There’s less than an hour until the polling booths close to elect Britain’s 57th Parliament. I have supported and continue to support Something New, and hope the very best for their two candidates, James Smith in Horsham and Paul Robinson in South West Surrey. There is a problem in this country, and these guys are part of the solution.
There has been a lot of one-liners in this election, including “There’s a clear choice in this election.” And really, there is. It’s a choice between those who really mean well and those who don’t. I attend a pretty low-key private school, my father’s income is in the higher tax rate, so you could say that I would be the exact kind of person who would in the future vote Conservative or maybe Liberal Democrat.
If, in the future, I ever end up voting Conservative or Liberal Democrat, I will have to sit myself down and ask where it all went wrong. I would never vote Conservative — they are, for a start, the exact opposite of everything I stand for. I stand for progress, an evolving society to suit the needs of the many. The Conservatives stand for the same, traditional ways of doing things — Conservatism.
I’d never vote Liberal Democrat because of their record in government. They’re great as a protest party until they actually get into government and sell-out on everything they stood for. If they sell-out in government, how can they be trusted to keep any promises they make at election time? I’m not here to attack their record in the last government, it would take too long and that’s not the purpose.
I would also not vote Labour — they have fundamentally let people down on several points. Firstly, and most significantly, the Iraq War. How can you instigate an illegal war on false pretences and then just get away with it without facing trial for war crimes? It is fundamentally wrong. Labour are also responsible for introducing many of the things that the Conservatives are criticised for advancing, like the privatisation of the NHS. And, personally, I am completely against the Labour government’s response to the Financial Crisis in 2007/2008.
Now, UKIP. Initially, when I was naive about political happenings, I supported UKIP, but since my support for them has all but disapparated. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t just shun UKIP, some of their members are very intelligent and they have several policies I agree with. I think Nigel Farage, when he turned up, did a very good job of holding the European Parliament to account. But they are, and will continue to be, an extension of the Conservative Party, no matter how they try and portray themselves. And that is nothing that I could ever vote for.
The Greens are a more interesting one. Indeed, I fully support the local Green parliamentary candidate. I agree with a lot of what the Greens say, but not all, and that is important. With the Greens, there is a stigma attached of a fundamental environmentalist party, and that image has in no way been changed since electing Natalie Bennett as leader. The Greens are stuck in a position where they are the only credible left wing party, but also so toxic electorally it would be hard for them to progress much further than they are at the moment.
That’s why I turned to Something New. Because there are some fundamental problems in this country which simply aren’t being addressed by anyone, and no, it’s not the long-term economic plan, or European immigrants, or Ed Miliband’s forays into eating sandwiches. It’s the City of London Corporation, tax havens in British Overseas Territories, corporatism led by multinationals, the insurmountable financial sector, human rights abuses on the Chagos Islands, Britain’s part in American torture, the serious breaches of people’s privacy by GCHQ, the creeping privatisation of the legal system and the broken electoral system.
These are things I care about. They aren’t issues being discussed, in fact they’re issues actively being ignored. That is why I have turned to Something New, and parties like it, who are willing to address issues that are otherwise contentious to people like David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. They are, in many ways, very alike. They stand in the same place on the issues I mentioned above at least.
There are many problems in my country, and my main fear is that it will be many years until they are properly addressed. By then, however, it might be too late. Who knows what the country will look like in 5 years? Hopefully I will still be here, but, for now, at this time in the evening, it’s too early to tell.