How Our Writers Will Vote

New Statesman (1996), June 4, 2001 | Go to article overview

How Our Writers Will Vote


The New Statesman asked its contributors to reveal their intentions. Here are 69 replies, including 30 for Labour, 13 for the Lib Dems and seven for the Tories

I WILL VOTE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT BECAUSE:

Barry Norman (film critic) I believe we need PR to introduce a modicum of democracy into this country. I believe, too, that we should take an enthusiastic part in Europe, instead of pussyfooting around on the fringes. And any party that admits it will raise income tax instead of pretending it won't (when we all know it will) has my full support.

Germaine Greer (author and academic) They would raise income tax. I could not vote for a so-called Labour Party that increases the burden of indirect taxation, which is felt more by the poorer sections of society than by people in the high-income group.

A N Wilson (novelist and journalist) I was going to spoil my voting papers or abstain, but an unwonted desire to be a good citizen has slowly grown on me since the "phoney election" began. I live in a safe Labour seat, so want to cast a vote that registers the strongest distaste for new Labour, with its warmongering, subservience to the United States and its failure to improve any public services. I'm pro-Europe. I do think more money should be spent on schools and hospitals. The logical thing to do, it seems, is to vote Lib Dem.

Brenda Maddox (journalist) I vote in Wales, in a constituency where the Lib Dems now hold the seat; and the sham reform of the House of Lords would prevent me voting Labour.

Anthony Sampson (journalist) I believe in closer links with Europe and better public services.

Corin Redgrave (actor) My party, the Marxist Party, is not standing in Tooting, so I have to look for another one. I would never vote Tory. I can't vote Labour. It has gone into this election a) using the Criminal Justice Act to deny the right of assembly to many demonstrators, b) sup porting Bush's National Missile Defence programme, and c) declaring its intention to rewrite the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Vernon Bogdanor (constitutional expert) A Whig, John Maynard Keynes once said, is a perfectly sensible Labourite. A Liberal is anyone who is perfectly sensible. I shall be voting Liberal Democrat for three reasons. The first is that only the Liberal Democrats are prepared fully to engage Britain with the Continent. Our policy on Europe since 1945 has been one of endless missed opportunities and tragic self-deception. The second is that only the Liberal Democrats will give priority to the public services, and in particular the NHS. Labour, by contrast, with its newfound love for the rich, seeks to legitimise unlimited money-making. The third is that only the Liberal Democrats will truly defend our diversity and multicultural society. Labour's attempt to out-Widdecombe the shadow home secretary on asylum is sufficient reason for liberal-minded people not to vote for them.

Bill Greenwell (poet) My tactical vote in Devon will be for the Lib Dem Nick Harvey. Seems decent enough. I'm one frustrated Labour voter, committed to PR, the sooner the better. And I'm voting against the whingeing sentimentalism of the Save the Pound campaign. What next: Bring Back the Groat?

Stephen Bates (journalist) Living in Tun bridge Wells, where Labour has no chance, I shall vote tactically in the hope of unseat ing Archie Norman. Even if I were a Tory, I would think twice about voting for him, as he has proved a lamentable, absentee MP, with little involvement in the constituency and no family presence here. Actually, Lib Dem policies are growing on me, but the chief motivation remains the desire to give this squalid, bigoted, anti-European Tory party a good hiding...

JohnTusa (managing director, Barbican Centre)

We need a decent opposition; more Labour MPs is too awful to contemplate; and we need honesty about taxation and constitutional and electoral reform. …

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