Margaret Duddin: Will it be the pink van or the red Rolls on May 7?

Margaret Duddin says the election campaign may prove to be a battle against gathering disillusionment

Shadow deputy prime minister Harriet Harman in the Midlands on her Labour party Woman to Woman pink bus trying to encourage more women to vote
Shadow deputy prime minister Harriet Harman in the Midlands on her Labour party Woman to Woman pink bus trying to encourage more women to vote

My vote is very precious to me with all it implies, ie freedom, democracy and the right to choose. I have voted at every election since I was old enough to do so. There have been few hesitations given my family history and my deepening interest in politics.

For the first time ever I find myself in turmoil as to which party should receive my X or which leader will be best for the country.

The run-up to the general election is always the same -“vote for us and we will” but this time the politically driven media frenzy is wilder than ever and, in my view, patronising and an insult to our collective intelligence.

En route to the promised land suddenly there is a “major scoop” ie some rich people are avoiding paying income tax.

Forgive the cynicism but we have known for years that this is happening. Can we X someone who can stop it? I wish we could.

I recall being in Geneva years ago and witnessing two policeman chasing a young girl and forcing her to the ground. While all around reacted in horror towards this alleged thief I looked over to the majestic corporate buildings across the lake and wondered!

As the main parties bombard us with their promises to build utopia another party has emerged. The resulting media hatchet job inflicted on Ukip has been beyond belief. I am not one of their members but they have as much right to be heard as any other party. What political influence is behind this anti democratic behaviour?

Nearing the starting line goodbye subtlety and onto the direct strategies. In this case the Grey Vote. Yes, the elders of the tribe are more likely to vote because it mattered to our parents so it matters to us. As a reward our little treats are safe. At what cost to our young people? A déjà vu moment here!

I made this point previously in The Journal we must care for our senior citizens who need help but we need to be fair.

I propose that those of us who are able to pay a nominal bus fare (say as little as 50p-£1 per journey) should do so in order to reduce the cost of travelling for the young. The response was underwhelming .

9.1 million woman did not vote in the last general election so they too must be cajoled into voting. No problem! One party has had a little van painted pink to draw us in as moths to a flame. I, together with any of the woman I know, would run a mile away from this insult to our sex but wait, you could join a party who holds grand events for seriously rich people, one of whom arrived in a red Rolls Royce.

Incidentally, I noticed some rather stout guests, the corporation men you might say, and I wondered what sanctions would be imposed on them. Beware of this party if you are on the dole. If you are fat and on the dole you truly have an outsized problem.

It seems so much easier for the rich to manipulate money to their benefit but the media focus shines its light on the poor in programmes such as Benefit Street. Do they not understand that the biblical prophesy “the poor will always be with us” has nothing to do with money but refers to social inadequacy. I will X the party who makes Benefit Street programmes on location in Monaco, Switzerland and the most expensive boroughs of London.

Now we learn that two of our eldest statesman have been offering their services to a fictitious private company for £5,000 per half day. Could there be fallen angels in the parliamentary communion of saints? This was quickly followed by a debate on the issue second jobs and the risk of lack of experience in the real world was noted.

Do these people never go out? Visit their constituencies? Travel on a bus? The rest of us live in the real world and we don’t need a second job to do so. “How can one live on £67,000 per annum?” one of them asks.

I would remind their voters that this salary is just the baseline on which can be added a miscellany of perks, expenses and opportunities. That’s what follows the X.

You may have detected my sense of disillusionment which has developed over many years. I am, however, truly saddened by listening to well educated young people who have already reached this sorry state.

They are cleverer and more astute than my generation with a real sense of fairness and their rage against injustice is profound. They deserve good governance and I think they will demand and get it.

Meanwhile shall I travel in the pink van or the red Rolls Royce? I think I might just walk.


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