Election

For whom should I vote?

Louise Mensch went to New York to live with her husband, so resigned as an MP. A Labour colleague on a committee said he hated her politics but he found her a wonderful committee operator. I think, having been elected, she should have stayed the course. There will be a resentment of Mensch vote on the 15th, as well as a resentment of the Government.

I have been a lifelong Tory, because my father was Tory. He was chairman of the Constituency Association, I was briefly treasurer. I went out canvassing in my 20s. When I was 12, Mrs Thatcher was elected, and that was my first interest in politics: I thought it wonderful.

“If a man is not socialist in his teens, he has no heart. If he is not Conservative in middle age, he has no brain.” Well, I have neither, because I have moved Left, in part because of my toleration of my own idiosyncrasy, which I found vile. Self-hatred produces conservatism, the right-wing desire to control.

I rather liked Andy Sawford, the Labour candidate, when he knocked on my door. He invited email questions, and mine got no answer. I wrote it to be really hard, but that is no excuse: How, during a recession, do we have a trade deficit? That being the case, would not increases in government spending produce a consumer boom, which would appear in the GDP figures, but in reality cause worse problems later?

I understand Keynes advocated borrowing during a recession, to kick-start growth. What would Keynes have thought of Government borrowing during a consumer boom? How do you defend the Government’s record between 2005 and 2008?

Then a canvasser phoned, and said it was because of the Euro crisis, problems in our biggest markets. He sounded about twenty, and he knew Nigel Lawson was chancellor in the 1980s. We conversed for twenty minutes. How should I vote? Not for resentment of Government, because my memory stretches back to 2010 and before. He told me how wonderful Mr Millipede’s speech was at Conference, and how showy but facile Mr Cameron’s, and that did not convince me either, I will judge for myself. He had the rhetoric, but I seek the truth. Every time he answered my arguments and overcame them- he knows more, he cares more- he put me off more: his certainty, or something. And both main parties wish to manage the economy better, rather than to take a radical new direction. The gap between their policies is small. George Osborne borrows, perhaps more than Keynes would counsel.

A big issue in the election is Skew Bridge, an out of town shopping centre near Zhuzhkov. It will be good for shopping, perhaps with a Marks and Spencer! It will be bad for local town centres. The Conservatives say they support it and Labour oppose it, Labour says the opposite, and both use selective quotes. The leaflet pictured repels me. Red is the Labour colour. At first glance, it might be a Labour leaflet, then it calls them liars.

Also standing is Ian Gillman, who hates the EU yet cannot work with even the English Democrats or UKIP, whose leaflet reveals him as a tragic knowall. I could vote Liberal, though with a third the number of votes of the Conservatives or Labour in the General election, she is unlikely to win. I could vote Green- certain not to win, but I could register how beautiful I find windfarms. The trouble with the main candidates is that I want them both to lose.