“Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, stern and inflexible; it is not so much a particular principle as a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to the most urgent needs of our country … The government of the Revolution is the despotism of liberty against the tyrants. Maximilien Robespierre” (from “A Place of Greater Safety” by Hilary Mantel)
So having looked at the polices Who Can I Vote For? – The Agony of Democracy in 21st Century Britain.and got nowhere perhaps if I look at the personalities it might help me. Although we don’t have a presidential system it seems as though that is the system we are heading towards.
Tim Farron – Lib Dem
so disappointed with him. He has moved in my estimation from being one of the best leaders to being near the bottom. Apart from his backing down on his Christian convictions on social issues (or having changed them) even as I write I am watching him on the BBC debate he comes across as smug and smarmy. I really don’t appreciate leaders who exaggerate and stretch the truth to the point of untruth. ‘We will take your house of you” just one example. He wearies me. His faith in the EU is depressing. I find his arguments and presentations sadly lacking in any depth. In my view is the most soundbite of all of the leaders and the most shallow.
Nicola Sturgeon – SNP
Again someone who I really liked and admired. When she was appointed leader of the SNP I thought it was a great move. She is clever, compassionate and the most articulate and best debater of all the political leaders. However I have become increasingly concerned that she is not nearly as politically smart as her predecessor and I find the constant repetition of the same mantras frustrating. And I do wish she would stop spitting out the word ‘Tory’ as a swear word. But of all the leaders she is the most experienced. One slight question though – why was she not at the debate tonight? If the others were calling May feart because she sent a deputy why couldn’t they say the same about our FM?
Theresa May – Conservative –
I didn’t appreciate her as Home Secretary but like many people in Britain I was prepared to give her a chance as Prime Minister. Initially I was impressed – she is certainly a whole lot better than the Cameron/Osborne axis. But I really don’t know about her. I am faced with two thoughts at the moment – the first is a fear that she is out of her depth and is not the strong and stable leader she claims to be. Although watching the so-called leaders debate I can understand her wisdom in staying out of it. I would be embarrassed to be part of such a dumbed down bear pit. However she has made a real mistake in trying to run a presidential type campaign.
The second thought is that she is the most left-wing Tory prime minister for 50 year. I listened to her talk about ‘the cult of selfish individualism’ and that she would not “allow free markets to operate untrammelled”. David Cameron’s concerns were social liberalism; May says hers are economic and social justice. I had a faint hope that someone was actually going to do something about tackling the real inequality in our culture, rather than just talk about it. Her attempt to get the wealthy to pay more for their social care was a radical and different challenge. Of course the Tory right wing, the mainstream membership of the party and the opportunistic political opposition, forced a backdown. It may be that her over confidence will have prevented us from having a government that can do some real positive change. Which would be a real shame. But for me the jury is still out on May. I don’t listen to the hate mob and the mockery from those whose only argument is ridicule. We will see.
Jeremy Corbyn – Labour
He is the most likeable. He comes across as a genial granddad type figure who cares for the poor etc. He is also articulate and in this election has performed better than most expected. He was considered a joke and to many people who actually know his history it seems as impossible for him to be elected as it was for Trump. But Trump was and Corbyn could be. That terrifies me.
Let me try and explain why in as few words as I can. In 1983 when Corbyn was being elected to the House of Commons I was involved in my final fling with student politics at Edinburgh University. I led a campaign to stop Edinburgh University Students Association from supporting the Bobby Sands hunger strike and the IRA campaign. I will never forget being warned by the police that I needed to be careful as there was at least one prominent IRA sympathiser/activist in the University. I had a friend who told me in tears that every morning her dad got up and went to his car (parked in a different place every night) and used a mirror on a stick to check underneath to see if there was a bomb. Corbyn supported the IRA. He now flat out denies it. But that is a lie. He invited convicted IRA terrorists to the House of Commons for tea just weeks after the Brighton bombing – something which even the Guardian found reprehensible. See this in The Spectator
He now says that he did it for ‘peace’. Is this why he invited Hamas to the House of Commons? Is it why he attended a ceremony in North Africa in honour of one of the Munich terrorists? When Corbyn was asked about this in the Paxman interview he said that he just went to talk about peace. The follow up question should have been ‘how many UDA funerals and British soldiers funerals did you attend for peace?’. Now none of this would have mattered if he had renounced the IRA and apologised for his past. Instead he lied about and excused it.
And it’s not just Corbyn. It’s also the people whom he has appointed to be his cabinet – Witness this from prospective Home Secretary Dianne Abbott.
And then this from prospective Chancellor John McDonnell
There are plenty good Labour politicians around but they are not in charge. These three and Momentum are. It would be a disaster for the UK if they ever took control. Britain would become the People’s Republic of Islington. Hence the quote from Robespierre at the top!
One other aspect of this. I am concerned that Corbyn and the Islington set are anti- Israel and they have at least inadvertently encouraged anti-Semitism. After Corbyn’s wreck of an interview on Woman’s Hour the journalist who conducted the interview was at the centre of a Twitter storm which focused on her being Jewish and accused her of being a Zionist – one of the tweets came from ‘Fenian 1989’. Corbyn rightly denounced these – but his politics are encouraging a rise in anti-Semitism, not from the usual suspects on the right, but rather from the extreme left.
It is to my mind incomprehensible that a man who was too extreme for Neil Kinnock, the Guardian and most of his fellow Labour MPs, could be elected Prime Minister. It shows again the dumbed down nature of our current politics in that we so quickly forget our history.
So how does this help me with my vote?
Not really. So there is one final route – the usual route I go. Forget the parties, the policies and the leaders. Lets come back to my local candidates. If Alex Neil of the SNP was standing in Dundee East I would vote for him, or Jenny Marra of Labour I could vote for her. Murdo Fraser of the Tories might get my vote or Fraser Macpherson of the Liberals. But the trouble is n this election I haven’t been canvassed once. No-one has come to my door and the little literature I have received says nothing about the candidates. I have received no information about a hustings, no phone calls, nothing, zilch, nada. They all want me to vote for Jeremy or Nicola or Tim or Theresa. They all want me to vote for ‘their fully costed’ manifesto. They all insult my intelligence and after watching tonight’s TV debate I am inclined to write ‘None of the above’ on my ballot paper. I feel disenfranchised.
Enough…tomorrow I’ll try to explain why we are in the mess we are in, and why none of the parties are addressing nor can address it. Meanwhile the ballot paper sits on my desk. Tomorrow I will bite the bullet, decide what to do, fill it in, post it and pray that the Lord will have mercy on this country and save us from our politicians and from ourselves. It strikes me that the greatest judgement God could ever bring upon this country would be to give us what we want/vote for.
This is a an interesting article from Premier on the Faith of the Leaders.