Thursday, 8 June 2017

Crossed fingers

Stray thoughts to be added to as the day wears on.

10:03 Just back from casting my ballot.

Nothing I write now is going to make much difference to our vote in Aberavon and Neath. (Let's face it, nothing I have written here up until now has been taken notice. Well, perhaps there were a few minor improvements have been made around Neath, for which the Labour council claimed credit.)

I just hope that by this time tomorrow there is not a majority May or a majority Corbyn government, nor that a year from now we will not have to say: "I told you so". If Mrs May gets her majority, she and her hard-line free marketeer friends will achieve the dream of London as a totally independent lightly regulated financial capital of the world at the expense of industry and SMEs which benefit from the single market and customs union. Mr Corbyn is only slightly less suspicious of the EU, but what worries me most about a Corbyn administration is the quality of his shadow cabinet. He has not been helped by the last-minute resignation of one of his most experienced figures, Diane Abbott, because of ill-health.

There were some snippets in the i newspaper this morning that caught my eye. Fishermen will not vote for any party which wants to remain in the EU, and I can see their point. Almost alone of groups in the UK, they are worse off under a common EU policy. However, I would advise against trusting the Conservatives on this issue, because it was Margaret Thatcher who negotiated away the UK's fishing rights in the first place when she did not have to. Does Mrs May believe she is a tougher negotiator on behalf of Britain than Mrs Thatcher was?

Then hats off to the i for featuring Sophie Walker of the Women's Equality Party among its portraits of leaders. However, a significant rise in the Liberal Democrat vote would do more for women's equality in parliament than the WEP, because there are so many strong women (including several with experience of actual government, Mr Corbyn) in the Lib Dems target seats.

10:30 My agent has phoned to say that the chill he picked up returning from a short break in France has got worse. I think our little tour of the constituency today may be curtailed. Hopefully, the dope the doc. has given him will restore his fighting strength for the count tonight.

13:30 Back from delivering admission tickets to some of our counting agents and dropping in on just a few of the polling stations on the way back. All very quiet, but the weather has been dreadful. Just enough time to buy a couple of packed sandwiches from Arbourne's ready for tonight, then to put my head down for an hour or so.

17:00 Dozed for an hour or so in between listening to Radio 4. Interesting item on the science programme about Homo Sapiens finds in Morocco putting our species' history back at least another hundred thousand years. A researcher stated that the shape of the brain-case indicated that we have developed larger brains over the years. Sometimes I wonder. Coincidentally, Haaretz has reported Israeli finds which tend to confirm that Neanderthal man hung around there later than generally assumed.

18:30 Back to the i, and the election summary. Under "leadership", it once again raises the fact that Tim Farron is uncomfortable talking about his church's teaching on homosexuality. The fact is that he has practically always voted in a liberal way when there have been debates on termination, same-sex relationships or similar social issues. There is not a mention of the fact that Theresa May has tended to vote in a more illiberal way than her membership of the tolerant Church of England would suggest. It is a transparent ploy to dissuade our supporters to stay away from the polls rather than a genuine political point.

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