Conundrum: Who deserves my vote? 1



Conundrum: Who deserves my vote? 1


By this time next week it will be all over. The imaginary ming vase will be placed securely in a mythical display cabinet and we will begin to find out what the agenda for the next 5 years looks like.

The last six weeks has been filled with lots of talk without saying very much at all. Three days ago the Institute for Fiscal Studies issued a damning report condemning both main parties who “have singularly failed even to acknowledge some of the most important issues and choices to have faced us for a very long time”. The manifestos of the other parties are judged to be “wholly unattainable”, mitigated only by the fact that they will never be in a position to implement them.*

Whether the IFS are right or wrong is not my point here. We know more about what other parties think of their opponent’s manifestos than we do about any of the big ideas that will lead the policy of the next government – whichever party or parties it is composed of. We have had to endure six weeks of goofs, gaffes and obfuscation but have heard so little in the way of a coherent plan. What have we done to deserve this state of affairs?


My immediate impression after watching last night’s debate was that Sunak won and Starmer fluffed his lines. Is that because compassion looks like weakness on TV and greed appears to be a strength? I then reminded myself how the prime minister whose name I will not utter was a debating champion at Eton, and that went well didn’t it?

Maybe Labour and Tory strategists are correct that we have become a country where anything that hints at a long-term strategy where short-term pain for those who can afford it leads to long-term gain for us all will scare the horses. If this is true I am very worried and deeply ashamed. Can our nation cope with authenticity? I honestly don’t know.

Three more reflections can be read here.


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About the Author

Craig Millward has been a Baptist minister for over 30 years and has extensive experience of the joys and challenges of church leadership.

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