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Election 2019: How should I vote?

Philip Fisher reports on an overheard late-night conversation about how accountants might vote in the election.

11th Dec 2019
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The other evening, when a colleague was working out of hours, she just happened to overhear a couple of colleagues chatting by the coffee machine and turned on the recorder on her mobile phone.

One was in his 50s and the other was second-generation immigrant from the subcontinent and newly qualified.

Younger accountant

I’m sick and tired of all of this Brexit and election stuff. I know I must vote but I have no idea where I should place my cross.

Older accountant

I know what you mean. I can’t watch the news anymore and, don’t get me started on those TV debates. It almost makes me want to make a start on that pile of tax returns instead.

This is normally an easy one for an accountant because we all know that the Conservatives are the party for us – the middle classes.

Their tax policies sound perfect this time round as well. No increases to income tax, NIC or VAT. That’s great for us and stops our clients from moaning too.

Younger accountant

I know what you’re saying about the tax policies but, if Boris is in charge, they will probably all go up anyway.

I’m also getting sick of him saying that he will get Brexit done. Anyone with half a brain can see that he is selling Northern Ireland down the river and we are not going to get a decent set of trade deals in the next 10 years.

Older accountant

So, are you going to vote Labour?

Younger accountant

Vote Jeremy Corbyn? I don’t trust him any more than Boris. It doesn’t take an accountant to realise that his numbers don’t add up. Either the country is going to borrow itself into poverty or taxes will shoot upwards. As for nationalising anything that moves…..

I don’t think my clients would thank me for voting Labour either. Their policies could be just as damaging as Brexit for the typical small business.

Older accountant

There’s always the Lib Dems.

Younger accountant

They sound good but they don’t believe in democracy. What’s the point in having three years of agony after a referendum and then ignoring the result without even asking the country to vote again?

Older accountant

How about other parties then?

Younger accountant

The Greens would be great for the environment but don’t seem to have much of an idea about business and, anyway, that would be a wasted vote.

The ones I really like the sound of are the Scottish Nationalists. That Nicola Sturgeon talks a lot of sense and, frankly, if Scotland split up from the rest of the UK that would almost certainly save the rest of us a lot of money.

Older accountant

Where do you live?

Younger accountant

Docklands.

Older accountant

I’m not sure that the SNP has got that far south yet.

Younger accountant

How about you?

Older accountant

The way I’m seeing things, the choice is pretty unpalatable. The Conservatives have got the best all-round policies but how can you trust someone who closes down parliament to avoid losing a vote? Brexit looks like a disaster waiting to happen as well, particularly because the WTO is on the point of collapse.

Young accountant

And the others?

Older accountant

I once voted for New Labour but the old version is too close to Karl Marx for my liking. The Lib Dems seem quite harmless and might be the best bet, although my kids keep pestering me about the Greens and supporting the environment.

Younger accountant

You haven’t helped at all. Perhaps the best solution would be a hung parliament, where both major parties kick out leaders and we end up with a nice friendly middle-of-the-road coalition.

Older accountant

I can see the pigs flying already. At least it’s almost all over - until the next vote.

Replies (2)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Dec 2019 15:54

I am hoping for a hung parliament myself until Brexit is resolved one way or another, that way nothing to extreme will happen.

Much as the public sector needs proper funding rather than running into the ground, the prospects of Labour chucking money about does not bode well, having said that their spending and taxation plans are not really very radical when looked at on an average European model.

However the prospect of a hard right Tory government under Boris scares the heck out of me for its impact on the poorest in society, the brazen lies they come out with over and over with no hint of embarrassment is not on. Moreover the "silence the critics" reactions from the top and shameful. The attacks on C4 and the BBC for their election coverage is not the British way, you should listen to your critics not shout them down like Boris does. With a majority government in play who knows how hard they can push all of that once we are no longer covered by the EU's protections. The likes of Patel and Gove are happy to pursue a very radical agenda against the plebs if there is money to be made for them or their mates. The public sector is near the point of collapse when it comes to the NHS, prisons etc and I dont think can stand another 5 years of cuts and outsourcing, so on balance I am voting against the Tories, which means voting Lib Dem for me, even through I think Swinson is an fool and her policy on Brexit is dumb.

Id be quite happy for some less interesting times.

Thanks (1)
Caroline
By accountantccole
12th Dec 2019 11:33

Middle of the road coalition does sound the least scary option currently.

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