Why I’m Voting Conservative Tomorrow

My relationship with the Conservative Party has had its ups and downs. Before the last general election I was summarily fired by the Party as Area Vice Chairman here, largely because of my public criticism of the ill-fated relationship with the hapless UUP. I also resigned my membership of the Conservative Party because of its willingness to enter into a sectarian carve-up in Fermanagh South Tyrone, in 2010, that turned into a head-counting fiasco.

I have also been critical of the coalition’s failure to address the public debt burden. Moreover, it has proved to be as ineffective at getting big policies right as its predecessor. The roll-out of universal credit has been a mess – even if the policy has virtue. Also, the help-to-buy scheme, in my view, was ill-conceived.

But tomorrow I’ll be voting Conservative for the same reason that I argued decades ago – when I first got involved in the campaign to have the main British political parties organise and contest elections in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland needs to be part of the mainstream political debate.

As evidenced last night on the so-called NI Leaders’ Debate (where only one local party leader showed-up) our political discourse remains in the tribal swamp. It’s a key reason why turnout here at the last UK general election was the lowest of any UK region. If turnout tomorrow is as low a likely reason is the inability of local politicians to reinvent themselves, now that there is no constitutional crisis to worry about.

Our political parties are stunted relics of a debate that bores us all witless. Our “two communities” no longer exist. Indeed the institutions here try to maintain tribal designations for a population that is, increasingly, having none of it.

Roy Fisher has been fighting a lone campaign to highlight the extent of misinformation in relation to our sectarian head-counting. Fewer and fewer people here self-identify as either Protestant or Catholic and yet, despite this, the sectarian definitions rumble on. Even if we don’t call ourselves Catholic or Protestant, public bodies still insist on categorising us based on our parentage or our upbringing.

In Northern Ireland on Census day 2011, 10.11% of us selected ʻNoneʼ when asked to designate our religion.  A further 6.75% of the population exercised the right by law not to disclose their religion to the census.

Therefore, a substantial percentage of our population chose not to identify themselves with the two supposed communities that underwrite every political discussion. And polling evidence suggests, also, that ‘Catholic’ is no longer a euphemism for Irish Nationalist. Nor do Protestants have a uniform set of political opinions – on the constitution, the economy, or law and order or anything else.

In short, our society is much like any other democracy. But our political parties fail to reflect that.

It’s for that reason that tomorrow I’ll vote Conservative. I’ll be voting for a party that doesn’t fixate on religion as a means of defining the electorate. I’ll be voting for a candidate, Helen Osborne (Lagan Valley), who has identified important local issues that she’s campaigning on – such as the need to address traffic problems at Sprucefield.  Dull, certainly – but important for local constituents.

The Conservative Party, frankly, doesn’t do a great job at reflecting my views on many issues. I’m uneasy with several of the policies it’s campaigning on. I detect a lack of ideological passion in David Cameron. I fully understand the criticisms of a front bench team that seems to be toff-dominated.

But, all things considered, it’s the best of a bad bunch. It’s also one of only two UK-wide political parties that seek my vote and seek a mandate to govern the whole of the UK. None of the local political parties, in my view, fulfils the criteria of political party. None aspires to govern (with the exception of Sinn Fein, which aspires to govern another political jurisdiction).  None appears willing to secularise.

So, warts and all, The Conservatives have it.  Hope they appreciate it.


 

By the way, I’ll be on Good Morning Ulster (BBC Radio Ulster) from around 7:00am on Friday morning as the UK wide results come in.  Tune in.  Tweet lots.  

