In case you can’t find my position on a specific matter, here’s an FAQ to clarify some of my stances.
I voted to Remain and nothing I have seen in recent years has demonstrated that I was wrong to do so. I am a big believer in internationalism, and think that we as a country were far stronger as a leading member of one of the largest trading blocs in the world than we are as an isolated outlier. I believe that we ought to Rejoin the EU as soon as practicable, and somewhere around 65% of the country now agrees with that.
However, Rejoining is not my top priority, for the simple reason that anything done can be undone the next time a Conservative government is elected, which could well be on the basis of a minority of the votes. As such, my view is that we need to switch to Proportional Representation first, to protect our country from political madmen.
This is a really difficult one in one respect, but actually quite simple in others. There are plenty of people who argue that getting the Tories out is paramount, but I think there is an even more urgent issue. Not the NHS, not education, not our relationship with Europe – though all of these are both urgent and important – but how we elect our government to begin with. After all, the system right now is designed to hand 100% of the legislative power to a party which usually doesn’t even secure a majority of the votes. As such, we need a change to a system where power and views in Parliament are proportional to the votes actually received.
Until we have Proportional Representation, we don’t have representative democracy, and anything we do to improve the UK can be removed on a whim by an incoming government.
This is a subject that I have a huge amount of sympathy for, coming from Irish relatives and growing up during the Troubles. My thoughts about the current conflict are that it is absolutely imperative that the two sides lay down their arms and bring about peace.
That isn’t to say that I support Hamas – I don’t. But I do not think the vast amount of civilian death and destruction is an acceptable consequence of war.
This also doesn’t mention my views on whether Palestine should be a state or not. I freely admit that I don’t know enough about Palestine, but given I am a Liberal at heart, it is perhaps not surprising that I think people should have a choice of whether to collectively manage their own affairs as a state or to be subsumed into another state. I believe that all options should be kept on the table.
Finally, this leads to a general principle, which is that I generally believe that necessary military actions should be led by third party peacekeepers. What we have seen in this conflict is constant acts of revenge rather than any attempt to find a peaceful outcome.