Given that I am still undecided, I thought that I should pay the Liberal Democrat manifesto a little more attention than usual.
There are some appealing proposals for a liberal such as myself, including the introduction of a regulated cannabis market (why not all drugs?) and the repeal of the Snooper’s Charter.
However, any liberalism does not extend to the economy, with large increases in spending on the NHS and education, which are only funded by increasing the debt. There is also the reversal of some benefit cuts.
Further to that, they are going to increase income tax by 1p for everyone.
Bad enough when Labour propose to increase the rate of income tax on the rich (you know – the people that open companies and employ many of us), but to increase income tax on everyone will just discourage work and make us all poorer, at a time when living standards are fairly stagnant.
It seems that they are simply trying to appeal to Labour-lite voters. I am not a Labour voter.
Yes I am missing something. Brexit.
If you have read any article of mine, you will know that I want no kind of Brexit. If the Liberal Democrats offered no Brexit – ie that they would stop the Brexit process, then I would vote for them.
To offer a second vote is pointless. It’s a ratification vote. If a second vote, on the deal, was lost – the Brexit question is closed. Lose two referendums and the matter is conclusive for many a year. And unless there is some kind of significant shift in public opinion (still roughly 50/50 split if you look at polls with balanced questions on Brexit), then I can only see another defeat for those of us who believe the future is dark, outside of the huge single market that is the European Union.
I cannot see that there will be any conclusive shift in public opinion, until Brexit happens, and when people start to notice subsequent negative effects on their lives. Therefore, just like death itself, Brexit has to happen. We have to have a Brexit failure to be able to reverse the process and be able to go back into the EU. This is a long-term game – no point in just putting off Brexit. People need to experience how bad things will be.
Thereby that policy of a second referendum on the deal is pointless.
I may still vote for the Liberal Democrats in some kind of anti-Brexit, anti-May protest vote, but it remains unlikely. Who am I going to vote for, remains a good question.
Oh for a liberal party.