Friday, 3 April 2015

Do We Want Personalities or Policies?

Last night's 7-way TV debate proved (in my opinion) to be a far better experience than expected.

There were a couple of times when the debate threatened to fall into chaos, but by and large the speakers made their points reasonably well. The Plaid Cymru speaker was one of the weaker ones, but I liked her (probably magnetised by the lovely Welsh lilt!) and thought she was coherent - but, of course, represented only one corner of the UK.

But Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) has made a big name for herself. As a commentator noted, if she didn't represent SNP, her natural allegiance would be to the Labour Party. Indeed, at times she spoke up for what I would call real Labour Party values. That's not to say I thought Ed Milliband did badly - I don't think he did - but his was a more prosaic and manicured performance directed by stylists, whereas Sturgeon seems never afraid to shoot from the hip - a la Nigel Farage. Sturgeon knows that the SNP are going to have a big say at Westminster, irrespective of whether it's Tory or Labour that ends up as the majority party.

Farage and UKIP will get support - but not by as many as some think. As for the Liberals and Nick Clegg: what a useless outfit they are. They knew very well that their natural allegiance would have been to the Labour Party, but in 2010 chose the Tories to work with, and now they try to say "It wasn't us guv!" Having already broken a big promise on tuition fees and helped through the bedroom tax, they deserve to be sent out into the wilderness in my view - there's little or no backbone present there. They've not learnt much over the 90 years since they last flirted with power.

Our eyes were programmed to be fixed on who are thought to be the main 4 last night: Cameron, Milliband, Clegg and Farage. But why are they considered so, these all men leaders? Ms. Bennett of the Greens didn't come across too well last night ... but I suspect that was more to do with their belief in real policies than personality. Their policies must have something about them if their membership has increased by as much as they say, but, let's face it, they are a party for those that think with more aspiration than simply improving their family's financial situation. The Greens are concerned about the future of the world, and with the news today that the world's water supply may not be enough to go round by 2030, we surely need to address a sustainable way of life as part of our political agenda.

I will be reasonably happy if the Labour Party becomes the majority party with the Greens, SNP and (I have to include them) Liberals guiding Labour into a more Big Picture view of politics, including the sustainability issue and encouragement of green technology.

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