  • Simian Droog

    “The Conservative Party, frankly, doesn’t do a great job at reflecting my views on many issues. I’m uneasy with several of the policies it’s campaigning on. I detect a lack of ideological passion in David Cameron. I fully understand the criticisms of a front bench team that seems to be toff-dominated.
    But, all things considered, it’s the best of a bad bunch”

    Nope, you just can’t past your tribal upbringing. I’ll ask you one question, out of Cameron and Miliband, who has genuine integrity about what they are saying. It’s not Cameron, that’s for sure. But he thanks you for his vote and of course he’s interested in Northern Irish inclusivity… Of course he is.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It always amazes me that you as a now Conservative voter … a party of small government… still thinks that political parties have the capacity to interfere with people’s identity and only they can do so. People make the parties, and our political parties didn’t fall from the sky, there are logical, historical and social forces at work that existed in order to create them.

    Playing Imagine England is not going to change nearly one million voters or their society overnight.

    On the one hand you think people can be moved away from parochial religious identification to national partisan ones. It’s not how people identify that’s your issue, it’s how much people feel connected to it. Conservatives and UKIP stand over here, Labour NI organize over here, the Liberals are fairly close to Alliance anyway, and Fianna Fáil even have a few associations in the North, People before Profit, the Socialist Party, the Worker’s Party are all-Ireland too.

    Sometimes party factions are pretty much a religious substitute anyway, there’s no pretense you actually need to have a passion for any of these movements to join them. Similarly would be the case if Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Irish Labour stood going over the border.

    People will vote in factions, People will vote in tribes (as they do in safe seats in Britain and the Republic), People will vote for any number of reasons for policies that may ego-bruise or dissociate them from the passions you as a voter may adhere to. So what?

    To me that’s just democracy.

  • Elizabeth McC

    I’ve no idea about the Conservative candidate in Lagan Valley but I had to go digging to find some information about the one standing in my constituency, Foyle.

    I found out that his mother “emigrated from Ireland” and that he’s a Conservative councillor in Merton. There’s a photograph of him with the Foyle in the background taken on a visit to the city.

    And that appears to be that. As neither he nor the Conservative party takes his candidature seriously, neither shall I.

  • kalista63

    The Conservatives are cooperating with unionism in the anti SF pact as are UKiP.

    How the hell is that being above the green Vs orange crap?

  • Barneyt

    “I also resigned my membership of the Conservative Party because of its willingness to enter into a sectarian carve-up in Fermanagh South Tyrone”

    Highly commendable. I understand (without condoning) the pacts in the context of NI and the need for one tribe to oust the other, but for the “mainland”
    unit to play a part in that is unacceptable, and surely falls foul in
    some quarters?

    However I don’t see why you are choosing to vote Conservative on the basis that you want to normalise politics over here. Surely the failing of the Conservatives to field contestants in the “unionist pact” territories remains a red line for you?

    “As evidenced last night on the so-called NI Leaders’ Debate (where only one local
    party leader showed-up) our political discourse remains in the tribal swamp”

    Now, this statement has emerged a few times i.e. only one local party leader turning up.

    Is Stephen Agnew not the head man for the Greens over here? He’s described as the leader of the Greens in NI

    The Alliance perhaps helped themselves by fielding their strongest asset, who cannot be compromised as much as Ford, but I take your point.

    The First Minister should have been there, but again, I suspect they fielded their man for the future instead, similarly to the SDLP (not fielding a man soon to be in the past). The presence of three deputies so to speak perhaps reflects the health of the respective parties leadership.

    But, how can you expect Gerry Adams to debate NI issues, particularly when he is a
    Louth TD? As with the Greens, is it not acceptable for Sinn Feins lead man in the North to participate in the NI leader debate?

    “Our ‘two communities’ no longer exist”

    Is that not a sentimental and welcome wish? There are two camps and this is
    fervently recognised by the electorate here and by our local parties. The Conservatives have endorsed this view too.

    Religion is playing less of a role I hope, but I would suggest that those that maybe no longer subscribe to a particular sect also have joined the apathetic voting community and no longer vote. I don’t understand this in many ways, as surely the Alliance and Greens offer an outlet to the disenfranchised.

    For me it falls into two camps. Unionist (literally meaning those in favour of retaining
    membership of the UK) and Nationalists and Republicans i.e. those who want a reunification of Ireland under a new democratic footprint.

