Roddy Graham's blog: 7 May 2010 - Election fever
07 May 2010
Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo
By the time you read this you will have cast your vote. So will I although, before you come to any conclusions as to my political persuasion, I have voted for different colours in the past and I always vote with due diligence. I download and read the manifestos and take my voting right extremely seriously. It seems more of the country is doing so too, perhaps stimulated by the new TV debates. However, my disgust of most MPs remains. As far as I'm concerned they are as bad as each other. A hung Parliament? That would suit me fine but there are probably not enough lamp-posts in Parliament Square!
My cynicism for most MPs should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog. After all, I long ago jumped on the anti-sleaze bandwagon and exposed the expensesgate scandal for what it was, a scandal.
Interestingly, in the run up to this election, we have seen a few changes - live television debates, a swing to the LibDems. We've also witnessed a few howlers - Gordon Brown 'off-camera' but 'on mike' labelling Rochdale lifetime Labour voter, Gillian Duffy, "a bigot" and David Cameron throwing away what seemed an insurmountable lead just a few months ago. It was the Tories to lose and, if you read this late, it might turn out to be the case. For the moment, as I write this, all bets are off. There are apparently, according to polls, 38 per cent of voters still undecided. Does that mean they are thinking of voting with their brain or their heart?
What I can tell you, whether you are red, blue, orange, green or a hue in between, is that we haven't seen much debate on the environment, even as some distant volcano continues to spew its volcanic ash into our air space, threatening our economic revival. Eighty per cent of the travel industry was affected by the airport shutdown last time around. Bets must be on on a few air carriers going under if that is repeated on a regular basis. You would have thought dark clouds on the northern horizon would have prompted debate on pollution closer to home!
More importantly, from a fleet management perspective, we haven't seen much debate on an integrated transport system. Indeed if, of all miracles, a Labour Party should cling on to power, you can be sure that with all the harsh public spending cutbacks that will inevitably be introduced by whatever party that gets elected into government, the proposed high speed rail link will at best be postponed, if not canned. While Labour has been good in basing its vehicle taxation policy on a CO2 based tax regime, its overall carbon offset record has not been so good and its ability to pull together a truly integrated transport policy abysmal. John 'Two Jags' Prescott came closest with a pronouncement and that was as close as it got, a pronouncement.
Indeed, pronouncement could almost be a by-word for the current Government (the Labour one in power as I write this!). All pronouncements and no substance! You couldn't argue with half of what Gordon Brown said in the last television debate, the problem was that the Labour Party had been saying much the same thing for the past 13 years.
So, whoever gets/got in, I hope for one thing. Action not words. And for one day a Government in power with an integrated transport vision!
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