You have me seriously worried and confused. For the first time since I was eligible to vote in 1974, I don’t know what to do. Things were quite tough then. A Tory government under Edward Heath was struggling with a miner’s strike and those of us in work had to endure the three-day week, the constriction of power to commercial premises, meaning no light and no heating, this went on for three months January to March, the coldest time. There was an oil crisis, economic crisis, and the Trades Unions ruled the roost.
There were two elections that year resulting in a Labour government. Strangely, Jeremy Corbyn was present during this time as well, up on the hustings with his left-wing Union friends. I don’t think he’s changed much.
I digress. The reason I am confused. For the first time in my life I don’t know who to vote for. I have been Tory to my roots all my voting life. I have worked for the Party, I stood for my local Council twice, and managed to halve the labour vote in my Ward, in what was then a fiercely loyal Labour seat. I have never doubted where my vote should go.
But now I do doubt. My Party has disappeared and in its place has arisen right-wing Populist politics. I associated this with the UKIP Party in the last two elections and in the referendum campaign. The only reason we had a referendum, as I see it, was that David Cameron was running scared from Nigel Farage and his cronies. We’ve had MP’s chucked out because they refused to vote with the Government, Parliament unlawfully prorogued, and Senior Tories and others stepping out of Politics altogether. Others have resigned in disgust and are now standing as independents, relying on their personal constituency vote.
The reason I am worried. Boris, I’m really sorry, but I don’t trust a word that comes out of your Eton-educated mouth. You want to ‘get Brexit done’, a phrase you repeat over and over, without specifically clarifying what it actually means. According to more balanced opinion, it probably means years and years of hanging on the edge of Europe trying to negotiate a trade deal (a bit dramatic but you get my drift).
In the meantime, you want to negotiate a trade deal with the US. This is the thing I am most worried about. Another one of your oft repeated phrases is ‘the NHS is not for sale’. I just don’t believe you. Jeremy Corbyn says it too, but I’m more inclined to believe him (I’m not quite sure why).
I could not bear to see our NHS broken up and sold out to American global corporations. I think you would do it. Despite your statements and those of Mr Trump on the matter and I quote “ We wouldn’t even be involved in that, no. It’s not for us to have anything to do with your health care system” (Donald Trump speaking on LBC). I am not reassured.
So you can see my dilemma. I voted remain in the referendum because I believe in European citizenship and free movement. However, I also believe strongly in democracy, the referendum was a democratic vote and the result should be honoured.
Notwithstanding that, the only Party open to me as a Remainer is the Liberal Democrats. But this really is a tactical vote, as they have little chance of gaining a working majority. I don’t like tactical voting, I think it’s a wasted vote.
Putting on my Politics graduate hat on for a moment (it’s not working very well just now) I think we may end up with a hung Parliament, which will solve nothing, and it may well be that a second Referendum is the only answer. Whether that would change the outcome is unknown, but whichever way it went tough decisions would have to be made. This could mean we end up back at square one. Another scenario is that the Tories gain enough from the election for a working majority. This is when effective and coherent opposition will be necessary. A third scenario is a Party like the Scottish National Party become ‘king-makers’ because they hold the balance of power.
So, the choice is stark. Do I go with my heart, forever Tory, or with my head which tells me to vote Lib Dem’s in the hope that we get a second referendum (which I don’t want, it goes against my Democratic principals). It is an impossible choice. Vote Labour I hear whispering in my head, but I would rather gouge my own eyes out!
So, Boris, this is how I feel. I’m sure I’m not alone. I’ll just keep watching the campaign unfold, and hope the sometime in the next few weeks something helps me make up my mind.
Note to my American friends: Please don’t be offended by my references to President Trump and American Corporations