People Of Britain: Stop Believing Crap!
Once I'd cleaned the tea off the leather upholstered back of the passenger seat I started to explain. The conservatives would cut public services, close one in five SureStart centres, cut money for schools, eliminate child trust funds, increase student top-up fees and make it harder to claim basic benefits. Worse, from her point of view, they'd cut funding to the BBC, most likely closing more or less all of their operations in London and leaving her out of a job.
She explained that she'd read in the paper that of she didn't vote Conservative loads of new immigrants would arrive and threaten to take her job. When I told her that Britain has more emigrants leaving than immigrants arriving she didn't believe me.
I was horrified at how the lies and distortions pedalled by the Murdock press are actually affecting voters, causing them to unwittingly vote not only against their own interests but against what they believe and hold dear.
When I finally crawled into bed at 9am the following morning I was relieved. A hung parliament. Enough of us had known or understood what Cameron and his cronies truly stood for to ensure he didn't have a majority. I slept soundly.
When I woke up, I assumed, Brown and Clegg would have teamed up with a coalition of those who believe in social justice, human rights and putting people ahead of corporate profits. Instead Clegg was talking to Cameron.
There were, as I understood it, two groups of people who voted for the Liberal Democrats. The Cleggmania crowd who wanted electoral reform, no income tax on the first £10,000 of your earnings and the scrapping of the Trident project and the anyone-but-Cameron crowd who were voting tactically in constituencies where the Lib Dem respresented the most viable alternative to the Conservatie candidate. Neither of these groups will get what they want in a Tory-LibDem coalition. So why are we even talking about it?
Again it's because of lies in the Murdoch press. Of course it is. Did we really think team Murdoch would give up that easily?
Firstly they tell us "60% of public want Brown to resign" which may be true. But if the remaining 40% are happy to have Brown as PM then he's streets ahead of Cameron who didn't manage to get 40% of the public to vote for his party. The reality is that of the 60% who want Brown to resign in fact 30% want him to resign as PM so that Cameron can take over (and that 30% do so mostly because they've believed the press lies in the election build-up), and the other 30% want him to resign from the Labour Party leadership so that Milliband, Straw, Harman or indeed Nick Clegg can take over leading a left-wing coalition.
And secondly we are told that "the markets" need a quick resolution to the hung parliament situation. Yes quick, flush away the last shreds of democracy, ignore the will of the people, do whatever is necessary to help the markets...! The markets, we are told, hate uncertainty. This despite the fact that bankers for years have made their money trading and gambling on exactly that uncertainty. In a former life a tall tanned handsome Frenchman took me round the LIFFE futures trading floor. "Buy the rumour", he advised in an accent like a Rolex sliding down a thick wrist, "sell the fact". When the announcement is made there's no more profit to be made on the story. The markets can cope for a little bit without us.
The difference is though that before the election to save us from a future the vast majority of us have never wanted we needed at least two thirds of the country to see through and reject the Murdoch lies. Now we need only one man. So please Mr Clegg - do the right thing.