The perils of pick ‘n’ mix politics

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
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We are two weeks away from the big day and I still can’t work out what to wear or where to put my X.

It used to be so simple; you worked down the pit and voted Labour, you had a few bob, you voted Conservative and if you had enough money to have the time to care about polar bears and things that sounded good around a ‘right on’ dinner table, you went with the Liberal Democrats. These days there are far more parties, but it seems, far less choice.

I am sure you have heard Theresa May promising time and again, a ‘strong and stable’ government, but if I am honest, it has all started to look a bit wonky and wobbly to me, with more U-turns than your average Fast and Furious film. In her 10 months at number 10 she has changed her mind on Brexit, white van man tax and on calling a snap election and now Theresa has hit reverse gear, on her party’s so-called, “Dementia Tax” social care policy.

It’s enough to make your head spin. This is one lady who certainly is for turning, and turning, and turning.

Meanwhile, in Jezzaland, he and his ‘beardy’ mates have been rubbing their chins and have literally promised the earth, although they haven’t yet pledged to do the water and wine thing, and the fish and bread thing is a lot further up the road. It’s a very long Labour Christmas list and I am sure Santa will have been taken aback, but it seems to have resonated with the public, if the opinion polls are to be believed anyway.

Vote SuperJez and with one bound he will nationalise water, rail and post, all whilst scrapping University tuition fees and ending zero-hours contracts. He will deliver more police, more firefighters and more taxes for the rich and he will make sure pensioners are looked after.Honestly, when will this man sleep and where is the cash coming from to pay for it?

Over at Wallace and Gromit’s house, the Lib Dem’s, good-natured, eccentric, cheese-loving leader, Tim Farron, has been busy trying to reinvent his party from the comfort of his shed.

Alongside extra tax revenue for the NHS, more cash for education, another referendum on Brexit and job sharing for MPs, everything looks a bit fanciful and dare I say it ‘wishy washy’.

The sort of stuff you can promise, when you know it’s unlikely you will ever have to deliver.

Saying that, I don’t mind doing a couple of days a week as an MP – free breakfast and dinner, plus as many bags of magic stars as you can get on expenses, what’s not to like? As an undecided voter, there is much on offer that I like at this election and when you add in the odd policy from the Green party and mix in a bit of UKIP-ness, it gets even better. The trouble is I want to pick and choose from these policies. Two from the top, three from the middle and one each from near the bottom – there isn’t one party that truly appeals to me. So, in the absence of a new, seismic shift in politics in Britain, a Macron moment, if you like, I guess for me on June 8 it will come down to who I trust the most with the future of our country.

Or, perhaps, who I think will do the least damage.