It occurred to me last night, that if we have a General Election fairly soon, I don’t know who I’d vote for. I’m a lifelong Tory voter, although I suspect that had the Liberals had been a viable option, I would have voted for them. I’m talking about the old style Liberals of Joe Grimond and, God help us, Jeremy Thorpe.
In the absence of a viable Liberal option, and probably because my parents did, I voted Tory. My first voting experience came in 1974, the year of two elections, the Miners strike (the first one), the three day week (when commercial consumption of electricity was limited to three days a week), which meant working in a very cold office by candlelight and no electric typewriters! In fact that was a challenging time in British politics and bears some similarities to today. Look at this from Wikipedia:
‘The election of February that year had produced an unexpected hung parliament. Coalition talks between the Conservatives and other parties such as the Liberals and the Ulster Unionists failed, allowing Labour leader Harold Wilson to form a minority government’
So, I would describe myself as a left-wing Tory, as opposed to my father whom I would describe as a High Tory, a throwback from the nineteenth century! This has remained my position. But now, my beliefs are being severely tested.
I cannot accept that a Conservative and Unionist (to give the Party it’s proper name) Prime Minister would deliberately and without compunction undermine the stability of the Union.
By putting a border down the Irish Sea he will do exactly that. It’s clear that the DUP feels betrayed by Boris’s Brexit deal, and well they might. The problem is that unless they can get their Assembly up and running they are subject to rule from Westminster.
I would never vote Labour. Jeremy Corbyn is a dangerous man, I remember him in the ‘70s and his alliances with the Trades Unions and others. It was a politically toxic era and he was right in the thick of it.
So, that leaves the Lib-dems. Apart from the fact that they are still a minority group, I actually disagree with them. I have always been against a second Referendum as anti-democratic. A democratic vote is just that and must be respected. Although I have to say that as we have moved through this process I have sometimes thought it might be the only way, but I cannot disregard what, for me, is a fundamental belief.
There are other reasons why a second Referendum is not a good idea. Firstly, we cannot deny Scotland a second vote on Independence if we then go on to have one ourselves. Second, we could find the result comes out the same and then what happens? Third, has anyone in the whole country got the appetite for it?
If, as seems likely, we will have a General Election sometime soon, I really don’t know what I’m going to do!