Friday 2 June
Polling day approaches again, and this time the issue is still Brexit. Do we want a strong leader who will get us a good deal so that we can seize the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for Little England? Do we want to vote for a party that wishes an even smaller Scotland to leave the UK and negotiate (possibly) to go back into the EU? Or a party that seems hopelessly split, whether in Westminster or in city councils? Or should we protest by voting for one of the parties that has no chance of influencing anything, even if we are a bit green, anti-Brexit, or xenophobic? How do we make up our minds?
We are again being treated with contempt, fed a diet of promises that appeals to our baser motives and outright lies, bombarded with misleading leaflets. In my constituency, where SNP and Lib-Dem are neck and neck, the Conservatives have informed us that they are the only ones who can beat the SNP, illustrated by a bar graph based on second preference votes in the Scottish election. But what about the issue of Brexit? Not a mention of the obvious downsides, not a word from the great advocates Davis, Johnson, Gove, Fox – they are wisely silent as they know not what to do. Someone called Amber urges us to look at the Tories' record, and we look at the collapse of the NHS and social care in England, and a UK economy now languishing at the bottom of the G7 – sorry, bottom equal with Italy. Amber in traffic lights is a warning.
There is an uncanny sense that I have been here before. In 1945 we saw a contest between a powerful leader, who had led us to a great victory, and a rather colourless man generally thought to be a political nonentity. But Attlee was an effective manager, skills he had first learnt in the army in the first world war, and he revolutionised Britain. Could Corbyn be an Attlee? The Labour manifesto sets out all the policies I have for decades been advocating, but can the party achieve them? I fear not but hope it might.
Once, people seemed to make their minds up on the policies rather than the personalities. What are the policies today? Conservative – more austerity and better deals for the richest. Labour, pretty well the opposite, a very radical programme. Liberal – now no chance of achieving its aim to have another referendum, or could there be? SNP – we know what it wants, but maybe not just yet in view of the economic writing on the wall. Anyway, I made my mind up and posted off my vote last week. The best thing I could do as a Labour supporting, anti-Scottish independence Europhile was vote Lib-Dem. Could we see an upset? It might be close.
Thursday 8 June (midday)
The polls have narrowed in spite of the massive funding for the Tories by billionaires and the vicious attacks on Corbyn by the Mail, Sun and Telegraph. Diane Abbott, a clever Cambridge graduate and our first black female MP, has been relentlessly hounded by the media and internet trolls into withdrawing from the campaign, presumably from stress-related illness. Large numbers of young people are reported at the polling stations in spite of the dreich weather. Another Tory government looks likely according to the pollsters and, according to me if they are right, it will be the end of Great Britain in more senses than one. I fear the worst, but still hope. Please God, bring back Maynard Keynes. Does nobody read Joseph Stiglitz?
Friday 9 June (1am)
I spent the early evening forgetting politics and saw Scottish Opera's 'La bohème' (look out for the beautiful Jeanine de Bique who sang Musetta), returning to hear the exit polls from the inevitable Professor John Curtice. Posted on Facebook: 'So far looks better than I expected but...dreaming of my hoped for left alliance to put the Tories away. Corbyn; could he do an Attlee? At least he'd be better as a negotiator with EU than May. Fingers crossed.'
Friday 9 June (8am)
Listened to the radio all night and now we know. A pyrrhic victory for the Tories and SNP leading to a hung parliament. I'm not as surprised as some commentators, having seen and heard Corbyn in action and heard many adverse comments from my Scottish friends about the performance of the SNP in power. The young and nationally very diverse members of my family across the UK have been inspired by the Labour manifesto, and I believe the turnout of the young is the factor that has changed things. This, though not yet wholly successful, is encouraging for the future but in the short term we are in for more unstable and weak government and probably another general election unless the Tories collapse in argument and let Labour write the Queen's speech.
I have said repeatedly that Brexit won't happen – it is just too stupid and damaging an idea, promoted by the tax-dodging wealthy to the unthinking poor, who swallowed it whole. Could this be the opportunity to bin it? It is for the young to make clear their views now and to keep hammering away until our politicians in the UK parliament start to act on behalf of the country, not just their parties. Oh, and goodbye to Salmond, leaving singing Jacobite songs; my ancestors were Jacobites and that didn't end happily. I shan't miss his cynical half laugh though, as Nicola has copied it exactly.