Although I might not complete it until tomorrow, what more appropriate date could there be to start a blog about the general election? After all, few would argue that there have been many more people fooled on an election day than ever was the case on the first day of April.
Anyway, since I became eligible to vote in the 1950s, I have, at various times, been a member of a trade union and an employer; so, it's hardly surprising that I've supported candidates from all three major political parties over those years.
Perhaps, that lack of bias might entitle me to offer some well-informed thoughts with whomsoever happens to pass by this secluded corner of the world wide web in the lead-up to this coming election.
So, here goes………..
Historically, the political party most people vote for is the one which was supported by the household in which they were raised. For my part, I was brought-up by my mother's family in north Wales and they voted Liberal (although, they would probably support Plaid Cymru, nowadays). On the paternal side, although his father voted Labour, my own father become a prominent businessman and voted Tory.
Since those days, political parties have changed enormously. In some cases, even their names have changed and, although never especially interested in politics, I have been sufficiently aware to have formed my own opinion and I'll try to summarise where I think they are today and suggest what I expect from them…...
The Conservatives are the party which has probably changed the least and I believe most voters will still have a pretty good idea of what Tory candidates stand for. On the national level, their inclination is to side with the interests of industry, commerce and the employer. On a local level, I really don't believe there is much (if any) difference between how each party represent individual constituents.
Labour is the party which has probably changed the most. Thanks to Messrs. Blair, Brown, Campbell, Mandelson & Co., they have turned a party which, at one time, attracted predominately 'working-class' voters into one which has broadened its appeal beyond anything anyone might have imagined. In doing so, however, they have caused damaging schisms within the party. So, to explain what a I expect from what are now called New Labour candidates isn't easy because of inconsistency within their ranks.
That leaves the Liberal Democrats. In the past, they could promise almost anything with the confidence of not having to meet their commitments. During this election, however, they might end up holding the 'balance of power' and I believe that has meant that some of their more radical ideas have been put on the 'back burner'. To sum up what to expect from their candidates, I believe a significant attraction is their freedom to exercise their own conscience rather more than might be the case in the other two parties.
More to follow………..