Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The May 7th Election Dilemma

When it comes to elections I've always been a keen supporter of the 'none of the above' candidate. I have, at different stages of my political evolution, voted with a spoilt ballot paper, Green, Labour. That was a long time ago, and even then it was more of 'vote Labour with no illusions' idea that was predeominant on the far Left. Later, when I started thinking rather than knee-jerking, I stopped voting for a long time simply because there was nobody that was even close.

More recently I voted for UKIP, but again it was more of a 'vote UKIP with no illusions' thing that is common with people pissed off with the other three. And so this time round I've got the same dilemma. But now, thanks to a stream of election leaflets from the Lib Dems I've made up my mind to sling my vote at one of the big three. You see, I would be inclined to go for the UKIP protest vote again - but I can't say this with any great joy. There's more that I like in UKIP then the others, but there's also a lot I don't like. But I live in the constituency of a Lib Dem cabinet minister - and thanks to his party's electioneering I now know that the polling shows it's a straigh race between the Tory and the Lib Dem.

And therefore I am now poised to do something I never imagined muself doing - come May 7th I will vote Conservative. Not through any great love for David Cameron or even the personal qualities of the Tory candidate. Nope, it's a simple vote to punish the Lib Dems, who are a poisonous presence. This is about a vote against their statism, there climate change mania, their pro-Europe stance, the anti-science idiocies of their energy policies and more. So, this time it's going to be 'vote Conservative with no illusions' for me.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Greek Election - Wait and See

While the program on which Syriza was elected appears to be utterly and irrevocably broken, we can at least enjoy the prospect of maximum levels of discomfort in the rest of the EU. The Greeks have given the finger to the Troika and colonial misrule from Brussels. They've done that thing that French situationists used to recommend: 'demand the impossible'.

Take one look at what Syriza is asking for and you'll see that it's economically illiterate in the extreme. It's a mishmash of red-green demands that's heavy on the rhetoric but light on anything that is concrete. Rather than demand economic development to get people into work and freed from the shackles of the state, it's all about 'sustainability', 'a new model' etc. In other words more of the same - top-down state control and central planning in the 'common good'.

It's the same with the core demand. Tell the EU to get stuffed but stay in the Euro. The radical demand would have been to drop the Euro and tell the EU to get stuffed. The conservatives campaigned on the fear of leaving the Euro and the EU, but Syriza didn't tackled that head-on, they just insisted that they could renegotiate and stay in the Euro.

Still, better a victory for Syriza than more of the same - despite the economic illiteracy and the environmentalist orthodoxies. At the very least it has excited a mood for radical change in the population that will be hard for the bureaucrats to deal with.