Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Singing the Blues

Living in the country poses various dilemmas for a natural born city dweller like myself. Are you prepared to drink tea because you cannot buy a decent latte? Can you live without riotously arty, overpriced flowers tied in brown paper with a raffia bow? Are you prepared to "damn the environment" and drive for miles to get anywhere? One of the very worst dilemmas: Are you prepared to vote Tory? I mean - Oh my God - vote Tory? I am too young to die and I am certainly too young to vote Tory.

In London, I do not believe any of my friends voted Tory. I could be wrong but if they did, they did not admit it. Perhaps if I had lived in Notting Hill, it might have been different. Here however, I have found many of those in my circle are indeed Conservative and think it entirely normal. The first time someone talked about wanting to step up her commitment to the Conservative party, I thought she was making a joke. I laughed. I stopped laughing when I realised she was serious. I thought I could agree to differ - after all, the local MP is a Liberal Democrat so someone is not voting Tory.

What happens? One of my closest friends decides to stand as the local Conservative candidate for the new unitary authority in the elections on May 1st. He said: "I have been asked to stand." I said: "Good for you." He said: "Will you vote for me if I get selected?" I said: "Mmmmmm. Are you sure I can't offer you a cup of tea?" What do you do? He is intelligent, thoughtful and would be certain bound to do a remarkably good job as a councillor. But then again he is a Tory. Do you vote for the man or do you vote for the party? After a deal of agonising, I told him I would vote for him - indeed went so far as taking his photograph with local fishermen and parish councillors at the harbour which he intends to use in campaign literature. I love politics. I spent years reporting on it and am a lifelong Labour supporter. Moving, making a new life for everyone, knocking two houses together seem easy next to this and forget the Democrat Party's dilemma over Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Move to Northumberland and see what happens.

18 comments:

Fresh Air said...

It is easier if you think of Labour and Socialism as Communist-Lite. Top down big Government just means ineffective and inefficient resource allocation - high taxes for little achievement. Compare that to the Conservative principles that individuals know what is best for themselves and acting in a free market optimise results. You can vote for your friend and his party with a clear conscience.

Old Sillhilian said...

I've enjoyed reading your blogs and assumed that you were a natural Tory. Imagine my disappointment now to find you are a Champagne Socialist!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

But when are they going to dual the A1, that's what I want to know!

C x

Potty Mummy said...

Don't worry Wifey - I NEVER thought you were a natural Tory.

Sweet Irene said...

I am Dutch and I never thought you were a natural Tory and I don't think people should react so strongly about you being a Labour woman, as if you are some undercover Communist.

I find it amazing how English people can act like Americans with their two party system and each calling the other party supporters "evil." And I especially blame the Conservatives in this. There is some paranoid thinking going on there.

We are a nation of multiple political parties and always end up forming coalition governments, but we don't have that rabid fear of one another, unless it is for an extreme political party that has become popular with the masses and as a rule they don't win a lot of seats in the government, thereby limiting their power.

I think "fresh air" with his "communist-lite" remark should do a little more historical research into what true communism was all about and see that there is no comparison with western style Socialism.

CrazyCath said...

Hear Hear Sweet Irene,

Politics is personal but not an excuse for personal attack.
Live and let live eh?
I just don't do politics.
Maybe a cop out - but it works!

Mopsa said...

It gets very confusing, politically speaking, when you live in the country. Dyed in the wool on either side of the spectrum, no matter what policy shifts happen in that strange place in the South East.

Winchester whisperer said...

Golly - after your Blair post I can't believe you voted for him.

womagwriter said...

I'm with you on this one, Wifey. I've made it perfectly clear to my husband that I will have to divorce him if he ever to my knowledge votes Tory.

Expatmum said...

You're obviously mixing with the posh northerners then? You MUST stick to your principles otherwise all is lost - not just the lattes.

Sarah said...

Hunting? Conservatives? I think you need to hang around with some of the 'salt-of-the-earth' locals, instead.Ever tried hare coursing?
'Blue Wicked'? Fly tipping?
Hmm, feel like you've come home yet?
There is a middle road, Wifey.
don't stray from the path, Red Riding Hood!

Sarah said...

...and, I've changed my mind about A1 duelling. Let's petition for more local railway stations, and a freight service that employs local short haul operators to deliver goods that have travelled by rail.
And offer a pre 9am service North & South AND a later, naughty train, for the fun bunnies.

Liath said...

Well, I'm confused. Nothing wrong with encouraging your friend to become active in politics, is there?

But I can't see how this translates to "he should have two votes this year, while I have none"?

If you were an active Labour supporter for years only because your friends were, it doesn't follow that your new friend will become your enemy if you continue to cast your vote?

If so, he's hardly a friend. Besides, isn't political dialogue about resolving differences, not about emotional blackmail?

Livvy U. said...

No, no, no!! Don't do it! No-one who REMEMBERS could ever, ever do it, surely? I still weep to remember what she did to the arts, and how wretched her attack on that world. Tell your friend you were having a bad day, tell him you love him but not his party, tell him you can't sell your soul, even though you sold your London property... Don't do it!!
Livvy x

spider said...

Lets not confuse Tories now [wet replicants] with Thatcher [terrifying harpy] lets remember the hate, the fear and the beautiful pleasure when she fell, nay plumeted from grace. It was a glorious day, my friend called me from Reuters and said 'shes gone!' within seconds of the announcement so great was his happiness, and the joy in his voice was the sweetest sound I had ever heard. I don't claim to be a current Labour supporter, I was a John Smith voter, he was the last great Labour man. Up the workers!. Damn the Tories!.

Valleys Mam said...

do what I do I just write "none of the above turkeys" on my paper.
Ever the rebel

@themill said...

..and never forget the seventies and those joyous years of the country being brought to it's knees with three day weeks, miners strikes, mountain piles of uncollected rubbish, not to mention the bereaved unable to bury their dead. The joys indeed of a Labour government.......

Soddball said...

I suppose I should stop being surprised at the number of apparently intelligent people who persist in voting Labour in the delusion that they are helping the working classes.