Okay, Charles Stross said it better, read him instead

You don’t have to agree with his decision (although it seems my own views are not far from his), but I love his closing paragraph and wish I’d written it last night:

But if you’re voting in this election, I would like you to read not only the main party manifestos, but also to look at the party’s backgrounds and the philosophical values that inform them: and then to question your own values, and look a little deeper into the matter than simply asking whether you like Gordon Brown’s face or David Cameron’s wife. It’s okay to vote against people you wouldn’t mind sharing a bottle of wine with if you think their policies are short-sighted. The political is not personal on this scale, whatever the tabloid newspapers would like you to think.

Source: Charlie’s Diary

It’s General Election week

I don’t normally blog about politics. In fact I don’t normally discuss it that much, at least in public, sober – sometimes I argue drunkenly about it in private! It’s just a topic that people can be (naturally) quite dogmatic about and so it tends to be contentious/argumentative and I hate that, and so avoid it.

But, I am having troubles with my vote this year, and am really quite torn between a couple of choices. I thought I would blog about politics for once and give away at least something about how I will vote if only to remind you all that is a fantastic resource if you want to know more about your options. They have a nice comparison based on a (too short but interesting) list of questions at and they have all the usual juicy detail about what your local MP has been up to. The one thing it really helped me do is eliminate one choice very quickly and easily just based on some topics which are important to me:

My local MP is (was) Jim Fitzpatrick for Labour and based on:

  • Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards
  • Voted very strongly for replacing Trident
  • Voted very strongly for the Iraq war
  • Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war

It’s very easy for me to decide that this guy has got to go. Obviously this is my local MP but these are national issues which are important to me, as are the economy and the environment. I guess this is a time when we all have to weigh up what’s really important to us. To be honest I don’t think about it often enough but I sure have lately.

So that means as you can see I will be voting for a change of government on Thursday (as the polls suggest a lot of others will too). Have a look, whatever your beliefs, theyworkforyou is a useful tool.

So I have one choice left to make, and there are a lot of variables which don’t make it easy.  I only partially agree with either of the other big parties on various topics of importance including Europe, immigration, taxation and let’s not forget our broken electoral system adding concerns over possible hung parliament/minority government, the relative strengths of the local candidates, etc..

I’m trying not to be too specific because I don’t want to necessarily invite anyone to disagree with me – this isn’t a politics blog – of course you are welcome to privately disagree with me because different things are important to each of us, this is why arguing about politics, rather than about specific issues, is generally something I avoid :)

But anyway, I think I am almost decided now. Please vote on Thursday, if you can!