I’m still not feeling any real energy surrounding this election. Maybe it’s just my constituency, I don’t know. I haven’t had anyone come round canvassing here, and I understand that they have a somewhat different approach to canvassing here anyway. I’ve had fliers through the door from Labour, the Tories, the LibDems, UKIP and the SNP, but I haven’t seen any activists out and about, not even stalls in the High Street, or signs on lawns or windows. It’s a bit different in Edinburgh, I’ve seen plenty of LibDem, SNP and Green Party signs there, none for the Tories or Labour.
Unfortunately due to work obligations I missed the hustings I wanted to attend, but I’ve tried to watch the Leaders Debates on the telly. Seeing as I’m not interested in either of those three (Tories, LibDems and Labour) they really didn’t hold my attention though. Just a few talking heads squabbling. Reminded me of a bunch of crows fighting over a scrap of bread.
I don’t trust the Tories one bit. Quite frankly their politics and mine are fundamentally opposed. I have had some fun looking at how the Tories are trying to cloak themselves in traditional socialist ideas, what with workers cooperatives and all. The Tories really have no chance at all of getting elected in my constituency, or anywhere in Scotland for that matter. Was out for happy hour with some co-workers on Friday, and one of them came out as a Tory and started advocating we all vote for them. Seriously, the whole bar just went silent, not just my table. And then a deluge of anti-Tory arguements erupted throughout. Tories really are not welcome here. They are unelectable and irrelevant from the Scottish perspective.
I have a long standing contempt for New Labour in all its forms, of which the PLP is very much one of them, although currently more of a Clintonite-Obama model than a Blair-Brown one, at least in the dominant source of inspiration. All the same, if I was living in England I would consider voting Labour in order to keep the Tories out, although my decision would be dependent on the political allegiance of the Labour candidate, as well as whether or not the Green Party was running there.
I really don’t trust the LibDems. I like some of their policies, but I’ve always found them to be fence-sitters, cherrypicking from Tory and Labour policies with the desire of trying to please everyone. Which you can’t. They just come across as opportunists to me, and wishy-washy ones at that. I have not been attracted to them like many other leftists have been, although I can appreciate the reasoning of thoses leftists that have. New Labour is dead, and it has damaged the Labour Party greatly in the process. Many people are now abandoning the Labour Party in favour of the LibDems partly as a sign of protest to the failed New Labour project, and partly because the LibDems are modelling themselves now as somewhat to the left of Labour.
I am a member of the Scottish Socialist Party. If I was in England I would have either joined the Labour Party and their internal socialist caucus the Labour Representation Committee, or the Green Party and their ecosocialist faction. Scotland provided me with a functioning and viable option in the form of the SSP. As noted in my previous article though, my branch isn’t contesting my constituency, focusing on upcoming local and Scottish elections instead. The Green Party and the Trade Union Socialist Coalition isn’t running either.
I’m leaning towards the SNP as a result. The SNP is the only party contesting my constituency that is opposed to Trident and advocating instead that the money saved from scrapping Trident go towards public services. Scrapping Trident would free up enough funds to prevent the public sector cuts being advocated by the Tories, Labour and LibDems. Both Labour and the Tories share the same pro-Trident position, and the LibDems aren’t questioning the need for a nuclear deterrent, just wondering if it could be done cheaper.
I don’t understand why the UK needs a nuclear weapon system at all. As far as I can tell it’s more about the UK continuing it’s delusion of being a major power and keeping it’s place at the UN security council table. Forgive me if I think investing in people trumps investing in weapons of mass destruction for the sole purpose of ones national ego. Misplaced priorities as far as I can tell.
There is an independent running in my areas, a Susan Archibald, who I’ve heard good things about too. She’s very much pro-worker and campaigns on behalf of people with disabilities. I’ve also heard she has some generally progressive politics too. I’m hoping to learn more about her positions before this Thursday. Otherwise I’ll be voting SNP.
The best outcome for me is a hung parliament, with strong a government of coalition (de facto at least) of the LibDems, Labour and the SNP/Plaid Crymu (and Greens if they get in in Brighton and Norwich). Even if that parliament only lasts for a year, I would expect it to see electoral reform passed, with some form of proportional representation implemented for the next election.
There is also a lot of organising going on beneath the surface here. The unions and workers all over are preparing to defend themselves against the coming storm. Lots of eyes are on Greece at the moment, and movements are being planned accordingly. It should make for some interesting developments over here at any rate.
Impact on Bermuda?
I’m not sure what the impact of the election is going to be in Bermuda. None of the three main parties really say anything about the overseas territories in their manifestoes. I need to reread their finance chapters again to see if they have anything directly relevant to us.
The biggest impact I see is the potential for the LibDem boost in the UK to have a ripple effect on the Bermuda Democratic Alliance. I see the BDA being of the same cloth as the LibDems, and a success for the LibDems could also boost the BDA too.