I have never been a member of any political party. My agenda is my own. Whilst it is not as well defined as a party manifesto, here is my general outlook.
I would describe my political position as being broadly centrist – liberal (without being Liberal Democrat). I believe that wealth has to be generated before it can be distributed and that essentially free markets are vital to that generation but proper regulation to ensure fairness and prevent exploitation are crucial.
We have high expectation of public services in this country. We expect our citizens to have their rights, health and persons protected. We expect them to be educated. We believe that if, due to their circumstances, they are unable to provide for themselves that society should give them the means to live a reasonable life. These are no trivial matters and inevitably expensive, an expense which is born by taxation. However people are also entitled to choose how to spend as much as possible of what they earn themselves. This tension is at the heart of all politics and this difficult compromise is made all the harder by the dogmatic positions taken by our major parties. I offer no simple solution to the vexed question. Although my instincts are centrist, I don’t promise equidistance between the Tories and Labour. I can only offer to give mature thoughtful deliberation.
Government, however, has no place in our personal lives. Who we sleep with, marry, read, talk to, pray to or what we wear is not the business of government and should not be legislated.
I also have strong feelings on freedom of speech. Freedom of expression, even when objectionable, is essential to a liberal democracy and must be defended. Government or institutions should not have the power to gag anyone. However, it is a misapprehension to think that freedom of speech equates to the freedom to say whatever you like without consequences. If what you say, write, wear (or however you express yourself) is offensive, hateful or risable, we are entitled to mock or shun you. If it is slanderous, incites violence or is otherwise illegal you can be prosecuted. Freedom of expression does not oblige us to have any respect for what is said, and the speaker carries the consequence of their words.
I have no time at all for the class war rhetoric of either the Labour or Conservative parties which foster and perpetuate the divisions in our society. It is no more constructive to despise the rich than it is acceptable to hold the poor in contempt.