Message to a Young Friend…

Rule 1 – they, whoever they are, will win if you don’t vote! Think of our political system as based on two points on a piece of string. At one end we have those who who believe in markets being the solution to everything – they see us as individuals who will always strive to achieve the best outcome for ourselves. They believe in low taxes and argue that we should be free to decide what we do with our money and have neither right nor obligation to interfere in how others spend their money. They argue that the state has only 3 obligations/duties: defence of its territory, act as legal mediator between individuals, legal redress to protect contracts. At the other end are those who believe that the state has responsibility to ensure that all are treated equally even if this limits the individual freedom of some to do what they want! Most of us do not sit at the extremes so what we try and do is find which view is most suited to us! Conservatives sit towards the first end, Labour to the second. The Conservatives are hung up on Brexit at the moment and tend, my view,not to care too much about the impact on individuals of whatever age. Labour, again in my opinion, tend to care more deeply about the plight of the weakest in our society. My voting intentions are also based on religious belief – Sermon on the Mount – and this has made me into a socialist and, normally a Labour voter, but I don’t believe in everything they propose.  The policies that they have set out in their manifesto move our society closer to the attitudes expressed in the Beatitudes so that is why I will vote for them! You say you might abstain…. to me that is not a moral choice! We all have a responsibility to do our civic duty and if we don’t and the something bad occurs – privatization of the NHS – then we are as guilty as the people who actually carry out the action! Look up Pastor Niemoller’s response to Nazi’s – his poem should tell us all the danger of abstaining… You are correct in stating that Labour might not actually achieve what they propose but remember they definitely won’t if they don’t win….Your, and everyone else’s, vote counts! To be blunt it counts twice – once by adding your voice to one side of the argument if you vote and, by not counting if you don’t vote.


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