!

subrosa said...

We think alike in many ways Mrs R. If I wasn't such a believer in Scottish independence then I'd possibly vote tory. Cameron has put up the best fight IMO.

Mind you the SNP are very pro-EU but when we get independence there will have to be a referendum on it so it could be sorted then. :)

Thanks so much for the link.

Daniel1979 said...

Thanks for the link, and for sharing those thoughts.

Five years ago I would never have thought that I would not be voting Tory today and have gone back and forth myself in recent years.