I live in Islington North, and I’m in a quandry. Can you help me decide? It’s a tricky decision, and I’m not sure what to do. Islington North is a very safe Labour seat so there’s no tactical vote to be had, I don’t ascribe wholesale to any of the parties’ manifestos, and there are a myriad of competing factors. Here’s the running:
Jeremy Corbyn (Lab, incumbent)
Corbyn is an excellent constituency MP. He is responsive and personable. We seem to agree on most of the issues I’ve written to him about — primarily civil liberties things. He voted against the Digital Economy Bill. Though Labour, he is an arch-rebel: so I trust him to vote with his conscience rather than his party, most of the time.
I’ve been looking forward to voting against Labour for quite a long time. ID cards, Blair, wars, etc — Labour haven’t been all bad but they’ve been on the wrong side too often for me. Also, Corbyn is very old labour: a hard left socialist. Though I’ve been grateful for his votes against some of Labour’s worst legislative follies, I suspect we’d disagree more often than not.
Rhodri Jamieson-Ball (Libdem)
I’ve been very impressed with Clegg over the last month. I think he’s really held his own. If we could vote for a head of state, he’d have my vote in a flash. Unfortunately, though, we can’t. So Jamieson-Ball is my only choice if I want to support them. He’s been a councillor for some years, and is clearly active on lots of local issues. I do think it’s about time someone else had a go — since neither the Conservatives nor Labour are terribly inspiring — and the Liberals seem a natural choice.
I swing wildly from one extreme to the other with the LibDems. Sometimes I think they’re wonderful (Clegg in the first debate, good civlibs rhetoric) and other times, awful (utterly incompetent web-blocking amendement on the Digital Economy Bill). I do get a general sense that they just aren’t very organised (as I do with the Greens).
The thing that’s annoyed me the most, though, is a graph from this letter delivered last week:
This graph is a lie. The numbers are correct, but they bear almost no relation to the heights of the bars. It gives the impression that Labour and the Liberals are very close in the running. The text is also bigger and more prominent in the Liberals’ bar. I’ve produced a corrected version:
Which tells a rather different story.
If these people can’t even be honest in an election leaflet, why should I trust them to be honest in government? This is leaflet is deliberately designed to deceive people. And I think it’s cost them my vote.
Adrian Berrill-Cox (Con)
I am very impressed by the Conservatives’ technology policies. They’re saying the right things about the web, reforming procurement and making government IT better. But that’s about it.
Well. They’re the Tories. I remain to be convinced that “Progressive Conservative” is not a contradiction in terms. I’m not at all convinced by Cameron. Marriage incentives make me want to barf. And, if recent revelations are to be believed, they still shelter a veritable menagerie of homophobes. Not to mention people who still rue the demise of the British Empire. I don’t think they’ve changed much, no matter how hard Cameron has been trying.
Emily Dixon (Green)
Not really a possibility. I would probably vote Green tactically if I was in Brighton Pavillion. But I’m not, and their manifesto continues to contain “mad things”, like totally unworkable emission cuts, the mother of all tax rises and the abolition of nuclear power. No thanks.
Dominic Lennon (UKIP)
So: what do you think? Very grateful for your thoughts!