    I feel that sections of the population however generally misrepresented. I’ve said it before on this site that there is no place to go for a left leaning protestant. In today’s world, the introduction of “new” Labour does not satisfy this political want, however it does remove the religious stigma.

    “I’ll be voting for a party that doesn’t fixate on religion as a means of defining
    the electorate”

    I’m afraid they do and have done. They have strongly positioned themselves on one
    particular camp.

    You’ve also highlighted a few more reasons NOT to tick the Conservative box
    below.

    “The Conservative Party, frankly, doesn’t do a great job at reflecting my views on
    many issues. I’m uneasy with several of the policies it’s campaigning on. I detect a lack of ideological passion in David Cameron”

    You can also add to this that they sacked you for taking a decent stand.

    So, in conclusion, I am not convinced you are making the decision based on your
    requirements. I do take your point. Normalise politics over her and align with Britain to offer outlets for right, centre and left.

    However, I feel the right and far right is well served here with UUP, DUP, TUV and now UKIP. Sinn Fein can absorb the left (and the generic nationalistrepublicans) and the SDLP neo-Christian-Democrats can suck up the right of centre pro-life nationalists. There is some valid representation, but not branded as you would prefer.

    It’s legitimate for Sinn Fein to exist and contend. They pre-date NI and their remit is
    largely the same. Their presence in NI is as legitimate as the resurgence and presence of the SNP in Scotland.

    Northern Ireland is not like any other part of the UK….Finchley springs to mind. Whilst I sympathise with your want to remove tribalism, sectarianism and a
    polarisation of politics and voting allegiance, this area has to be treated differently. It’s a contrived state, and those parties and the political system you hold a light to have a great deal to answer for here, and are not without blame for the problem that persists.

    The tribes over here were propagated through power, fear, deprivation and privilege…and more….take your pick. This has to be corrected, and it will in
    time. It has to be fixed here by those that it effects. The British parties, especially those that do not understand conflict resolution and go through life believing that the wee six detached from the Northwest of England in the last great storm.

    By all means let Labour, the Libs and the Torys land and rightly challenge the SDLP,
    Alliance and Unionists (natural mapping there), but their refusal re-enforces their willingness to attach to a particular camp, and that is most pronounced with the Torys and their cooperation with the sectarian unionists pacts that have been established in 2015.

  • kalista63

    Cameron is a weak little man who cannot even bring himself to whisper Nicola Sturgeon’s name, pretending that Salmond is still the party leader.

    Every single reason a working class person would elect to vote Tory is either gone or disproven. The rich no longer create wealth. Trickle down is a proven fallacy, with tax dodging being its truth.

    it certainly looks like Miliband kept his powder dry, hence those ridiculous images of Dave with his sleeves rolled up in front of fawning party members. Yesterday in Cornwall was such a panto, it even had a dwarf.

  • Dan

    Miliband has genuine integrity?

    Call the men in the white coats…..

  • the rich get richer

    I think Cameron expects his butler to deliver the election for him on a silver platter with the morning papers !

    He is at best half interested. Its okay being Prime Minister if it doesn’t inconvenience him unduly !

  • Surveyor

    Traffic problems at Sprucefield. Oh the humanity.

  • Not what I have seen on the news. Dave looks to be going around talking to the general public and has travelled tirelessly over the last few weeks trying to actually convince people. It looks like Ed is being shuffled from one Labour photo op to the next without actually meeting someone who may not support Labour. I suspect it’s because he is a liability and is not being let off the leash for fear he might make a last minute “gaffe” a la Gillian Duffy which could cost him Downing Street.

  • Turgon

    “I was summarily fired by the Party as Area Vice Chairman here, largely because of my public criticism of the ill-fated relationship with the hapless UUP.”

    Hapless UUP?

    This from a supporter of the NI Conservatives.

    Vast heap of coal calling pot black

  • aor26

    ” I also resigned my membership of the Conservative Party because of its willingness to enter into a sectarian carve-up in Fermanagh South Tyrone, in 2010, that turned into a head-counting fiasco.”

