I have always been interested in politics and watch many of the political programmes on TV, so enjoyed the leaders debate yesterday. I was wondering whether Nick Clegg would do as well as his colleague Vince Cable did on the previous debate with the Chancellor and Osbourn.  He more than held his corner. Mr Brown was quite good in his statesman like way, but, in my view,  Mr Cameron (the great white hope of the Tories) gave a very poor performance.  I think everyone had expected him to be far more polished with all the facts at his fingertips. It was reported that he had been coached by the same team as Mr Obama, but it didn’t work for him. 

Mr Cameron may be a very nice person in his private life, but the impression I get from PMQs is that he makes things far too personal and verges on bullying and he often seems to waste his questions by persistantly asking the same questions over and over, and I find myself wondering which spin doctor advised him on his choices.

It was good to see Nick being listened to for once. Too often he is howled down by the two main parties, which I find frustrating  as he often asks the questions to which I want answers.

Nick came across as a reasonable man with sensible answers.

Those of us who were around in the eighties remember only too well which party severed the link between earnings and state pensions, raised VAT from 8% to 17.5% (and this has far more impact on everyday life than 1% on NI, after all we pay VAT on so many things, not just luxury items but cleaning products, sanitary wear, confectionery, services, meals in restaurants, and, if you have larger than average children, on their clothes and shoes, etc. etc.). This was the age when we were told, “There is no such thing as society”,  “Job losses are a price worth paying to get inflation down.”

It was the time when the NHS started the market force mentality and contracted out services such as cleaning and home care to the lowest bidders (and got the kind of service that bought!)

After the depression, caused by the market collapse in the 80s, mortgage interest rates rose to 15% and there was no safety net for home owners and little help for those who were out of work through no fault of their own.

The Tories tell us that they are no longer the “nasty party” and maybe some of them have changed, but I suspect there are many of the old brigade lurking in the background until they gain power and then the knives will be out for Mr Cameron (the Tories are pretty deft at this) and it will be back to normal, once the Golden Boy has got them re- elected.

I have a dilemma now, do I back my inclinations and vote Lib Dem in the hopes that others too will have the courage to vote that way, or will that let in the Tories whose “swingeing cuts” seem to be aimed at tax cuts for millionaires, married couples and business men. I don’t believe the hype about saving on waste. Every opposition I remember has said that they would cut waste and none of them seem to have delivered, anymore than they have cut QANGOs.

It was easier last time because we lived in a constituency with a straight fight between Lib Dems and Plaid. This time I would like a coalition government with the best people from all parties. It works in many other countries so I don’t know why the pundits think it wouldn’t work for the UK. (Could there be a bit of self interest in there?)

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