I would love to see some high-profile Labour casualties: perhaps Jack Straw in Blackburn. It’s probably too much to expect that Tony Blair himself will lose his seat and in some ways I hope that he survives. Justice surely requires that both Tony and Gordon be in power when their bubble economy finally implodes. A good result would be a reduction of Tony’s majority from 17,713 to around 500 with 10,000 postal votes being cast. Who would believe that he had been elected legitimately?
You can guess that I’m not going to vote for the Labour party. I do acknowledge that Blair’s administration hasn’t gone around nationalising whole industries but it’s done something more insidious and far more difficult to correct: nationalising people. It’s extraordinary that a government that’s done so much to abolish Britain’s traditional liberties still leads in the opinion polls. And what can one say about a regime that gives welfare benefits to people earning more than £50,000?
I do like the Liberal Democrats’ stance on civil liberties, at least compared with its rivals. If we were back in the 19th century, or even in the days of Jo Grimond, I would happily vote for the Liberals, but Charlie Kennedy’s lot has blown it completely by being absolutely committed to a level of taxation that would destroy the UK economy. I suppose that’s inevitable given the LibDem’s devotion to the Big Bureaucratic Blob in Brussels. Such a pity.
I’m pleased that some SNP politicians are talking about entrepreneurship and a low-tax Scottish economy, but they’re in a distinct minority. Most nationalists remain wedded to the Scottish collectivist zeitgeist. My own preference is for a small-government federalist UK although I don’t plan to rush for the exit if Scotland does vote for independence. Nevertheless, I’m not going to push the country in that direction so long as the SNP mainstream rejects capitalism.
I guess that leaves the Tories.
Previously I have expressed my disgust over the decision to support ID cards. As it happens, on the evening of that fateful announcement I was at an event attended by some Scottish Conservative activists and I don’t think I’d be revealing any confidences by stating that many in the party were “steaming” over the ID card policy. Like others, I’m also very angry that the Tories have culled several excellent candidates who spoke in favour of reductions in taxation and the “creative destruction” of the welfare state.
For a while I contemplated a spoiled vote or voting UKIP, but, like the Bunny, I was appalled by that party’s election material and TV broadcast.
And so I find myself asking: “What would Tony want?” Presumably he’d want the re-election of Alistair Darling, despite that gentleman being a protégée of Gordon Brown. Certainly Gordon wants Alistair back in. The outcome is that I plan to vote for Gordon Buchan, the Conservative candidate for Edinburgh South West. I don’t know Mr Buchan but the local Labour party is clearly worried judging by the quantity of election material coming through my letterbox.
I recognise that the Conservative party needs a good kick up the backside if it’s ever to move in a more libertarian direction but here in Scotland there’s very little alternative. Some of the Conservative candidates do have distinct libertarian tendencies: Iain Whyte, in Edinburgh North & Leith; Richard Cook, in East Renfrewshire; Douglas Fraser, in Perth; Alex Johnstone, in West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine; Campbell Murdoch, in West Dunbartonshire; Peter Finnie, in Motherwell & Wishaw and Stuart Randall, in Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath. If Mr Randall knocks out Gordon Brown he’ll be the most famous and surprised politician in the country!
In the long run the intellectual battle is what matters. But tomorrow it’ll be time for some pure theatre and I’ll be up all night. It’s a damned nuisance that I face an audit the following morning.
(UPDATE: I've received three e-mails from a Mr Michael Howard in the last ten minutes! I get the impression that he's not a member of ZaNu-Labour)