Who I’m Voting For In The 2024 General Election

Before I tell you who I’m voting for in the 2024 General Election, if the cover hasn’t given it away, a reminder of what I believe in.

I Am A Liberal

I am a liberal.

I believe in social liberalism – the right to live your life how you want to, to be free to make the choices within the construct of society (ie you are not free to not pay tax, for example) and law (ie you are not free to steal, etc).

I believe in personal responsibility – you have freedom but also you are responsible for your choices in life, and you are also responsible for contributing to society in a positive manner.

Perhaps most importantly, I believe in economic liberalism. Which, broadly speaking, means individuals and companies having more of their own money to make their decisions on how best to run their life, or the organisation. It means government getting out of the way where possible, it means lower taxes for individuals and corporations (corporate tax is just tax on employees, shareholders and customers), though it does also mean lower spending on societal desires – because economic liberalism assumes the individual/corporation knows best for them, not the government.

Of course, there are examples where this will not work – such as assuming that individuals will voluntarily pay for an army, lighthouses, cyber defence, fire service, etc – hence tax, hence spend.

The cure to society’s desire for extra spending, is and always has been, economic growth.

You could call me a woke Thatcherite.

What The Conservatives Brought

Alas, the Conservatives have brought us significant extra taxation – £13,321 each.

Despite all this extra taxation, I’m not sure any services have improved over the 14 years bar education.

They have brought us Brexit – rules that were set at the European level are now set at the UK level, which makes it much harder for businesses to trade with our closest trading partner. Economic liberalism also means having lower or no tariffs with your trading partners, and as much freedom to trade as possible – alas, Brexit means the opposite.

Not only have the Tories taxed more, spent more, increased debt and permanently reduced our GDP by 5% with Brexit, they have lied to us, cheated at every opportunity post-May (Theresa, that is), insulted us (especially pro-EU economic liberals, and those who are socially liberal/woke) and simply governed really badly.

I look back at the 2010-15 coalition with dreamy eyes, for they made mistakes too, but it was a far sight better than the trash of Johnson or Truss.

How Can We Fix The Economy?

Before I outline how to fix things, it is worth noting that the current government have done one positive thing that should help economic growth in the next couple of years, and that is full expensing of capital expenditure – though whether that outweighs the negative effects from higher corporation tax, well, I doubt. And it certainly won’t even vaguely come close to the economic damage caused by leaving the Single Market.

There’s two main things that will help grow our economy. You might dislike them both.

  1. Scrap the 1947 Town And County Planning Act.
  2. Re-join the Single Market.

It can take years to get approval to build anything in this stupid country. There is a whole industry dedicated to stopping the UK building anything, and reducing our economic growth – not to mention the scourge of the NIMBYs. Simply put – we should give pre-approval for certain types of building in certain areas, call it zoning. Auckland is an example of doing this, and rents since 2017 are up by 1% compared to 15% elsewhere in New Zealand…and compared to around 1,500,253% in the UK (slight exaggeration).

The people that block such developments, NIMBYs, tend to often be pensioners – and their income is unaffected by economic growth as it stands. Why should they want electricity pylons to help power economic growth? We just guarantee their pensions go up, no matter what happens. Personally, I would scrap the pensions triple lock, and connect pensions to economic growth – so pensioners then have a stake in things actually getting built. Some of these NIMBY watch stories are just astonishing.

And re-joining the Single Market, allowing the free movement of good and people shouldn’t need explaining as to why it would be beneficial to our economy. We’ve already experienced the damage of leaving the EU.

So Which Party Is Offering Both?

Of course, no political party is offering both planning reform and re-joining the EU.

Kier Starmer even reckons we are not re-joining the EU whilst he is alive – quite how he is going to stop us when he is out of power is another matter.

But in terms of re-joining the EU, there is no party to vote for. Not even the Liberal Democrats are arguing for it. Hell, I’d settle for re-joining the Single Market (though ideally we should aim for Hard Re-join) – but, no, no party offers that. Yet.

However, Labour are suggesting reforms to planning laws. Whether it will be enough to actually get this country building again, and the economy growing, I doubt. They’ll have the majority in parliament to do it, but will they be brave enough? There’s plenty of vested interests in a lack of growth. Those that will benefit most from building houses, are spread across the country – and not organised in noisy, local campaigns.

The Tories are a joke when it comes to planning reform – they promised it in 2019, and shock horror, didn’t do anything. The Liberal Democrats are going for the NIMBY vote. So they are out, as amusing as Ed Davey’s stunts have been.

Am I Really Voting Labour?

I said that I would never vote Labour in my life. I would never vote for a socialist party.

Yet they are the only one offering anything close to what I believe will create economic growth. I don’t trust them. They speak utter bilge on the economy, blame everything on Liz Truss (interest rates also went up in USA…her fault too?), will probably put taxes up (not as much as the Tories already have done) and I reckon after 6 months I’ll want them out.

But what do I do? They are offering one thing that I believe in – planning reform.

Plus it is the best way to punish the Tories for Brexit – which, quite frankly is my main motivation, and the motivation of many others too. Although I note, as I predicted years ago, that some people think Brexit is great but hasn’t been implemented properly. Hmmm, where have I heard that before? Any communists reading? “Oh but communism is such a great idea, it just hasn’t been done properly”.

Punishing the Tories for Brexit will likely be my main motivation in 2029, unless they suddenly become the pro-EU party again. LOL.

So. There you go. I think I’m voting Labour today in the 2024 General Election.

Best wishes to all voting.

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