Back in the 1970's, many libertarians voted for the Conservatives, as they seemed to offer an alternative to the economically disastrous policies of Mr Wilson and Mr Callaghan. Margaret Thatcher did indeed carry out necessary reforms that benefited the economy of the UK as a whole including Scotland. Unfortunately there was neither reform of the welfare state nor of state education.
The current Labour government has done immeasurable harm to Britain. The economy has been kept going by unprecedented monetary expansion that will end in disaster - hopefully under the premiership of Gordon Brown. When he sold gold, I decided to buy. But a sick economy can be turned round fairly quickly when the correct policies are adopted. It is far more difficult to cure a broken culture, and that's what Britain now "enjoys". The Blair regime has laid waste to civil liberties that have taken centuries to evolve. It is perfectly correct to describe its policies as "fascist". For the first time in my life I am afraid of my own government. That is a shameful state of affairs.
Needless-to-say, the so-called Liberal Democrats offer no alternative. Despite making a few sound noises on ID cards, the LibDems are nanny statists par excellence. A conservative friend recently pronounced, "I'd rather vote for Tommy Sheridan than the LibDems!"
I am tempted to vote UKIP, but they do have a whiff of incompetence about them despite there being several sound activists in the party. They are not exactly on the radar here in Scotland. So shall I be voting Conservative again? Sort of.
I've met a few of the Tories on the Edinburgh City Council as well as my local candidate. They are normal people. They have real jobs, don't have windmills on their roofs, are unlikely to hug a hoodie and probably think the same sort of thing as I do about Polly Toynbee and her ilk. I'll be happily voting for my Conservative candidate for the City Council.
But that's as far as it goes for the Tories. I do understand that David Cameron is attempting to rebrand his party, but the only reason why they were in need of rebranding is because the Conservatives had totally failed to promote a consistent policy in favour of individual liberty. Where are their calls for slashing the over-bloated state? Why haven't they advocated huge tax cuts on principle? Why are they seemingly determined to remain in the EU no matter what the cost to Britain?
And so, to coin a phrase, it's time.
Rather to my surprise I've decided to vote SNP in the parliamentary election. Don't get me wrong - I remain a federalist, though doubt that a sensible federal solution for the UK will be adopted. If I lived in certain other constituencies I'd be voting Tory - I won't mention which candidates I have in mind, not wanting them to face the probable wrath of their party for the crime of liberty-speak. I would probably vote against independence were a referendum being held this week. But an independent Scotland is not unthinkable for me. Indeed, one reason I am voting for the Nationalists is my extreme annoyance at many of those in the English press and blogosphere who seem to have developed a strong hatred of Scotland. Yes, the West Lothian Question should have been dealt with - a position accepted by 99% of Scots. But all those claims about Scotland being an economic basket case have become rather tiresome. It ain't so and I can't be bothered to link yet again to the evidence. Suffice to say that we're number four out of the twelve UK regions and boringly average in the European economic context.
But my primary reason for voting for the Nationalists is this. What would Tony Blair want? What would Gordon Brown want? What would Joke McConnell want? The last thing they'd want is my voting SNP. So that's what I'll be doing and I hope and pray that Labour gets a good kicking on Thursday.