Tuesday, 27 April 2010

General Election (3)

Well, not long to go and still it is all a bit interesting. I am confirmed in my decision to vote Lib Dem. But I still worry that the Tories could gain an overall majority. Which they absolutely do not deserve.

Various factors recently have made me even more appalled by the thought of a Tory government. Cameron's failure to discipline Christopher Grayling was the first factor. Then there was the Tory press' co-ordinated attack on Nick Clegg, organised by George Osborne, and pathetically dragging up articles and items from years ago, none of them of any substance anyway. Now a Tory candidate has argued for the re-introduction of section 28. And above all the Tories have waged a dishonest and inconsistent campaign.

As for Nick Clegg, I remain impressed. I would have preferred however that he had had the courage to insist that he was aiming to form a majority government, instead of getting embroiled in debate about who he would support in the event of a hung parliament. But the policies are sound, the campaign is impressive and the Lib Dems deserve to play a leading role in government post-election.

I cannot help keeping my fingers crossed, though. Please don't let the British people be egged on by the Murdoch press and taken in by Tory mock-reasonableness. The Tories are still nasty.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

General Election (2)

No sooner do I post a blog suggesting that I might vote Lib Dem, and suddenly they make a massive jump in the polls. I didn't know I had so much influence! Okay I agree there was the small matter of a debate on Thursday, which may also have played a part.

It's all got a bit interesting, hasn't it. I didn't think Nick Clegg was all that impressive on Thursday. It's just that Cameron and Brown were so dire, that he ended up being head and shoulders above them in both style and substance. And now we appear to be truly into three-party politics. And I welcome that.

But I do think that the bounce in the polls says something about the electorate. Something not very complimentary. It comes from the fact that many people had not heard of Nick Clegg. Now I know he has struggled to get air time. But not heard of him? Doesn't that suggest that many of the electorate were simply ignorant. And that elections are won and lost by people who really do not know the issues or the people involved. A good reason for never moving to compulsory voting.

For now, I wait to see what happens in the next two debates. I hope that the Tory foreign policy comes under fire in the next debate. Their linkage to East European far-right parties in the European Parliament is a disgrace.

At Christmas my football team, Inverness Caledonian Thistle were 14 points behind the leaders. Now they are 9 points ahead. And something similar is happening with the Lib Dems. Let's hope both can build upon their recent results and not let things slip.

I agree with Nick.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

General Election (1)

Well, it's all a bit of a bore isn't it? David Hare got it right when he said this week that there is no longer any poetry in politics. Where is the oratory? Where are the big ideas?

And where am I in my voting intentions? I have voted Labour at every election since 1987. But I fear I cannot do so this time. Gordon Brown is not the person to lead the country. 'We will do whatever it takes'. What the F*** does that mean exactly?

There was a time when I though I could vote Tory. But I simply could not vote for a party that might give us George Osborne as Chancellor and certainly not for a party that gave us that ridiculous homophobe Christopher Grayling as Home Secretary. In any case, their manifesto is a silly document and the shadow cabinet are all rather unimpressive people. Please save me from Liam Fox.

So it is likely that I will vote Lib Dem. So far they have just about done enough to make that a positive vote rather than a 'lesser of all evils' vote. Nick Clegg is the most impressive party leader. Vince Cable has proved to be right on the economy and the banks. And their social policies give me a vision of a Britain that would be a better place to live than either of the two other main parties are suggesting.

But there are three weeks to go and three leaders' debates. Let's hope things get more interesting after such a dull start.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

6 days in a car

Certainly that's what it felt like. We had decided to drive to the North of Scotland over Easter to see my Dad in Banffshire and some of Andrew's relatives in Perthshire.

We took 2 days for the journey north, stopping in Morecambe en route in order to see, and stay at, the refurbished art-deco Midland Hotel. All very nice.

We then drove my Dad around to Findhorn and Lossiemouth on Saturday and over to Deeside on Sunday. Again, very pleasant.

And we took 2 days for the journey south, having lunch with Andrew's relatives in Dunkeld and staying overnight near Carlisle.

It was all fine and of course it was good to see the various relatives who, sadly, are getting older and are less able to keep control over their lives. And paying my respects to my Mum, my grandparents and other family members in the graveyard at Crathie was, as always, a spiritual expecience. But it was a long time to spend in a car when I have so many things I could be doing in my flat in London.

Mind you, whilst driving along the M6 is absolutely no fun, the road over to Crathie and Deeside is beautiful. Here is a picture I took as we descended into Deeside. The mountain in the background is Lochnagar which, of course, we had climbed last July.