New beginnings…

Rambling

I don’t know where to start, so I may as well start with a slightly rubbish post. I’ll introduce myself, although I feel sure that no-one will find this blog for ages, if ever.

My name is Jamie, and I’ve recently done a number of things. In particular, I’ve moved to Coventry in the past year, and I’ve even more recently (re-)joined the Lib Dems. It seems funny to write publicly about my political view, as I feel like I was told as a youngster quite strongly that you didn’t ask people how they vote, just like you shouldn’t talk about money and other such things.

Anyway, my motivations for being a Liberal Democrat are slightly complicated. At this point I ought, probably, to confess to having joined the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservative societies when I started uni. That said, I did absolutely zilch for/with any of them, and so I don’t have many political skeletons in my closet. I will also add, perhaps apologetically to any Tory friends of mine, that it did feel like a bit of a joke when I signed up to the Conservative mailing list –  they had no chance of winning that three-way battle (at that point anyway).

My interest in the Lib Dems started at school – I’m not sure when exactly, but I do remember representing the Lib Dems (and winning comfortably) in a mock election around the age of 11 or 12. I read a lot of newspapers at school, and watched a lot of “Have I Got News For You”, and grew to love – a strong word, probably too strong – Charles Kennedy. At the age of 16, I wanted to compliment my science education with some arts and thought, unoriginally, of studying History first. That didn’t fit with Chemistry in the timetable, so I went with English – neither did that – and so I was left with Spanish (no way Jose) or Politics. Studying Politics was probably the most serendipitous subject choice I’ve made, mainly due to the teacher JO’N, but also because it opened my eyes to the West Wing (and much later than it should have, House of Cards – THE ORIGINAL!).

My best friend at this point was a distinct New Labour Blairite. I think he has reformed with time, but I could not stand Blair since I saw him speaking on TV in 1996. All children knew, even in his apparent heydey, that this was a man who spoke a lot of guff. I sometimes look back to my younger self and think, what would I have thought then? I feel like I wiser and more open minded then (well, I was definitely more open-minded). Anyway, Blair made Labour a non-option, and learning about politics, under JO’N at least, made the Tories a non-option. I must admit, that at this point, Labour with Brown in charge appeared, to me, more appealing than the Lib Dems without Kennedy. I think that, despite being indoctrinated into hating American personality politics, I saw British politics in just that light.

Like I said at the top, this is a rubbish post, just written to give some political background. I’ll conclude by summing up some general views of mine:

  1. I want a more equal society with simpler taxation and more fair redistribution
  2. I think that some things should be held in public ownership for the good of the systems in question (e.g. public transport, communications, utilities), but am open to novel solutions – not sure I agree with the current franchising models though
  3. I would rather accountable government regulated the internet than unaccountable corporations, but am against blanket surveillance
  4. I would subsidise renewable technology development to the hilt in the UK – the only way is up in that industry, and the UK has led the way in energy innovations so often only to lose the benefits due to underinvestment
  5. I want serious devolution, with as many powers as possible at local levels, but I also believe it needs to be symmetric – the current asymmetric devolution in the UK is unsustainable

Here ends ramble number 1