Notes on the election

Very much enjoyed seeing John in The Upstairs Concierge last week. It didn’t get great reviews, but I was just so pleased and so ready to see a farce again – and I even followed along with most of the baseball references!

Speaking of farce – it’s almost time for the UK election. Five years ago I posted my first general election vote and crossed my fingers it would actually get there, and this time around I’ll be relying on my mother to vote by proxy on my behalf. (I’ll have to take it on trust that she doesn’t slip up and accidentally vote for UKIP or something.) I’m still looking forward to the day when I can actually do it the ‘proper’ way with a pencil and a cross and a cheerful looking volunteer at the polling station who’s just pleased that someone has turned up, but – in compensation – I do get the nerdish excitement at six extra hours of BBC election night coverage before I give up and go to sleep. Thank you, timezones.

With less than a week to go, then, here are some thoughts:

  • I am pleased with Ed Miliband’s performance in this campaign, especially against a tough (although pleasingly sharp) crowd on Question Time the other night. I especially respect his refusal to give in to the EU referendum bandwagon – the ‘trust the people’ soundbite is comfortable to say, but it’s also disingenuous. In a representative system, politicians should stand on a platform and argue for something. And if you really believe that a one-off referendum on the status quo trumps all other issues, don’t vote Labour. Otherwise, I urge you to give him another look.
  • Watching the debates from the US, it’s a particular point of pride that – despite our many, many faults – a consensus for universal healthcare, free at the point of use, still prevails in British politics. Let’s never ruin this.
  • If we are permanently in an era of multi-party politics, then the Westminster system must adapt. I’m not really sure whether this will be intrinsically ‘better’ or not, but it’s just a statement of fact: just as individual votes must be respected, then general patterns of voting must change things too. More devolution of power and budgets – not just to Scotland, but to English cities – should be part of the answer here.

Incidentally, if you check the sidebar of this blog, you’ll now see ‘anniversary posts’ from the eleven (as of last Monday) years of blogging archives. Easy nostalgia, and part of my motivation for writing this: it’ll serve as a useful reminder to future-me of what I was hoping for this time around. We’ll see.

Finally – my family lost someone very close to them last week. It’s been weighing on my mind, and I will miss her terribly. It feels a strange thing to write that for someone I barely knew, but with some people you just feel the goodness, and the fun, and the kindness. Di was someone like that – someone whose presence enticed teenage-me me to stick around and pull up a stool when my parents ‘had friends over’, because she was always worth the time. My thoughts are with her family.

Gillian Self, Abigail Osbiston, Natasha Self liked this post

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Notes on the election

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