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Vote. For two reasons. Firstly because, as aspiring barristers in a country where Parliament is sovereign, a certain interest in the makeup of the legislature is important.

Secondly, because the rule of law is a critical component of any civilized society. We cannot guarantee to get it right, but we can guarantee that everyone is treated equally. In this election, one party is standing which is not committed to the rule of law. The British National Party would not treat everybody in the same way under the law, and would write laws which discriminated between people on the basis of their race or colour. If you vote, the share of the vote which the BNP gets goes down (assuming you don’t vote for them of course). That, in turn, makes an important statement about how repellent fascism is.

How you vote is up to you. Unlike journalists I don’t have to endorse whoever my employer feels would be most likely to invite my employer to Downing Street. But do vote.

9 thoughts on “Vote

  1. Hi Simon,
    While I will vote , particularly in respect of the the rule of law , the importance of which can never be understated, I will do so knowing that it will effect little by way of change in an area of the country so wedded to the labour ethos that, were you to slap a red rosette on a donkey, people would vote for it; this notion attracts my singular ire given that the local candidate has been shipped in from South Croydon, has no knowledge of the locality but is bieng rewarded for good party work with the prospect of a safe seat ( the MP took up office in 1971 and was there until he announced his retirement). While I hope people would feel the same as me, and vote for an alternative, this would mark a HUGE sea change in an attitude that hasnt changed for at least 100 years.
    I am intensely dispirited by the whole thing.

  2. Hi Minx,

    That is a different thing. I agree with you – my politics were sufficiently partisan for me to have been a member of a party for a very long time now. This time round I have refused to donate and will vote for the candidate with no sense of pleasure or optimism at all, but simply because it is the least worst alternative. If only just. My initial plan was to spoil my ballot, but Mrs M persuaded me that it was irresponsible.

    There are personal reasons for all this, of course, but the IFS report did it for me. It amounts to a demonstration that every single party is lying to voters about where the money will come from. The only difference between them is how much of the money they are lying about. The Lib Dems win with 40% – triumph of dumbing down.

    They don’t trust us enough to give us the bad news and then they wring hands about how politicians are distrusted. But because they cleaned the stinking moat it’s all ok now. It makes me want to weep.

  3. Hi Simon,

    While I am in agreement with your comment, I’m not wedding rule of law issues to regeional political ding dongs; the former grounds my motivation to vote, to try and be part of the formation of the sort of social contract that will continue to respect it. Perhaps this is overly optimistic, and contrary to my feelings with respect to the local candidate, but in not voting I would disabuse a bitterly fought for right.

    Either way however, motivation or no, I think I’m sunk,burried under the weight of cost cutting governments ( of ANY colour) who think that disabled people are lazy spongers, that the health service and education should be cut to the quick to benefit a corrupt banking system which demands ot know how the national debt – to which it made a significant contribution – is to be repaid by the working man, who had little hand in the accrual of such a debt to begin with.

    Pass the Kleenex…….

  4. Hi Simon,

    Thank you for all the useful information on your blog.

    There is one question that I would like to ask you that I have not been able to find an answer to elsewhere on your blog. Apologies if that is an oversight on my behalf.

    My question is this: how does a barrister’s career on the circuit differ to a barrister’s career in London? Is the work more challenging and interesting in London compared to on circuit?

    Many thanks,

    Prospective Pupil.

  5. Well, I voted. And I was very surprised. While I think you might call my constituency a donkey constituency (pin a blue rosette on the donkey and it would win) and therefore I could understand why perhaps parties such as the Greens might not stand in the general election (too expensive, resources better spent elsewhere), I was rather disappointed to find that, when it came to the local election, democracy is most definitely not alive and well – a choice of two candidates and only one mainstream (by which I mean not crackpot)party! I think that’s what you call Hobson’s choice. Oddly enough, in the general election the crackpot vote (no, I don’t mean Lib, Lab and Con!) was split three ways.

    1. Yeah. But at least the BNP tanked. They lost most of their local council seats *and* the deposits for most of the Parliamentary seats they contested.

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