Saturday, January 01, 2011

Disappointment of the Year

In the dying days of the last Labour government, I wrote to my MP expressing my concerns about the Digital Economy Act and in particular the way it was being rushed through parliament without any real debate or oversight. She replied with a lofty dismissal that waved away the points that I had made with an air of 'we know best'. This attitude, combined with years of increasingly authoritarian policies including ID cards, detention without trial and repressive policing in the name of anti terror laws made it impossible for me to vote Labour in the election.

I chose the Lib Dems with an air of optimism that their priorities - for science funding, education and civil liberties - matched my own. I thought that in a hung parliament the Lib Dems would have a real shot at influencing politics for the better. It seems I was wrong. David Cameron has effectively used Nick Clegg as a human shield whilst he has embarked on a ruthless series of cuts that seem anything but fair whilst the richest in the country are still getting richer (and paying less tax).

Wither politics? Yes, it might. All I know is the Britain of 2011 is a colder, more divided and less hopeful place than it was a year ago.


Anonymous said...

Right there with you for exactly the same reasons.

In fact, I had the "privilege" of getting the chance to tell my MP exactly why I wasn't voting for him when he phoned to check that he had my support the day after the Digital Economy Bill was voted in. That was quite fun (and slightly vitriolic).

I have no idea who I'll vote for next time round. I can't bring myself to support any of them now.

neil h said...

I think it will come down to who is standing in my constituency and if they engage with the electorate in any way. I took part in a local democracy thing that collated issues raised by people in each constituency and sent a questionnaire to each candidate. Only the Lib Dems, Greens and English Democrats replied here, but the Labour candidate still got re-elected.

Pewari said...

Yes, it becomes down to person rather than party doesn't it.

I remember when I was a child, my parents despairing one election for similar reasons. They voted Monster Raving Loony and had a board outside their house and everything. Starting to look an attractive option, too!