I’ve found it difficult to get excited about this election. Part of the problem is that there is so little to distinguish the traditional parties. I’ve just been listening to a debate between five parties on welfare – as an experiment, I ran a commentary on Twitter. Only one party, the Greens, seemed ready to say that expenditure on social security benefits is basically legitimate and desirable – and that, often obliquely.
The parties are fond of telling us about their “red lines” – the issues they won’t compromise on. As a voter, I have my red lines too. I won’t vote for a party that
- is ready to punish people for being unemployed or disabled;
- threatens to deprive me of my European citizenship; or
- is hostile to immigration.
I don’t think that any of the main parties would admit to it, but all them have crossed at least two of those three lines.