    The Conservative party are not running a candidate in Fermanagh/South Tyrone in this election either. Although the motivation for taking part in this Unionist pact is not really about sectarian carve-ups. It is rather about trying to take the seat from the abstentionist Sinn Fein M.P and replacing her with a Unionist M.P that will be friendly to a Conservative Government in return for something. (the something is not clear at this point)

  • Pete

    Half interested? He seems pretty interested from the coverage I’ve seen.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    What crap Kal. The rich maybe don’t create wealth, but the corporations they own and run, provide the jobs and hence the taxes that don’t come out of the public purse. Like it or not, the sainted teachers, nurses, doctors, policemen are paid from the public purse. They definitely don’t create “wealth”. They are a “cost”. Without those nasty corporations such as the banks, IT companies, Pharma Giants you have no private tax receipts and everything goes down the toilet. If you want to see what a socialist, Labour government does to a country when times are tight just look at France – 11% unemployment versus 5% in the UK. A top rate of tax of 75% versus 45% here. A totally out of control public sector. Frankly you would need to be economically illiterate to vote for Labour, but the folks with nowt will always vote for a free lunch.

  • Barneyt

    Teachers, nurses, doctors, policemen are contributors to society and an essential part at that. They deliver education which enables would be entrepreneurs and the wealth creators you adore, they tend to the sick and ailing (last I heard was that sickness and ill-health can be non selective), they will dredge the canal for a missing child….. Whilst recognising that businesses are one of the essential economic cogs, it would be foolish to suggest that the saintly professions you are so dismissive of are a drain on society or as you put it, merely a cost.

  • Zig70

    That’s the problem with liberal unionists, they see it all as a religious thing and miss the cultural divide. Essentially they are worse than loyalists because they exclude through ignorance. We need to embrace the diversity not squeeze everyone into an agnostic beige unionist pot. Like it or not, through their past actions, the conservatives sit on one side of the divide and can’t pretend they aren’t part of the problem.

  • Reader

    It’s not dismissive to point out that their salary is paid for by the efforts of others, and that any society can only afford to assign a certain proportion of its economy to maintaining public service.

  • Zig70

    Aside from the English conservatives attitude to the Irish, I’ve always thought a measure of someone was how they treat the less fortunate than themselves. Do they think they are better? Through birth-right I find abhorrent, through breeding, social standing, schooling? I don’t buy into the right wing attitude that the poor are just feckless and the idea that the rich deserve their wealth. You deserve to be rewarded but you aren’t worth 10 times an ordinary man. You can only gain large wealth through a large community. Why would anyone who isn’t part of the elite vote conservative? Misguided aspiration? Cameron strikes me as a populist who would do or say anything to get prime minister. I’m sure he can’t understand his lack of traction.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Zig – you confuse “wealth” with people who just work hard and earn a salary. To then have that salary halved to fund others is galling. I don’t get up every morning at 0600, work 11 hrs every day for 5 days, to have my salary part fund the feckless. Labour is BIG SOCIETY, for all the wrong reasons – have everyone reliant upon the state and their weekly hand outs. It’s communism by another name – we all become equal in the eyes of great state/leader and ambition, drive, success become dirty words. It’s the simple politic of jealousy, down and dirty base politics. I choose to rely on myself, not the state.

  • Old Mortality

    “(last I heard was that sickness and ill-health can is non selective)”

    So there’s nothing in all these ‘studies’ that link ill-health to (relative) poverty.

  • Zig70

    Labour, communists? If you work 55hrs a week and half your salary is going to the feckless then maybe you need help from the state.

  • Dexter

    Jeff- you were on the radio yesterday opining about obesity and planning for fast food restaurants (although I don’t think you are a nutritionist or a planner). You’ve also been on TV about legal aid (although I don’t think you are a lawyer or a Defendant). you regularly comment on welfare payments, sickness leave in the civil service, religion et al. You are referred to as “a commentator” and presumably get a fee for your various appearances. How do I get that gig?!

