I was at my youngest son’s Christmas concert last night when a friend of mine came up to me. “I’d love to vote for you, but I can’t , I just can’t let Corbyn in – do you see?” He knew that Johnson is a charlatan, a man of no moral fibre, competence or character, and yet that was his choice. (By the way he’s still my friend!)
We’ve been told we have to do it – to put up with the leadership of a particular party just so the “other” party doesn’t get in. But this “voting against” is exactly why we are in the mess of Brexit in the first place.
For those of you who to leave (and I understand why you did), you voted against Europe – fair enough, but you didn’t vote for anything. Three years later we are in the very uncomfortable position of not knowing how to fix the situation which is just like having piles – very irritating, and uncomfortable but something you can just about put up with (Sorry if this is too much information, but time spent in the wet and the cold carrying heavy loads and eating military rations has a consequence.)
And so it is with this election, you’re faced with a no-win situation.
Like my friend, you may lean towards the Tories, but you really hate the idea of Johnson as PM (for the reasons outlined). But even more so, you detest the idea of Corbyn in Number 10. So you pick Johnson because you didn’t want Corbyn. One year down the line, we don’t get a trade deal (the EU have said today that it is not possible), and we crash out. Or we don’t, and Johnson makes up another excuse for failure. Either option is inadquate.
Or, like other friends, you don’t like Corbyn’s leadership, you think he’s been pathetic as the opposition, and you have no idea where he sits with Brexit because he won’t say. But even worse than this is Johnson, who you couldn’t trust to tell you the time without then explaining that he had translated it from latin. So you vote for Corbyn. Six months along are still trying to organise a coalition Government and MPs still have no clear understanding how to word a people’s vote without inflaming 50% of the population. It’s piles again I’m afraid!
In fact both of the “worst case” scenarios have been greatly exaggerated by the media, which is why I generally don’t seize upon them for my raw material. If we let go of our nose and took a sniff at what we most detest, I think we would all find something a little less offensive than we first thought.
But all this time, we are closer to the point at which runaway climate change is inevitable. We are literally fiddling while Rome (and the rest of the planet) burns.
The nonsense situation is because of our First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system, which has created two parties that viciously hate each other and who will do everything they can to tear each other down rather than seek some avenue to consensus.
The immediate treatment for political piles is the Green Party (this is unlikely to appear on any campaign literature any time soon!). We have a crystal clear vision for the way our country should seize the opportunities that climate change provides to reset our nation. We don’t see to be in “power” but rather be people of influence. Even in the unlikely event that we held a majority, we would still seek to operate in partnership where possible. It’s a lot more grown up and that’s why 29 other European countries operate in coalition.
The longer term treatment is proportional representation, a view that we share with the Liberal Democrats. Labour campaign on a manifesto for PR in 1997 but conveniently failed to bring it in. Whilst PR is not perfect, it is better than FPTP and would lead to more cooperation and a wide choice of parties for the electorate to consider.
In the meantime, our sticking-plaster fix to a lack of PR is for everyone to run around telling people to “vote tactically” which actually reduces your democratic choice and perpetuates the two party system that got us here in the first place. This is like having piles and constipation, and that is a really bad situation to be in.
So please don’t hold your nose – you won’t enjoy the political piles that result. Instead, choose the candidate and policies you WANT.