Interesting Times

2009 is ending.  In some places it’s already 2010; here we have between five and six hours to go.  And we live in interesting times.

Featuring large on the 2010 calendar is our election, and what the new government will do with the economic disaster and the legacy of fiscal incontinence on a mindblowing scale.  The current government is more bankrupt even than the country (and I don’t just mean financially).  The only real alternative – the Tories – don’t look promising.  Neither does the third party, the libdems.  I expect the small parties to benefit, and alas the xenophobic [BN|UKI]P may well outperform the greens among the minor parties, as they’re seen as a more powerful protest vote.

Nationally I have to support the tories, as the best chance to end thirteen years of the most blatently corrupt government in our history (no, this has nothing to do with MPs expenses). Not, I hasten to add, with any enthusiasm: rather with my nose firmly held and screaming “none of the above“, but alas, that’s not an option.

But they’re setting themselves up for a huge fall.  By being far too timid on the economy, they’re walking right into a whirlwind of blame for the coming collapse.  Four years of cold turkey followed by another Labour government is a truly ghastly prospect.  I want to hear a credible plan now!  Don’t pretend it’ll be painless for the majority.  Don’t pretend a bloated NHS can be ringfenced.  Don’t pretend all that debt can be swept under the carpet indefinitely.  Tell us the worst now, so you have a mandate for what you have to do!  Because if you play labour’s game and downplay the problem, you’ll deserve (as well as get) the blame for killing off “the recovery” and plunging us into a deeper recession.

The most interesting prospect I can see to tackle the broken economy is Philip Hammond, though that’s based on very little knowledge.  Perhaps a higher-profile role for him (who needs Osborne?) would be a good start.  Googling him for a link, I see the Adam Smith Institute have another interesting idea.

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Posted on December 31, 2009, in politics, uk. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I don’t think you have to support the Tories at all. More to the point, the idea of “strategic voting”, where everyone tries to second-guess who the majority will be and therefore votes for a party they *don’t* want, strikes me as a particularly dumb way to waste one’s vote.

    Case in point: I heard someone on Radio 4, some months ago, saying that some people were treating the BNP as a dumping-ground for protest votes (fuelled most locally by expenses shenanigins); this is kind of the opposite principle to strategic voting, deliberately squandering one’s vote. Unfortunately, the nature of democracy as we have it is that a vote is seen as approval for the party and you *shall* get the party you vote for. Result: there is now a BNP member from Yorkshire. D’uh.

    I deduce, therefore, if you want both not-Labour, ideally-not-Tory and any chance of regime change, you should consider the Lib-Dems as the only party (AFAIK) with a system-changing system proposal (namely proportional representation).

    Certainly, I intend to vote simply and honestly for the party I believe best reflects what I want, in terms of how I feel a society should be run in which I want to live. I do wish others would adopt the same principle, both when voting and making governmental decisions. (Also, this means not creating situations that abuse both innocent members of the public such as photographers *and* so-called “terrorism” so-called”law”, although it’s harder to quantify which party might give that end. The current government has turned the nation’s enforcement agencies against its own population even more, a good 10%+ along the path to totalitarianism. Screw that for a game with soldiers.)

  2. Tim, I’m not saying I’ll actually vote for the buggers. If we get the Green candidate we had in 2005, he’ll get my vote. And in practice we’re a Tory/Libdem marginal (control changed in 2005), so at least there’s no risk of the ultimate disgrace here!

    My main point is, I want to hear the tories telling us how bad it really is, and giving us realistic measures to deal with it. Tell us NOW, not by stealth after they’ve been elected on unrealistic expectations. Libdems too, though that’s less important ‘cos they won’t be in the driving seat to take the blame for Labour’s incontinence.

  3. If the Tories do succeed in winning this year, I don’t think you’ll need to worry about another Labour government in four or five years’ time. After such a long spell in power, and such a monumental cock-up, their party will be wanting to indulge in some serious bloodletting the moment they’re in opposition. And it takes more than five years to rebuild a broken party. They’ll be in no state to win the next election, no matter how badly the Tories are doing.

    No, what’s causing David Cameron to lose sleep at the moment is the memory of 1992. He’s already taken a chance, as politicians reckon these things, by admitting even in vague terms that things are going to be tough if he wins the election. The more specific he gets, the more votes he’ll lose, and then he stands a real chance of going down as the Tories’ answer to Neil Kinnock.

  1. Pingback: A plague on both your houses! « niq's soapbox

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