  • Chingford Man

    I’ve been looking at Helen Osborne’s Twitter account and Facebook page. All her tweets are about the campaigning she has been doing in her native Winchester. Nothing about Lagan Valley on her Facebook page. Her perfunctory Lagan Valley website hasn’t been updated at all since she was announced as a candidate. I’d be interested to know if she has even been in Northern Ireland since the election was called.

    A quick social media trawl shows that Claire-Louise Leyland, candidate for West Tyrone, has uploaded 2 pictures of Tyrone in the last month. Nothing else. It’s clear that others have no understanding of their constituencies.

    Then of course there is the Upper Bann candidate Amandeep Singh Bhogal. He seems to have been sending most of his time in marginal seats in south-east England. He also claims on his website that he is a “former British diplomat”, yet told Sam McBride of the News Letter that his experience was limited to being a Junior Administrative Officer in the Foreign Office when he left school. (If I was a cleaner at a hospital, would that make me a doctor?)

    Is this why Laurence Kennedy worked so hard to get Tory politics in Northern Ireland? So that CCHQ can dump London-based paper candidates into constituencies most of them probably haven’t previously visited?

    At least UKIP is running local people grounded in their areas.

  • Surveyor

    How many Conservative Politians got to where they are today without the help and influence of their wealthy families? The truth is the proponents of “hard work” in the Conservative Party do remarkably very little of it, relying instead on inherited wealth to get by. Ian Duncan Smith is living rent and mortgage free in his father in law’s house for goodness sake. So much for self reliance.

  • Gingray

    Jeff, I know it’s generally too much for you to respond to the pertinent questions raised in the comments but:

    ” I also resigned my membership of the Conservative Party because of its willingness to enter into a sectarian carve-up in Fermanagh South Tyrone”

    This time round your Tory party are happily taking part in two sectarian head counts, again in Fermanagh and North Belfast. That’s their choice, it’s a very valid way to help fellow unionist parties win.

    But it is ironic that you failed to mention the party you vote for is a willing participant in sectarian pacts, making them no better or worse than the Unionist parties they have stood aside for. At least those parties are honest about it.

  • Abucs

    Doesn’t that also apply to some Labour politicians and left leaning judges etc. ?

    Do wealthy left leaning families not help their kids?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Not so much “inherited wealth” anymore as what George Monbiot calls “klepto-renumeration”. The current financial system is rapidly stripping the old guard you are thinking of of their inheritances, at least those who have not been placed by family and contacts in international finance and banking (or similar), or in the high pensioned mandarin civil service posts. These new wealthy “meritocrats” in both private and public sectors are growing fat on the takings, especially those who have developed major buy to let portfolios in London. They have flooded the Conservative party, driving most of the people you seem to be thinking of out ever since “That Woman” rebuilt the party as a “meritocracy”, and labour followed them into the “middle ground”. The only bright spot in all of this is the golden rule of ‘rags to riches, to rags again in three generations” for most of these parvenus, to make way for the even more ambitious of a later time.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I remember the 1964 election in London (I was visiting…) , where someone who thought rather like my adolescent Anarchist self then had painted “Which Twin’s the Tory” over a number of posters. Both parties and their supporters have become adept at Klepto-renumeration ever since the Thatcher Revolution. I also think in this of a new convert to this way of thinking, a life long Labour supporter, telling me even in John Smith’s time, “i’ve discovered that the new way is not to expropriate the rich, but to become the rich….”

  • Abucs

    Democracy is so divisive. 🙂

  • Abucs
  • Gerrynearly

    I’m a teacher. My salary is paid by MY taxes just as much as anyone else’s, or do you think that teachers don’t pay tax?

  • Barneyt

    Fair point (but of course I would agree that poverty brings on various ailments), but there are plenty of illnesses that do not examine your wallet before striking. The point I was making was that the saintly professions make a contribution and the work the do enables the specific and general health of the country.

