The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!
I’ve been to Leeds today – not that I actually saw much of Leeds. I had to give a lecture on a course about Clinical Trials first thing this morning. Because of the earlier start and more importantly, because of the free course dinner last night, I decided to go there yesterday rather than risking the traffic this morning – good job too because it took me an hour longer than anticipated to get there.
The dinner was at a restaurant in the city called Souz le Nez and I have to say that the food is very good and almost worth making the effort to go to Leeds for. Not that there aren’t other things worth going to Leeds for, of course, although I’m not really in a position to recommend anything else as I think I’ve only ever been to the restaurant and the course venue apart from a brief trip to Roundhay Park for the National Cross Country Championships where I remember an impossibly steep hill and a lot of mud! Actually, that isn’t much of a recommendation is it?
I sat next to some pharmacists at dinner. Actually there was no escape from pharmacists since practically everybody on the course was a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician. We chatted about various topics but once we’d drunk a little wine, we ended up discussing politics and who to vote for in the upcoming election. The thing was, none of us knew who to vote for. I’ve never known so many people to have no idea who to vote for. The others came from Labour backgrounds (one from Tony Blair’s old constituency in Sedgefield) but still weren’t sure that they really wanted to vote for Labour. I think that the experience of the last Labour government, particularly the Iraq war, has put many of us off voting Labour again in the near future. Added to that, the massive debt, the huge increase in immigration, so many changes in the NHS etc. that occurred under Labour and you wonder whether we really want to go down that road again. They did do some good things but they also made some very bad decisions. Also, there is the issue of leadership. Although it is a little unfair, it is difficult to see Ed Miliband as leader of our country. The others questioned whether he would be able to stand up for Britain when needed?
But do we really want to vote Conservative? Ever fibre in my body cries No!! Don’t you remember The Poll Tax, The Right to Buy, Privatisation of Nationalised Industries and the current Austerity Measures? Won’t we get more cuts to vital services that help the most needy in our community and whose stupid idea was it to suggest a 7 day NHS – have they actually costed that one?!!
What are the alternatives? The Liberal Democrats, UKIP or the Green Party. Were the Liberal Democrats really the steadying force in the current government? Should we stay in Europe (Liberals) or get out (UKIP) and what do the Green Party stand for anyway?
So, I decided that the only way to get a better idea about which party to vote for was to read the manifestos. So far I’ve downloaded the Conservative Party, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats Manifesto – that should keep me going for a while but I can’t really dismiss UKIP or the Greens as credible alternatives so I will try to take a look at those as well. If I can manage it, I might even provide a summary on my blog of what I think each party stands for.
Anyway, it was a mistake to talk in an animated fashion about politics late into the evening when I had to give a lecture the next day. My voice was already suffering before we started and I wondered whether I would make it through without a coughing fit. I think it all went well in the end and a couple of people came up to me to ask questions afterwards, which is always encouraging.