Anyway, it's for people hit by the cold spell and looking to buy rock salt online.
So – no definite result in the general election and a chance of some sort of coalition. We’re all supposed to put our tribal loyalties aside and work together for the common good.
I’m not very good at that.
I know it’s not what you’d call noble, but I am what I am – and that happens to be someone who grew up under Margaret Thatcher and has seen a lot of Labour local authorities and, frankly, doesn’t much fancy either of them.
There is a difference – I don’t like Labour, don’t trust Labour, and am frankly terrified of some of the policies they have lined up and ready. But I actually hate the Conservatives.
Not every individual Tory, of course – many of them are decent types. But the party itself, its ideology, the assumptions behind it. The very core of its existence.
I also don’t actually have a lot of faith that day-to-day policy decisions or individuals in cabinet make much difference. The big stuff, yes – but no junior coalition partner gets to make those decisions.
As a result, I’m looking at the choice over whether to go into alliance with one of the bigger parties from a purely partisan viewpoint. It’s not very altruistic, I know, but I’ll leave public spiritedness to others.
So this is what I sent to the party when it canvassed views, asking people to set out who they are and what they think:
Me: Parliamentary candidate in Feltham & Heston 2001, ex-chair of Hounslow party, multiple council candidate, now living in North Hertfordshire. Activist since I was at school, though drifted off to the Greens for a few years as a student in the early 1990s. Award-winning Focus designer.
I’ll keep this brief.
I don’t believe a referendum on PR is winnable. So no deal that involves PR should be accepted unless it’s a guarantee of legislation – anything less is not worth the inevitable damage that will come from a pact. At the moment, the country can see the election was unfair and will accept reform. By the time a referendum can be held – may be year or 18 months from now, they’ll have forgotten.
Whichever party we do a deal with, we will in effect have lied to voters in marginals where we’ve strongly campaigned to say only we can beat that party. We will destroy a lot of goodwill with any deal, and possibly find ourself wedded to that party for a generation.
I truly believe that our best option – for our own future – is to step back and let the Tories stay in office long enough to fail, while hoping at the same time for a Labour civil war. I understand that MPs may feel their duty to the nation trumps party advantage. I can understand that viewpoint though I’m too partisan to advocate it myself. I believe we can do more for the country in the medium and long term if we avoid short-term entanglements.
In terms of policy, sorting out the Digital Economy Act is an essential one. If we have any influence over the Tories, so is protecting the BBC from Murdoch and preventing weird religious loonies from running schools.
On a personal note, I don’t honestly believe I could remain in the party if we did a formal deal with the Conservatives. Demand and supply I could stomach – welcome even, if it involved giving the Tories enough rope to hang themselves.
Not so brief after all. Sorry.
Good luck, and don’t sell us out for a mess of pottage.
Hitchin & Harpenden party
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- RT @radioriel Today on Radio Riel: Great tracks from early-mid 20th century with a jazz flavour. http://bit.ly/507ZW [Enjoy - I am!] #
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- http://twitpic.com/dm8xc – Once more, with a better camera and some technical jiggery-pokery. Pic by @astrofiammante. #
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- Support #welovetheNHS, add a #twibbon to your avatar now! – http://twibbon.com/join/welovetheNHS #
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- RT @girlonetrack Fucking fuckity fuck. [Sometimes, the simple statements are the most eloquent.] #
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- RT @rhianonjameson hopes everything goes well for @CaladonRae today. [Seconded] #
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- RT @BritsOnPole Remember Henry Surtees with a donation to Headway http://bit.ly/6qLRw #
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- Ha. Most amused to find myself looking thrilled and attentive, leaning on one elbow, in slide #32 of this: http://bit.ly/hZII2 #
- Been on wild goose chase to Norfolk. Got hot, sticky, grouchy, sank ankle-deep in a bog and drove home through a rainstorm. Not want. #
- Finally the publisher has replied re story rights. Not encouraging, they seem to want everything – complete ownership. Am negotiating. #