  • Reader

    The tax you pay doesn’t cover your salary or you would have nothing to spend on food. Other people who *aren’t* paid out of taxes have to top up your salary with *their* taxes. We need to grow food, we need to make stuff, we need to export some of it. The government taxes a share of that activity to pay you.
    Did you think I was attacking the public sector? I wasn’t – but it can only reach a certain size. If we get the size wrong, we damage the economy. If we get it badly wrong, we crash.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Nobody is saying these professions don’t contribute. That’s how you chose to interpret my original post. Reader was exactly right in his interpretation of my post. My taxes pay those public sector salaries. The public sector contributes nothing to my salary. Without a strong economy there are less taxes, less teachers, less policemen etc etc. The public sector is totally dependant upon the economy, not the other way around.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Just to be clear I’m not a supporter of the NI Conservatives. I’m merely voting Conservative. The alternative is not voting.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    You make a valid point. But I’m voting for the Conservative Party – not joining it – for the reasons I outlined in the blog. There are many repulsive political parties standing in this election in Northern Ireland. I’m voting for one that 1) is seeking a mandate across the UK and 2) most aligns to my political opinions.

    My voting Conservative is merely an alternative to not voting. Few will vote Conservative here. Most who vote will help elect politicians that promise only more of the same. But the same sucks.

  • Barneyt

    Ok. However, it feels you are suggesting that those in the private sector, are totally independent and do not benefit or receive a service of any kind from the public sector and those that work in it. Public sector workers pay taxes too and these taxes go towards services that benefit all. Ok, the private sector does offer more rewards than many state professions and as a result, the contribution is higher.

    I felt Kalistas post and your response were both tending in a particular but opposite direction, and respectively the contributions of the public and private sector were not be properly considered.

    We cant do without either sector in our present society.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    The same conservative politicians that could be working in the City earning 7 figure salaries….don’t let your lazy bias blind you Surveyor.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Everything hinges on the economy Barney. The question to those who have yet to vote is who they trust most to run a successful economy. Everything else is secondary. Its really that simple a choice.

  • Barneyt

    Nothing wrong with working hard and receiving the rewards. Everyone has a duty to contribute and put in a little extra and I don’t see why this should differ in a big society culture or a segmented trickle down “society”.

    Choosing to rely on ones self is fine, as long as this is in fact the case. If you are consistent in this, such as availing of private health (not staffed by any publicly trained individuals), drive on your own roads, drink your own water etc.. then a) you have done well and b) I cant see why you would contribute to the tax coffers at all, being so self reliant.

  • submariner

    By being a male version of Katie Hopkins and just as bloody annoying

  • Gingray

    Jeffrey, I don’t really care who you vote for, but I think it’s important that you acknowledge you are voting for a party that continually plays sectarian politics in northern Ireland.

    I would hope you mention that next time you try to claim the Tories are different to our local parties

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I did acknowledge it. That’s why I resigned from the Party five years ago. It’s also why I have not rejoined it (among other reasons). It also shows just how sick politics is across the UK – but especially here. I am a socially liberal, fiscally Conservative Atheist. It’s never easy choosing. But the alternative is not voting.

  • Gingray

    Sounds like alliance would be a better fit, but then it appears voting for sectarianism is less of an issue than your fiscal views

  • Jeffrey Peel

    For someone who doesn’t care about how I vote you seem to be putting a lot of effort in. Alliance has no discernible fiscal position on anything. Plus the fact that Naomi refused to take the LibDem whip is a big problem for me. She had the opportunity to define herself as something other than a backwoodswoman and blew it. Moreover, as I’ve often pointed out, the Alliance Party has no real reason to exist without tribalism. In that respect it’s a single issue pressure group like all the other parish pump parties. The Conservative Party is, I’ll agree, very tainted. But it’s still a UK wide party and the only one that at least claims to be doing something about the fiscal mess we’re in. And it organises and contests elections in every part of the UK.

