The Lib Dems are definitely going for the gay vote. They are now berating the Tories for voting against Gay Supremacy laws. Soon they'll change their rosettes to pink.
No matter how hard they wave that rainbow flag, I don't think they'll get Iain Dale's vote.
It seems an odd angle to take in the current frenzy of electioneering. The population can't be composed of a very high proportion of gay people or there wouldn't be so many of us. The population does contain an awful lot of religious people who are at best uncomfortable with alternative sexualities and many who are dead set against it - far more than will say so openly. A lot of them are currently Lib Dem voters too, whereas gay people will have the same spread of voting intentions as everyone else and are not likely to be swayed by party political broadcasts. I think this tactic stands to lose the Lib Dems more votes than it will gain.
Another lot who want to scare away voters are the UKIP, who have now declared they want to ban the Islamic veil in public, because banning things proves their commitment to liberty and democracy (no, I didn't get it either). Okay, I can see why face coverings should be banned in places like banks, because banks have had bad experiences with people wearing masks and it makes them nervous. Likewise airports/ports, where showing a passport is not much use if you have a hanky over your face. I'm not at all impressed with those who have been allowed to use a masked image on photo ID, like driving licences and passports - although I wouldn't mind so much if we could all do it.
However, if someone wants to walk down the street dressed in a black dress with a hood and a veil, I don't care in the slightest. If someone wants to go out dressed as a Cyberman or in one of David Bowie's 1970's ensembles, I don't care. If they go in the bank then they should not be hiding their faces. On the street, I don't see the problem. Personally I would love to own a Dalek and drive it to the shops, then buy a six-pack of 3-in-1 oil and act plastered.
Is it un-Libertarian to support a ban on masks in banks? I don't think so. There is no force involved. If you want to go in the bank, take your mask off. If you don't want to take your mask off, don't go in the bank. The choice is still yours. The banks have a choice too and they prefer to discourage masked people because masked people tend to withdraw rather more than they deposit, in their experience.
UKIP want a total ban. We've heard this song before, haven't we? The Banmeisters never stop with just one ban. They get a taste for it. It's a bad trend to be starting at this point, UKIP.
The Tories' health spokesman has already listed the things he wants controlled. Labour are flailing around like a jellyfish that's just swum past the effluent pipe from the Prescott residence, desperately looking for new ways to make life miserable before they sink.
I don't think any of them want to win.
I suspect they've seen the books and are all desperately trying to get people to vote for the other parties.
There is one party they all desperately don't want you to vote for, and that's the BNP. The Guardian has even published another scare story about them. They claim a rise in hate crimes when the BNP win council seats, then later in the article claim that the rise occurred before they won those seats. There is no consideration of the possibility that perhaps, in those places where ethnic tensions are already high, the BNP are more likely to be successful.
Likewise, the story of the nutter found with home-made bombs and guns is mentioned in that Guardian article and he's always portrayed as 'BNP member'. Perhaps he is. I don't know. He is, first and foremost, a nutter. Whether he also joined the BNP is irrelevant. No party insists on tests of mental stability for prospective members. Perhaps they should. If Labour had done so we might not be in the current mess.
It looks like the BNP might be about to join Antjam Chowder in the naughty corner. If the government can ban a shouty beardie who makes threats but doesn't actually do much, they'll certainly be itching to ban the BNP, especially if they can pin 'hate crime' and 'nail-bomb-nutter' labels on them. None of it needs to be real. The previous controls and bans weren't based on anything real.
None of those previous bans have worked, either. The Olympic shooting team have to practice out of the country because handguns are banned yet street gangs practice on each other most days here. Stabbings fill the news even though knives are banned. People still smoke, they just don't buy it here so much. Ban alcohol and we'll brew our own. The IRA were banned and it had no effect on them whatsoever. It will have no effect on Antjam's gang, nor would it have any effect on the BNP. People will still join, they just won't tell anyone.
The thing is, with all the bigger parties routinely making asses of themselves, who's left to vote for? There are not enough Libertarian candidates to go round this time. Next time, maybe.
I'm going to have to find out what the local independent candidates stand for.
Update: I'd vote for this.