"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

In Doubtful Cases The More Liberal Interpretation Must Always Be Preferred: Cicero

Inspired by the recent blogs of Kate & Theo and Tessa I’m going to nail my colours to the mast and tell you that I have used my postal vote for the Liberal Democrats at this general election.

It would be great if we lived in a socialist republic, I would vote for that but even the Labour Party aren’t fighting for that any more, which is a great shame. So what choice do we have as electors?

The Labour Party had it all going for them back in ‘97, an overwhelming majority that meant they could pass any laws they wanted and push through policies that would make our society more equal and fair but it simply hasn’t happened. Here’s an interesting fact for you, every Labour government has reduced the gap between rich and poor, all be it very, very slightly in some cases but they’ve all done it, everyone one of them from the first Labour government of Ramsay MacDonald right up to the Callaghan government of the 1970’s. It’s not until we get to the Blair government that it stops. He made that gap bigger not smaller, the only Labour Prime Minister to actually make the gap between the rich and poor in our society worse. How’s that for a legacy Tony? I simply don’t know if Brown has been able to reverse this, however I suspect not. And then there is the war in Iraq. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

However, voting Labour would still be preferable to voting Conservative. I simply do not need to explain that one, it’s a no-brainer but if you do need it explaining then just Google “the ‘80’s” and see what a mess they made of it. My parents of course don’t see it that way, but then they are devoted Daily Mail readers and have had their minds warped to such a degree that they see a more equal society posing a greater threat to us all than global climate change.

And while both Labour and Tory see religion as bringing society together (I wish they’d point out the stats on that one I’d love to see them) the Liberals have a more secular view on many issues. Not entirely of course, we haven’t reached the stage of human development where it is safe for a leader of a political party in the UK to say religion is divisive by its very nature, generally homophobic and simply illogical and counter to all evidence based argument. Clegg failed to take that opportunity on PM on Radio 4 recently when Eddie Mair asked him about religion. What a shame. Still, one day, hopefully.

And while Labour maybe tainted with some religious bias and be somewhat anti-evidence (you only have to look at the way Labour acted over the sacking of Professor David Nutt, the government's chief drug adviser), the Tories are positively infected with candidates who are Christian extremists. How can that be a good thing? The Liberals on the other hand have shown their secular colours at times, tend to go with evidence based policies and are much more open about equality and similar issues. I don’t think for one minute that they would lead us into a new dawn of sleaze free politics and have everything rosey in the garden. Politicians of all colours seem to be able to do just one thing consistently and that is to let us down. But if it is a choice between the Tories taking us back to the dark ages and more of the same fumbling from issue to issue by Labour, then I for one am willing to give the Liberals a go to see what they can do. They simply can not do a worse job than the other two.

But mostly, wouldn’t you just love to see the faces of both Brown and Cameron on Friday 7th May after they had both lost out to Clegg? That alone is worth my vote. Come on people, do the right thing, you know you want to. We’ll never have a better opportunity.

Suggested listening: “Vote Hacksaw” by Hacksaw.

1 comment:

  1. UPDATE: Well we’ve got a hung Parliament as expected and the Liberals didn’t do anywhere near as well as I had hoped. Oh well, ‘twas ever thus. Let’s hope that the real winner of this election is going to be electoral reform.