A beautifully sunny morning for a General Election. I waited till mid-morning to walk up to All Saints' Hall to cast my vote. Normally at this time the polling booths are empty of human traffic, but there was a small queue.

As always with a UK General Election, under the fossilised rules we have, the "choice" available to us is a chimera. I am not one of the "they're all the same" brigade; what I mean is, our vote is a crude bludgeon with no possibility of finesse or nuance. 

I was accosted in Hastings town centre yesterday morning by Michael Foster, the incumbent Labour MP, soliciting my vote. 

What I would have said to him had there been more time (I actually didn't want to waste his) was: "I am a lifelong Labour voter, usually of the Polly Toynbee Nosepeg Persuasion. I believe your Labour government has achieved a great deal in the past 13 years - the NHS and schools have improved immeasurably - but could have achieved so much more with more political courage and imagination. Gordon Brown, sadly, is not Prime Ministerial material (we know now what Tony Blair knew all those years). The Lib Dems, admittedly in the comfortable position of not having a realistic prospect of government, are to the left of you on so many issues: against Trident nuclear programme replacement, for a fairer tax system, condemning the disastrous Iraq adventure, not pandering to the mob on the EU or immigration. So I am attracted by them this time. However, you have a wafer-thin majority, in danger from the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems way behind in this constituency. In addition, you have been a decent MP for the town, you abstained on the Iraq vote (I wish you'd had the courage to vote against, which I'm sure you wanted to do), and you are not corrupt. And I do not want a Cameron government at any cost. Therefore you have my vote."


There is no Green candidate here this time. There are three candidates whose parties I view as racist or quasi-racist: the BNP (openly), and the English Democrats and UKIP (parties for racists who are also too snobbish to vote BNP). And Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat. I really am tempted by Nick Clegg, especially after his endorsement of Samuel Beckett as his hero. If only he were the Labour leader. But a Lib Dem vote in this constituency is a vote for Cameron.

So I voted Labour as usual.