With the election in 5 months, the media is all about the beginning of May, and not just because of my birthday (or even partly). So who to vote for?
The public finances are in a bit of a state. The massive deficit does seem to be a bit of a problem, as it does mean that a lot of taxes go to servicing debt. Gordon Brown did talk about the economic cycle, but that didn’t seem to work. So it would be nice to reduce the deficit.
Cuts are probably necessary, but wouldn’t have been necessary if Labour hadn’t made such profligate increases. Belt-tightening only hurts if you are too large to start with.
So probably not Labour. Though Anne Snelgrove seems to be a good egg, despite her too-political tweets. But the negativity there might just be a necessary by-product of the political system, which is obviously flawed. The worst except for all the others, possibly.
So Tory? What’s wrong with voting Tory? Rob Buckland seems to be doing a good job for Swindon in Parliament, but I do have a slight bias against white middle-class Oxbridge types (like me) because it would be nice for Parliament to be representative.
And voting Tory just seems wrong, to be honest. Working in state education means a frequent anti-Tory union agenda, which is difficult to resist. The Academy agenda just seems a bit unnecessary, and the changes to GCSEs etc are spectacularly ill-thought-through (can you double hyphenate?). But if cuts are necessary, who else will implement them?
So are cuts necessary? Could tax rises work instead? Obviously getting large international corporations to pay tax would be a good idea, but everyone wants to do that and no-one seems able. High tax on ridiculously large incomes (£2m+?) seems like a good idea, as do crazy things like a maximum wage as well as a minimum wage, so maybe that means I should vote Green. But they will never win in Swindon, where it’s a two-horse race. Or maybe not this time round, if UKIP rock the boat and the Green surge continues.
I would also find it very difficult to vote Green because of the name, and that I don’t especially buy into the Green agenda. I believe in climate change (because I’m sane) but until India, China and the US start changing their behaviour it won’t make a huge amount of difference for the UK to do so. So I’ll recycle, but I won’t get solar panels (or whatever the international metaphor is).
Speaking of wasted votes, there is then the economic problem that the difference one vote can make is miniscule, and it is very difficult to decide who to vote for, so it takes a lot of energy reading manifestos etc, which in economic terms is irrational because the difference you can make is much less than the energy required. So there are better ways of making a difference, and hopefully I do some of them (like, erm, teaching…).
But to vote is good! So the sensible thing to do is to find someone you trust, and ask them who to vote for. But I am yet to be convinced by anyone’s arguments.
Would like to be convinced. Go on, convince me.