An unlikely piece of laminated card

Those who know my political background will also know how big a deal this is: to align myself with one party.

Historically, I’ve been a big believer in representational democracy: the idea that we elect a representative, not a party. I started out by meeting the candidates, questioning them on the issues that were most important to me each election, and voting for the person I felt would best represent me on those issues …

I also took the view that what the world needed was more dialogue, not more polarisation (had I but known how comparatively little we had then …), so was not at all minded to support any one party, but rather to take an issue-by-issue approach.

One election, my representational approach became impossible because all the candidates were dreadful. The Tory candidate had no understanding of ordinary people’s lives, the LibDem one couldn’t be pinned down on anything concrete and the Labour candidate was (possibly literally) a moron. I even met the fringe ones, who were … fringe.

After that, when both major parties seemed willing to dismantle civil rights, and the LibDems seemed intent on implosion, I adopted the cynical view that perhaps the sanest approach was to limit the damage any one party could do by always aiming to vote the current government out.

But today, there is no issue-by-issue approach. This is a battle between compassion and callousness. Between decency and indecency. Between relative sanity and batshit crazy. Johnson kicked out all the true one-nation Tories and has turned the Conservative party into the Brexit party in all but name, willing to sacrifice everyone and everything for a piece of jingoistic nonsense.

It’s time to pick a side.

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