This post was originally headlined: I didn’t vote for the Liberal Democrats to get a Tory Government – but I thought Lust for Power was more appropriate and might appeal to readers coming to this many years after it was written.
I suppose we could all see that we were heading for a hung parliament. I’d resigned myself to it. I could live with it as long as the Tories didn’t get in. What I wasn’t expecting though, was to vote for a left of centre party that would then jump into bed with a right of centre one. I am horrified and I feel like Nick Clegg has betrayed the majority of people who didn’t vote for a Tory administration.
Maybe he’s got a plan up his sleeve and it is a gamble he’s prepared to take, but I’d like to warn him: if you get this wrong and saddle us with a Tory Government for years you will be remembered only as a traitor.
I used to be passionate about politics and proud of our democracy, even though it isn’t perfect, but today I feel deflated and despairing. I have written to my MP and to Nick Clegg to tell them how I feel. I’m not naïve enough to believe it will change anything, but I had to do something.
In my letter to my MP I told him how I remembered watching the News at Ten with my parents when I was a kid in the 1980s. On Fridays they would do a report on how much unemployment had risen that week, thousands upon thousands, turning into millions. (I know that the UK isn’t in much better shape today, but you can’t blame a global recession on just one man). They had a counter and a map and would say which employers and businesses had cut jobs and where they were. I used to wonder what it must feel like to live in those places. I could go on about the awfulness of Thatcher but plenty of others before me have catalogued the disaster of her years in power.
What I will say though is that it was obvious that she was a heartless old bag who cared only about the rich and privileged, but I thought better of Clegg. It makes my heart sink into my boots that his actions could lead to David Cameron becoming Prime Minister.
I will always vote in elections, because I believe we are lucky to live in a place where we can, and especially being a woman, because we haven’t even celebrated a hundred years of equality in that respect. But I feel like today’s been a truly disappointing day for all those who ever believed that political engagement has a point.