Spoilt for Choice

December 12. The UK’s next General Election. How should I vote?, my wife asks. I don’t say anything. For one thing, she should think it through for herself. For another, how should I know?

Running through the candidates from last time, what are my options?

#1, Conservative. John Glen won the Salisbury seat last time out, quite safely. I’m in one of the safest Conservative seats in the country! I can’t vote Conservative. I’ve never voted for them, and anyway in the last few years I’ve seen for myself how badly things like the NHS, local government, disability benefits work, all of which are under their control.

#2, Labour. Actually, I don’t mind Jeremy Corbyn. I certainly don’t fear him. But I do fear the people around him and behind him, and he can’t do it all himself. Do you remember Brett Kavanaugh? US readers will. He was Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, who was very publicly accused of sexual assault in front of the Senate Judicial Committee. I noticed at the time that Kavanaugh denied the allegations, so I thought there might be some kind of arrest and trial. Talking to Labour Party members at the time, they’d have quite happily hung, drawn and quartered him there and then. Not even a hint of due process. That scares me.

I remember also debating with Labour members on another occasion, this time about Brexit. For being pro-Brexit, I was vilified. Forget that Michael Foot was against the EU. Foot once rose to the very top of the Labour Party, but his view is now vilified. Or Tony Benn, who lost the Deputy Leader election by less than 1%. We only lost Benn in 2014, but his view is vilified. So that intolerance, too, scares me.

Allegations of anti-semitism have dogged the Labour Party for years, and I wrote a post on here even asking what Corbynistas could do. They can take it seriously, for a start. They can look at Jewish MPs beying hounded out of their constituencies and can say that it isn’t acceptable.

So, in summary, if I were to vote Labour, I’m scared of what I’d actually get.

Last time around, the Liberal Democrats came in at #3. I’m afraid I have a fundamental problem with the Liberal Democrats. We had a plebiscite in 2016 which decided X, and the one thing that the Liberal Democrats have promised is that they will ignore X. So if they get into power, what other votes are they going to ignore?

#4 was UKIP. UK independence Party. What nonsense! These guys are further to the right even than the Conservatives. In Salisbury, they received just 2% of the vote, and a similar number nationally. Thank Goodness.

#5 was the Green Party. In fact, that was where my vote went in 2017. I can still support them on a number of issues, but unfortunately they fall into the same hole as the Liberals. If I vote for a party with a policy to ignore votes, where will I end up?

There was one last entrant. Unfortunately I have no idea who Arthur Pendragon is, beyond having a nifty name. But that’s the trouble with Independents – the name appears on the ballot paper, but you have no idea what the values are.

So where does that leave me? Well, it doesn’t really leave me anywhere. I get a postal vote nowadays because of my disability, but have determined to spoil my ballot. Another option would be just not to vote at all, but I don’t want my non-vote to be interpreted as apathy, because the last thing I am is apathetic.

I suppose there is one last option. If I can’t lend my support to anybody, I could stand myself. But why should I? I have no wish to represent anybody, and it doesn’t really bother me whether other people share my views, I’m not out to convince anyone of anything. Plus, I already talked about the difficulty of an independent candidate putting their views across. So thanks, but I’ll sit this one out.

So that’s my plan – to vote for none of the above.

Author: Stroke Survivor UK

Formerly, designed and developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged pre-50! I have returned to developing from home, but some of my time is also spent volunteering with the UK charities Age UK (www.ageuk.org.uk) and the [UK] Stroke Association (www.stroke.org.uk).

14 thoughts on “Spoilt for Choice”

  1. It is the same over here but different. We have nationalist parties who just disrupt the country and get the money and the votes. Than we have the ‘centre’ that becomes the right due to the money and the votes. The Green party has good point but no (will) power and than we have a small fraction that is left. I don’t know, they are good for now but you don’t know where you’ll end up with those extreme lefties. So we have a problem and no answers. But maybe apthy is the worst kind. So I will always go vote because I’m proud I can go vote.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I love Belgium, but have no idea of the politics there. You have some form of PR, right? I would feel a bit easier supporting the left here if they also believed in electoral reform, but our current system works to the advantage of the two main parties, so they have no interest in making our system fairer. Are you Flanders or Wallonia?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. What is PR? I live in Flanders. I’m glad you love Belgium, I do too! I’ve never been to the UK so I can’t say much exept that I love David Bowie and I’ve seen a lot of BBC series 😊

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            1. Proportional Representation, I thought that most of Europe had it. Before I had the stroke, I loved cycling so enjoyed Flanders in particular. I used to go to the Zesdaagse in Gent each year. I once taught myself to count to ten in Flemish (wow!), but forgotten. I found it difficult, at the age I was. My French is okay (but not in Vlaanderen!), I liked visiting there too. We used to get Belgian tv on the internet (I checked once) but I never found the local channels I used to watch in Gent. Your English is very good, by the way.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thank you so much! I try to better my English but since I suffer with cognitive problems, can’t concentrate well, it becomes difficult sometimes. We have PR but the votes went to two right parties and the other ones are poorly representated. Belgium is quite complex in that matter, 1 country but divided in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonië. We don’t understand it quite well ourselves, we do know that it costs a lot of money. Gent! I studied there and my bf is an avid cyclist. He’ knows everything about that, I’ll ask him. It’s so nice to meet you and you know much about Vlaanderen 🙂

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                1. I follow a Flemish group on Facebook (toerisme oost-vlaanderen) plus two French-language groups, just really to see the words, because I have not visited for so long. But when I am tired, I don’t even try to understand… Slapwel!

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                    1. I fully agree that we should vote because we can, by the way. I think it is wrong not to care. But I wouldn’t blame anybody who looked at their system and thought that nothing they could vote for who would make any difference. In the UK, we often hear people evoking memories of Dunkirk, that people died so that we could vote. But they didn’t die for this, they died so we could have a choice.

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  2. I should probably have mentioned the dear old Brexit Party, who were not around last time, and who seem only to want to leave the EU and sever our ties completely. So if you’re worried about jobs, health, education…well at least we’ll have left the EU. Sorry, another group I place in my “nonsense” category. Even if you *are* going to sever ties completely (and I don’t preclude that, over time), you don’t do so until your contingencies are sorted out. I can only liken their stance to teaching someone to swim, by throwing them into the Deep End.

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