Three days ago I posted: “Who should Christians vote for on December 12th?” where I laid out principles that UK Christians might care to consider when casting their vote in 5 weeks time. I was careful to point out that I will not and cannot tell people who to vote for, recognizing even the most wise, knowlegeable and holy from among the Christian community can come to an entirely different view to me and UK politics is a far cry from “Thy Kingdom come”.
In this post I want to offer a personal opinion and provide a view of how I see things in the lead up to the 12th December election. I like to think of myself as a political neutral even though some see me as far right. My community activist mantra could equally place me among the radical left. My views on Brexit might best align me to the Brexit Party. I have lived in my constituency, Rochford and Southend East (RSE) for most of my adult life. I have voted for most of the Parties in my time, including Green and UKIP. I am what used to be called a floating voter that tended to vote for person before party. That is why for a long period when Teddy Taylor was representing us I voted for him despite not being a convinced Tory.
This election is different from the norm, which is meant to take place every five years. It was called as much because of the many deadlocks over Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a mandate for his policies which Parliament was not prepared to give, in particular concerning Brexit. I confess to being a no strings attached Brexiteer, and see this as the main issue of this election as well the principle of respecting the will of the people and not of the elite, something following the June 2016 EU Referendum result has NOT been done. As I see it, the Greens and LibDems, not only are they unlikely to win (an unfair by product of our first past the post system of voting to be fair), they are pro-remain and their good ideas on social justice are outweighed by too many bad ideas.
That leads us to the two front runners as things stand: Ashley Dalton (Labour) and James Duddridge (Conservative). I like Ashley as a person and believe she would be a fine MP. I admire her stance on various social justice issues, the latest being availing ourselves of the opportunity of building more Council houses, an issue like many James has been silent / ineffectual. Besides disagreeing on many things, e.g. I see climate change as low down in the pecking order when it comes to issues, she belongs to a party led by Jeremy Corbyn, who I rate as a particularly bad leader and one whose Brexit policy is very wrong. As for James, I have warmed to him over the years and note his Brexit views are closer to mine, but does NOT get social justice in the way Ashley does. I can’t vote for him because of Brexit because Boris’ recently negotiated treaty (it is not a deal as Nigel Farage has pointed out); is a con because it is being mis sold to the electorate by someone who wants (rightly) to be shot of Brexit and move on on the basis of a bad treaty that ties us in with the EU, who will still have a say in what we do for years to come.
It is a judgement call I know and it isn’t rocket science but I can imagine if I did a spreadsheet with issues down one side and what Ashley and James think along the other, I might find I am closer to James. If it was just about representing the residents then Ashley might do better. That brings us to the unknown quantity: the Brexit Party. I won’t ignore them as some Tory Leave friends have suggested, because while Boris is better than Theresa, his Brexit approach is still wrong. I do not know who their candidate is or if they can form a Leave alliance with the Tories (the smart thing maybe, noting there is a Remain equivalent). I know little about their policies other than Brexit or how they would respond on many issues. For me, as things stand, based on the above rationale, when it comes to voting it is choice between Ashley (Labour), James (Conservative) and whoever (Brexit Party). All of this is imho. Update 15/11/19: while there will be no Brexit candidate it will be still be a choice of three: Ashley, James or spoil my ballot paper.
If all that sounds depressing, it is because it is, at least humanly speaking. It is just as well I can look beyond the human and trust in the one who controls all things. I think we should be shot of the EU with no strings attached asap but we should not lose sight of many other issues facing us and take into account the government arising out of the election may be with us for the next five years. I am inclined to a view to expect many twists and turns, rhetoric void of substance and the unexpected. I have five weeks to weigh the issues and to make up my mind but the one thing I do know: I will be voting on December 12th DV even though I have little faith in the effacacy of so called UK democracy, but as yet I don’t know who for.