I have spent the last month not thinking politics but tracking down politicians. We have now succeeded in getting some of the candidates at the forthcoming election (March 25th or May 6th, according to those who have had rooms booked by the Council for polling stations) to answer questions, individually, from church members. It is now fixed and this slightly less adversarial/confrontational approach will see the Labour and Lib Dems at the Trinity Centre, Nailsea on 7th Feb and UKIP and the Conservatives at Nailsea Methodist Church on March 7th.
I have now started wondering. Everyone says that the government is doomed. Everyone may be right but I think the current bunch have been politically clumsy, rather than philosophically misguided, by and large.
Here's what I'd love to see them do. The key issue for voters is going to be rebuilding our economy after a difficult recession. The government took the decision to borrow substantially against the future, to ease the current difficulties. The Conservatives would not have done quite so much. They might have overseen a deeper recession with fewer lasting consequences. The issue remains how to pay that money back and over what period.
So why not tell us, Labour Government, precisely what savings you would plan to make if re-elected, and where? Lets talk about cuts. That's what we mean, not savings. No funding for the arts? Cancel the Olympics? Halve the RAF? No new schools for ten years? Privatise more of the NHS? What will it look like?
The Conservatives response, unless they change their spots, will have to be, 'No, it will be far worse than that.'
Then we'll have ourselves an election. Duck Houses, moats and wisteria clearing will all be forgotten.