Election thoughts

At the moment the Conservative campaign makes me want to stab myself in the face. For all the attacks on Labour’s ambiguity, I have virtually no idea what a vote for the Conservatives means. The only policies they’ve been clear on are…

They want to legalise fox hunting, which doesn’t seem to be aimed at me because I’m not a psychopath. Grammar schools? Don’t care, I don’t know if they’re better or not, and that distinction doesn’t seem to have factored into the policy anyway. Workers’ rights? Well, the flagship policy turned out to be that I can take a year off work to care for someone, but I don’t get paid. I’m pretty sure I can stay at home and not get paid already, thanks. This isn’t exactly revolutionary.

I think that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for higher taxes (because they’ve refused to commit to Cameron’s 2015 pledges not to increase them), no meaningful change on immigration (because they’ve committed to the same target they’ve had since 2010, under which immigration has soared, and been very wishy-washy over what brexit means for immigration), less spending on pensioners (because they’ve refused to commit to the triple lock), and a reduced chance of a hard brexit (because they’re neutralising Ukip and the nationalist wing of the Conservatives). But this is all guesswork and they could go either way. I thoroughly approve of scrapping the triple lock and of soft brexit, but they’re being intentionally ambiguous and treating voters like gullible idiots. I don’t entirely blame them for this as it’s a strategy that has worked well for them in recent history, but it does preclude me from considering them.

They’ve been pretty quiet on the stuff I care about, like: under their governance why has wage growth been below inflation more often than not, and what are they going to do about it?

Corbyn seems to be performing pretty well, all things considered. I have been pleasantly surprised. He is currently being clear and decisive and looks like a professional, which is in stark contrast to whatever the Conservatives are doing. It’s also in stark contrast to his performance as leader over the last two years, which is probably more indicative of his ability to run a country. With his strong performance in the campaign and weak performance from the Tories, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Labour dip only very slightly under their 2015 votes.

And as for the Lib Dems: Tim Farron is totally missing the point on everything, and while it seemed a few weeks ago they could safely count on my vote, I am completely unenthused.

I live in a Con/Lib marginal. I’m split between voting Lib to try to unseat the incumbent Tory (it won’t work) and spoiling my ballot. I will vote because I want to register discontent, but I don’t think I can support any of the options.

The main thing is that although this election seems to be amateur hour on every side, I think we’ll see a substantial change in direction from both major parties afterwards. Theresa May will have more power to ignore parliament, which may or may not be a good thing, and hopefully Labour will choose a leader who is not such a lost cause. It’d also be nice if Tim Farron stood aside, but I can’t see that happening unless the LDs gain literally 0 seats.

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