I have to confess, I have still to read the manifestos of the main parties, study in detail the leaflets of the local candidates or follow to any great extent the coverage of mainstream media. But I am interested and my helping to organize a local hustings (see here) and engaging in discussions is, I would think, proof. When I posted over two weeks ago: “General Election 2017 – my choice and why”, my thoughts then are not so far off to what I think now, despite a lot of water having gone under the bridge in the interim.
While the main reason for calling the election, Brexit, stands, many other issues have arisen that cannot be ignored. I have been under-impressed by Theresa May, whose “strong and stable” has looked at times to be “weak and wobbly”, with Jeremy Corbyn increasingly presenting himself statesmanlike. Yet there are many social justice concerns I have and, given issues around my town’s local hospital, I trust Labour ahead of the Conservatives when it comes to the NHS and other issues too e.g. reducing homelessness because of building affordable homes. On the most important of these, abortion, Labour are to be found wanting in proposing to extend pro-choice. But it is still the Conservatives I trust to negotiate the best exit from the EU, to balance the books and best manage the economy. On top of that there have been two major Islamic terror attacks since I last wrote. While Theresa May’s record as Home Secretary in addressing the underlying issues has been poor, I still prefer her to Jeremy Corbyn to fix matters (although neither side really gets it and is part of my frustration when deciding). If the bookies are to be believed (and they usually are), the Conservatives look well set to win (sadly), although giving recent upturns nothing should be taken for granted.
While it remains true that I would prefer Conservative to any of the alternatives on offer, to be returned to power following Thursday’s election, it continues to be with grave misgivings. I am an oddity I reckon, given who I vote for locally usually does not correlate on which party I would prefer to be returned to power nationally, based on the notion of who will do most good for them they are meant to represent, and this election is no exception. I am afraid that James Duddridge, the local Conservative MP, will not be getting my vote. His not turning up to our hustings, despite our being prepared to work round his diary, was the final straw. While I have a lot of time for Ron Woodley and Simon Cross, I will be voting for Ashley Dalton, Labour. She has gone up in my estimation, since first declaring my support. Imho, she as the best candidate from among those standing, despite not “getting it” regarding Brexit.
I will continue to pray: “Thy will be done …”! Finally, I would urge readers to vote for whoever they think will best serve their area and their country, based on their best understanding of the issues that need to be addressed, even if quite different to me. The following advice from the great John Wesley seems appropriate: