- Your vote won't change anything. For a number of reasons. Clearly, Labour will win whatever you do. For the Conservatives to produce a workable majority, they need a national swing of about 11%. That is never going to happen. Our arcane political system is actually stacked up against the Tories due to the continual migration of people to the (beautiful) south and the electoral commission not being able to redraw the constituency boundaries quickly enough. Therefore a Labour vote in the north is more valuable than a Tory vote in the south. Boo, and indeed, hoo. The Liberal Democrats aren't serious contenders and even they know it. In any case, the first-past-the-post system ensures that third parties are left as impotent as the UN Security Council. Voting for Veritas? UKIP? Respect? More fool you, they are all led by the vain, the pompous and the vile. (George Galloway is a cunt, by the way. No returns. Just as bad as Robert Kilroy Silk.)
- The agenda for the next parliamentary term is already set, regardless of who wins. Like it or not, the proposed spending plans of Labour and the Conservatives across the board are pretty much identical. By 2007-08, the tax burden under Labour will be 40.4% of GDP; under the Conservatives it would be 40.1%. They will both have to raise taxes one way or the other to avoid further borrowing (£34 billion in 2004-05, fact kids!). Not that either of them will admit to that - spineless, lying cocksuckers that they all are.
- On that note, the Labour Party's claim that a vote for the Tories is a vote for massive cuts to essential spending is massaging the truth somewhat. Like Labour, the Tories are committed to year-on-year increases, just not as much by 2008/09. They plan to reduce spending by cutting waste and improving efficiency - although haven't actually said how. But (and here's a controversial opinion for the left), there's nothing wrong with a government committing themselves to spending less of our money! Who wouldn't want to pay less tax if savings can be made elsewhere? The public sector is notoriously wasteful. Just look at the Child Support Agency revelations from earlier this week. Do we have any reason not to suppose that every government agency is just as badly run and poorly managed? No, I suspect we probably don't.
- The immigration issue is yet another opportunity for politicians to lie to us. Yes, immigration has gone up under Labour since 1997, but we need to distinguish between economic migrants and asylum seekers.
wants you to believe that the country is overrun with Romanian gypsies who want to pimp out your daughter and poo in your laundry basket before picking up their welfare cheques. The fact is, there have been a large number of economic migrants entering the country since 1997, but they are not entering the country illegally. Often they are invited to do jobs that people in this country are either too fat, lazy or stupid to do, or to fill a skills gap in the market. Fact: the NHS would have collapsed without a steady stream of nurses, doctors, porters and cleaners from overseas. As for asylum seekers, well, take a look at the world since 1997. There have been a lot of countries to flee from: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe (notice how each of these countries either has historical links to Britain or, more recently, there' s a good likelihood that we've been bombing them for one reason or another). So yes, there are many genuine asylum cases. What the Conservatives and their army of little Englander, jam-making, Daily Mail-reading plankton really mean when they express concern about rampant immigration (although they would never admit it), is that there are too many "coloureds" coming into the country for their liking. And there, at last, is a tangible difference between the Conservatives and the Labour Party. Michael Howard