OK, I've decided to include a few off-topic posts in my astronomy blog and I'm going to start with the upcoming general election. It is possibly the most critical general election in recent times and, yet, whoever wins will have to pick up the poisoned chalice.
First, let's be brutal: This country is in a mess. OK, the world is in a mess and many countries are in an even worse mess than we are. What is most frightening is that we will still be in a mess even when the next world economic boom comes round. Despite this, I'm actually proud to be English, British and European in that order, although I'm also loyal to Chile, my wife's country.
Now I'm making this post as objective as possible but will lay my cards on the table. For most of my life, my political leaning has been centre-right. I voted Liberal Democrat at the last election and will do so at this one for both similar and different reasons. Now I'm not trying to convert anyone to centre-right ideology. Vote according to your core beliefs and conscience. I will neither condemn nor criticise you for that. All I ever ask of anyone is to make an informed and careful decision on the day.
Electorates and history (worldwide!) are very kind to governments who preside over times of economic plenty or war victories but are harsh on ones who preside over times of hardship.
Over the next few weeks, I will be covering what I perceive as the key election issues and give as objective view I can on each party. Please feel free to comment but all comments should be constructive and respectful, just as I will try to do the same. Whilst some of my views are controversial, they are sincere and not done out of Hopkinesque sensationalism.
On the surface, I'm not well qualified to be a political commentator, at least in most peoples' eyes. I have not taken part in any political activities for nearly 40 years and do not socialise often, apart from online. This is partly through circumstances and partly through choice. What DOES qualify me is that I have done a lot of business travel and met real people in real situations instead of the sugar-coated versions of countries in holiday resorts. I have been to places where there is no national health service. If you don't have money or insurance, you die.
I will be posting comments on the major issues for the upcoming election and (hopefully) unbiased appraisals of the major and fringe parties.