- RT @avaragado Bush asked Chirac to help invade Iraq "to thwart Bible's satanic agents of Apocalypse" http://bit.ly/Uxlih (via @ElrikMerlin) #
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- Watching this reminds me how, when growing up, my idea of what was cool, stylish, & romantic was formed by John Hughes http://bit.ly/14b8to #
- I still think Ally Sheedy's Breakfast Club character looked better before her makeover, though… #
- For those of you not taking much notice of The #Ashes today – don't! England currently 97-7 in their first innings. #
- England all out for 102… slightly dodgy decision sends Onions back to the pavilion. This is… not good. #Ashes #
- Check this video out — Project Bueller at the NYC Halloween Parade http://bit.ly/fAagf #
- Sends sympathy to Norwich-supporting friends. But a few more like today are needed before you're as embarrassed by your manager as I am mine #
- RT @stephenfry This picture proves that I've got a big cock http://twitpic.com/dbgjp [Blimey!] #
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- 5am – time to stop. Got three paragraphs down and some outline notes. Huge step forward, had to grab the moment, dog tired now! #
- Oof. Feel bloody rough. This is not a sustainable work pattern! #
- Have just finished skimreading & making notes on a 586-page collection of chick lit stories. Feel like my brain is melting. Must buy shoes. #
- RT @ElrikMerlin RT @Psythor: David Cameron calls Twitterers twats. I'd rather be a twat than a Tory. http://is.gd/1Sth9 [Me too...] #
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- Tired now. Choices: sleep & hope to pick up work tomoz, or drink scotch and carry on. 3086/6000 words written. Am not Hemingway, will sleep. #
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- RT @girlonetrack http://twitpic.com/b4huj – If everyone did this the world'd be a better place. #
- Gah. Six o'clock and all's well. All set for the drive across to Oxfordshire from Herts, avoiding motorways #AAroutefinderisyourfirend #
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- http://twitpic.com/bfslw – #
- Off to Donington Park tomorrow for a Superleague Formula presser with the Liverpool, Rangers and Spurs cars/drivers. Should be interesting. #
- RT @DesignerDepot 12 Steampunk Gadgets and Designs: http://ow.ly/h6d2 [Also this Oxford exhibition in the comments http://bit.ly/QaU9n ] #
- http://twitpic.com/abuj4 – #
- http://twitpic.com/ac3vs – In Donny pitlane with Spurs car #
- Always nice to start the day by playing 'hunt the wheelie bin' up and down the street. Blasted thing has vanished following binmen visit. #
- RT @BritsOnPole New story: Superleague Formula: we're not green and we don't care http://bit.ly/4qQHFN [The words from Monday's press trip.] #
- RT @BritsOnPole New story: Superleague Formula hits Donington (photo gallery) http://bit.ly/3L12D [And the pics from Monday's press trip.] #
- Some mighty thunderous thunder is thundering away here… #
- "Aww, Bill" – http://cheezburger.com/tw/?v3-21248 #lol #news #
- Another Monday, another headache. Life is always better when you know what to expect in advance. #
- Spitfire has been taken to a Triumph specialist – early prognosis is gloomy ( #
- RT @artesea good to see BT finally pulling out of Phorm http://bit.ly/oQqv6 hopefully the death of it. #
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- Woke up at 5.30am… dunno why. Can't get back to sleep. Oh joy. #
- Just trying the special edition Marston's Pedigree #Marmite, issued for the #Ashes – bloody hell it's strong stuff http://bit.ly/dhKnS #
- Is nervous at seeing Flintoff in – at least he didn't get a golden duck, which is what I expected from him. #Ashes #
- I wonder if it would be possible for Captain Jack and Torchwood to dematerialise those drunken gobshites chanting away in Cardiff? #Ashes #
- Oh FFS. Formula One goes crazy again. Now FOTA teams claim they've been told they're not entered for next year after all http://bit.ly/5U7Zq #
- Splendid stuff – today's Wikipedia article of the day on the curious history of Gropecunt Lane http://bit.ly/NIC4W #
- RT @sensorywhisper Man dies in chocolate vat http://bit.ly/9MCPT firstly ouch now eyeing yorkie suspiciously #
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- The brilliantly funny video and story of how a musician took revenge on an airline that smashed his favourite guitar http://bit.ly/BnWiX #
- Freak cricket catch – Ed Joyce out when ball lodges in fielder's pocket: http://bit.ly/184HV4 #
- Here we go again. Late Sunday and I'm still bloody working. Just filed the WSR report, now to Justin Wilson's brilliant victory at the Glen. #