steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Democracy Inaction

I saw a Channel 4 debate about the economy last night, with party bigwigs, economists, business leaders, senior civil servants et al. They talked a great deal about ways to raise tax: VAT, corporation tax, National Insurance, duties on fuel, alcohol, etc. But again, not one person mentioned the possibility of raising the basic rate of income tax. Am I the only person in the country who thinks this at least worth considering?


I guess I’m still officially a floating voter, though fluttering only the shortish distance between the Greens and the LibDems. Meanwhile, I've made a little table to help me not decide who to choose.







1.      Will ditch ID cards


2.      Er, that’s it

1.      Pretty much everything else


2.      The plan to give tax breaks to the rich (e.g. city bankers) is crazy, but of a piece with the rest of their economics, which seem to have been developed in the trust funds of Eton.


3.      DC, George Osborne and several other members of the Bullingdon Club Tory front bench seriously give me the creeps

Why am I even putting them on the list? I lived through Thatcher, for goodness sake!


1.      I agree with their approach to the environment, obviously


2.      I instinctively like most of their other policies, even though they sound suspiciously as if they started life on the back of a beer mat.


3.      Very few vested interests.

1.      Caroline Lucas blustered in interview. Didn’t inspire confidence.


2.      Are their policies as are hardheaded and ‘costed’ as they claim? Really?



1.      They do have some competent people, as well as idiots like Margaret Hodge (although I do hope she doesn’t lose her seat to the BNP, I guess).


2.      I don’t think they’ve done badly with the economy during the crisis, given the circumstances. (But they did more to create those circumstances than they’ll admit.)

1.      A long track record of breaking manifesto promises (e.g. introducing student fees)


2.      There’s a strong authoritarian strain, as shown in their measures for ID cards, detention without trial, etc etc. For me, this is a deal-breaker.


3.      They look tired out, poor dears.

Would a Lib-Lab coalition be the best plausible outcome of this election? At this stage, almost certainly.


1.      They seem to take redistribution of wealth more seriously than the other big two.


2.      Will scrap Trident


3.      Electoral reform for the house of Commons. (But would they make the house of Lords democratic? Or give devolution to the English regions? No talk of that.)

4.      Less inclined to blow dog whistles over immigration.


1.      Clegg revealed as something of a one-trick pony in debate. I also suspect him of being far more right-wing than he appears.


2.      I don’t share their EUphoria

They might  act as a brake on the Tories in coalition, but I’d hate to think my vote had let the Tories in, even in an ameliorated form.



Tags: current affairs
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