My vote for the entirely unknown Adrian Noble, I am sure, many Conservatives would say is an empty gesture.
Looking at Ukip’s almost invisible position in Chelsea and Fulham at the last general election in 2010 and at Greg Hands’s overwhelming majority, they have a point.
I risked nothing, it could be said, since this is one of the constituencies the Conservatives have nothing to worry about.
So you will have to take my word for it that I would have voted for the Ukip candidate in any of the seats they are contesting today.
Yes, in the past, I might have voted for a candidate on his merits. Greg Hands superficially appears to be a perfectly polite and decent Conservative candidate. But scratch the surface, there is little by the way of common values, principles and shared ethical understanding between us.
Even if had he stood up for the institution of marriage and against the introduction of something called same-sex marriage (he didn’t), had he batted for family taxation reform and a meaningful married couple transferable tax allowance where one parent stays at home to look after the children (he didn’t) and finally had he not voted to allow mitochondrial donation in humans (creating the possibility of three parent babies, on the basis of ‘eggsploitation’ of other poorer women), I still would not have voted for him.
Even if I lived in Enfield and had the laudable David Burrowes as my MP I still would not have voted Conservative.
I am not a member of Ukip. I may still be a member of the Conservative Party since I forgot to cancel my standing order this year. However, I have arrived at the point that Peter Hitchens, the idiosyncratic Mail on Sunday columnist and counter-cultural author, reached several years ago. It is this. I have ‘had it’ with the Conservative Party in it present form. It does not deserve to win.
Encouraging people to vote tactically, to keep Labour out, as has been the Conservatives’ election strategy, is politics at its most impoverished. Could they not give us anything positive to vote for?
I for one do not believe the stark choice the editor of The Daily Telegraph paints for his readers in his ‘unprecedented’ letter urging them to vote Conservative:
‘Do we continue under the Conservatives with the open, enterprise-led economic approach that has underpinned our prosperity for nearly 40 years?
‘Or do we revert to an old-style, “government-knows-best” culture championed by the most Left-wing Labour leader for a generation?’
What planet is he inhabiting in the Telegraph’s ivory tower? We have been suffering from a ‘ConLib knows best’ (particularly Nick Clegg) culture for the last five years. Mr Chris Evans (said Editor) seems not to have noticed the ever new frontiers the State has breached courtesy of his best friends in the Conservative Party, not least the State’s new quest to manage our minds.
Until he and the Conservative Party recognise that they are as responsible as Labour for nationalising children, for closing the British mind (as Nick Wood described it yesterday), for imposing a specious and stultifying equalities agenda (that undermines the family, dooms us to low productivity, high taxes and ever more inadequate and instrusive public ‘services’ to prop up our fragmented society) and many other such iniquities, only then will they get my vote back.
It is not even that I am hundred per cent convinced that Nigel Farage has yet ‘got it’ on family and marriage policy either, or has yet grasped the commodification of children promoted by universal childcare policies. And I certainly look forward to the day I can tell him face to face how misguided and misinformed was his flirtation with drug decriminalisaton.
Despite all that, what the Ukip leader is bang on right to say is that every ballot cast for his “People’s Army” is a vote for “change” in Britain’s broken political system. And without change …..
He is also right to hit out at the Westminster establishment for refusing to address key issues including immigration, defence, and housing during the election campaign.
So my vote today was indeed the only way I could protest against the current dire political culture, led by the political equivalent of estate agents and salesmen bidding for our votes.
For any high-ranking Tory out there who might read this post my message is, understand the strength of my feeling if you ever want my support again.