  • Gingray

    It’s just interesting that you failed to mention the 2015 sectarianism in your original post.

    Obviously you realised the party you support is engaged in it, but because it’s a UK wide party you are willing to overlook it.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I agree it looks bad. Like the debt mountain. And lots of other things. It looks much less bad, though, than the DUP, Sinn Fein, TUV, local-Variant Greens, SDLP, UUP and the various other rag-bags. As I say, the alternative is a spoiled vote. Or no vote. That’s what democracy in Northern Ireland 2015 boils down to.

  • Gingray

    So let’s just be clear –

    ‘I’ll be voting for a party that doesn’t fixate on religion as a means of defining the electorate.’

    That’s incorrect – you have voted for a party that takes part in sectarian pacts (yet you failed to mention this in your concerns in the original post…).

    I just don’t get how you can disparage local parties for being sectarian yet fail to mention the party you voted for are being just as bad. Double standards there when a large part of your post is claiming we are in a post religious world

  • Sergiogiorgio

    You’d be frightened what I contribute in taxes on an absolute basis yearly. Your “little extra” I already contribute. As to what I take out or get out of my contributions is a pretty crap deal.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I agree – it looks bad. But five years ago I had sufficient inside knowledge about the party (and Owen Paterson’s assurance it would contest every UK seat) that failure to contest FST was a resigning issue for me. However, if it’s not the Conservative Party who should I vote for? I haven’t yet voted. Just a reminder, I’m a fiscally Conservative, socially liberal, Atheist.

  • Surveyor

    You’re more than welcome to leave the country if you think you’re getting a bum deal on the amount of tax you are required to pay. The fact though that so many rich people stick around in the UK speaks volumes.

  • Gingray

    It depends – you have not added your stance on sectarianism in your self description despite claiming we have moved on from it.

    If you are happy to undermine your original post and accept sectarianism in exchange for fiscal conservatism then the tories are perfect, perhaps even the ulster unionists.

    If your original post holds value however, then surely only a non sectarian party is appropriate

    It’s your choice, both are valid and acceptable options, it really comes down to being happy with being sectarian or not.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Now you’re just being silly, circular and patronising. Who are you voting for?

  • Gingray

    I voted alliance in East Belfast, but I have no problems generally voting to contribute to the sectarian headcount.

    My issue with your post is that the thrust is that we are post sectarian, as you pick a sectarian vote

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Yep, like many, this is my home and I pay through the nose for it. I actually love the place, but love has a limit and I’d be sad to leave it to deluded, socialist, neoliberal folks like yourself to bankrupt it. Hand out Surveyor, what can you get for nowt?

  • Surveyor

    75 quid a week JSA would be the only thing I’d be entitled to, one of the lowest rates in Europe as it happens. But for-by that why are the foreign Super Rich flocking to UK if as you say the tax regime is so excessive?

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Cos they are non doms, something I disagree with, but raises feck all when stacked up agaisnt social hand outs.

  • Deke Thornton

    In Strangford today I voted for Johnny Andrews (Conservative) as the only non sectarian candidate in the field. Never heard of the guy before but I wanted to vote for a genuine National party, and one which will deal with the deficit. Looks like a majority throughout the country did the same.

  • Deke Thornton

    Spot on.

  • Deke Thornton

    So are the armed forces, you seem to have missed them out. However you didn’t mention the vast arena of civil servants, most of whom do nothing all day. And vastly outnumber the people you have mentioned above.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    You did well. Johnny is a very splendid chap.

  • I voted for the first time in my life and i voted for the conservative!! here are my three reasons for voting them https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-i-voted-conservatives-sally-wang?trk=prof-post

  • It was the first time I voted as a Chinese who have spent the past 14 years in uk and took it as my second home. I voted for my own reasons 1) they have done a good job, so why not give them another chance to see how far they can go? 2) they share some of my core values 3) its about the leaders as well.

  • chrisjones2

    Heavens.Look what you have done!!!!!