This forthcoming election is strange in many ways, it’s the first brought about by the scheduled end of a fixed term parliament, and the first where every party seems to accept that they can’t win it in their own right, its likely that the big two will be by far the largest groupings, but the rise of UKIP on the right and the SNP in the north, is set to muddy the waters somewhat. Things are further complicated by the fact that the SNP is a hugely popular incumbent government north of the border, although not popular enough to persuade a majority to vote for full independence less than a year ago. It seems to me that in the debates held to date the two smaller parties have fared well, UKIP are promoting a fairly simple message, one which seems to be extremely un popular in the business community, but popular enough with a large section of the community who would normally support the “party of free enterprise” to at least worry the government. The SNP as a party of government in their own right are being judged it would seem on their broadly socialist form of administration, free social care for the elderly, the abolition of prescription charges, a fundamental anti- nuclear stance and most controversial of all, the provision of free education up to and including university for children born in their bailiwick. Not for the first time I heard on radio today, “ I want to vote for the SNP but I live in England, what do I do?”
Going back to business I am willing to state that the only significant impact that would be felt would be if UKIP were to storm to power, and I’m willing to bet my wand that isn’t going to happen, what we will end up with almost certainly, is a party of the centre being pulled leftward by either the liberals or the SNP, does it matter whether the winner wears red or blue? I don’t really think so, neither will be able to exercise their full agenda by the requirement to appease their partners, whether that’s in a formal alliance or not, in short, don’t expect a lot of change, the faces may be a bit different but that’s about all. We are great believers in the responsibility associated with the general plebiscite, many have died to give us the chance to exercise that right, and even when there is so little to distinguish the favourites, we would still advocate getting out there and expressing an opinion, although I really do wish they would add another option to the ballot “none of the above” after all Belgium didn’t have a government for 589 days, and its economy actually grew during that period!
In the most important decision I’ll have to make this year, and after much consideration I’ve made my decision…..its going to be cause of causes with an each way side bet on Al Co.