Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Hopes and Fears

Watching the UK election from afar has been a sad and chastening experience. The fact is that neither the Prime Minister nor the Leader of HM Opposition are fit for office. 

The partisan media scream for their particular political brand but have utterly failed to dissect the issues that threaten to wrench the UK into crisis and possible collapse. Biased, incoherent and feral, the British press has systematically undermined democratic debate and even basic rules of decency. Frankly the drivel that most of the print media serve up is a slop of insults to the intelligence and out-and-out depravity that genuinely makes me ashamed of the country of my birth. That the FT, The Economist and sometimes the Guardian do provide nuanced and thoughtful opinion doesn't off-set the verminous alt-right lies published by the off-shore owned, tax avoiding right wing bastards in the Dailies Telegraph, Express, Mail, or the Times or the Sun. In future years we will not need to look far to understand the roots of the British national crisis: it has screamed from every disgusting front page.

So apart from fury at the vile press, what is a thoughtful, liberal minded, basically patriotic voter to make of the state of the nation on the eve of the general election?

Firstly that the country is on the brink of an epochal political change. The election of such a woefully inadequate figure as Theresa May is only possible because the electorate refuses to consider that the are being presented with a false choice. The economic suicide of "no deal" with the EU should not be presented as any kind of choice and the nauseating and empty rhetoric of "no deal being better than a bad deal" is childish nonsense. The shear irresponsibility shown by the so-called negotiating team of "Team Theresa" is as outrageous as it is hollow and pointless. 

Meanwhile there is the tortured retelling of the Corbyn story as some kind of virtue tale. Yes, he may be sincere, he may even be a genuine idealist, but the simple fact is that on almost every issue, from Ireland to Venezuela, Jeremy Corbyn has been wrong, and often badly, totally, completely wrong. he may indeed have stuck to his principles, but they are wrong principles.

A straw woman or an inflexible tin man is not the choice that the UK should be making.

There is a better choice- one that is derided and deliberately ignored by the witches coven of the right wing press. It is very simple: for the good of the country and for ourselves we should vote Liberal Democrat. 

I have voted Liberal or Liberal Democrat in every election except once, here in Estonia where I voted for a friend standing for the Social Democrats in the Tallinn City Council. At this general election I found that owing to boundary changes my oversees vote had been moved from the safe Conservative seat of the Cities of London and Westminster into Westminster North, which is a marginal Labour seat. I was very thoughtful, since although I disagree with much of her point of view, I regard the incumbent Labour MP as a reasonable figure to serve in Parliament and her defeat would, I thought, serve to reinforce a the Conservative Prime Minister, who I hold in contempt. Yet in the end I decided to vote for the Liberal Democrat. This was not merely a negative anti-Tory, anti Labour vote, but also a positive statement that the Liberal Democrats represent an idology whicch is better and stronger than the alternatives.

An open society, tolerant principles and social cohesion based on a more efficient economy are not on offer from Labour, and still less for the provincial and shrill Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats understand the need to rebuild British politics based on a more open electoral system and a more responsive administration. Where we get MPs elected, they serve with these principles in mind and consistently, Liberal Democrat MPs are better rated by the people that they serve. The fact is that politics is not all the same and the Liberal Democrats are better.

So I have voted for hope, for better politics and the chance of change. The fears of the other alternatives may yet be well founded, but I have decided that in the battle of hope over fear that Hope should get a better chance.

We will see on Friday whether the British people have chosen likewise.  

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