Just two days to go to the UK general election. I’ve already voted (postal vote), but I’m not going to tell you who I voted for.

Look, I’m very happy to debate politics down the pub, but on my blog it’s a different matter. It’s because people’s political allegiances can be highly personal, and people have a tendency to group into rather partisan tribes around this topic.

In the UK, there has traditionally been a division into right and left – Conservative versus Labour. [Now we have a third party that, while they stand to gain only around 80 seats out of the 600 being contested, look like taking an equal share of the vote to Labour. This is an interesting development.]

For many people, being Conservative or Labour is part of their identity. And there’s little room for constructive dialogue here: the followers of one party will interpret the same information differently to the followers of the other. It’s called confirmation bias.

I value the readers of this blog. I realize that while many are able to discuss a subject such as politics without taking offence, others find this quite difficult, and would think badly of me if I were to speak in favour of any single political party. (I have actually voted for different parties in different elections, so I’m a bit of a floating voter.)

It’s because of this that I’m going to leave the subject of politics well alone, although I will be taking a keen interest in the results on Thursday night, after I get back from an interesting looking Volnay tasting.

16 comments to Politics

  • keith Prothero

    bet you voted Lib/Dem

  • Ralph

    A floating voter… That would make you a floter.

  • Laurence

    But election night drinking? surely that’s a suitable topic? FWIW, Ata Rangi Pinot noir 07, and pesquera crinza 01. (and being really nerdy, I keep a wine glass just for elections – started in 97; been through Bush twice and Obama, as well as UK elections)

  • Jiker

    Interesting that you feel comfortable discussing domestic home life and all of its trevails but reticent to commit to a public political position. It says a lot about how nervous we are to be judged by our peers for our political leanings.

  • Tories drink better wine.

  • Yes, much happier discussing my domestic life than my political opinions – don’t know why, but you are right that we are generally nervous about the topic here in the UK

  • Nick, is the term ‘Tory’ a perjorative term? I always refer to them as Conservative for this reason – Labour supporters always refer to them as Tories – or in Hain’s case this week, using the sinister singular when he talked about stopping ‘The Tory’. As someone else pointed out, it’s a bit like ‘The Hun’.

  • Jamie. Not using Tory as a perjorative. Conservative if you like. My view, which I am happy to share is that the Conservatives will get a real grip on bringing the economy round, however uncomfortable, and this will improve the standing of the pound, especially given the trouble in the Euro zone. The knock on effect is that imports (wines!) become more affordable, which will be of benefit both to the trade and consumer alike. For the trader it will relieve the considerable pressures being felt at the vineyard when exporting to the UK. Perhaps we will see a slight shift more towards European wines, and away from South Africa, given the strengthening of the Rand?

  • william beavington

    It’s true – Conservatives do drink better wine.

  • william beavington

    However – even Conservatives are rather schocked at the 50-60% prices increases currently coming out for 09 en primeur compared to the 05 en primeur.

  • Martin

    The choice of great wine since the 1980’s has exploded because of a non-conservtive (small c) attitude to the wide world of wine. I think if you look at what the Conservatives were drinking in the 1990’s and most of the 2000’s you would not rush to defend their choice in wine. (I’m not talking about the 5% who can afford the top end, but the 95% who wished the could)

  • Cam Haskell

    Here in Australia, right now, politics and wine are rather hot topics. The current (Labor) govt. has just determined that they’re not going to introduce significant tax reforms that would have seen cask / bag in a box wine move to around $35 per 4L cask (from around $15), whilst premium bottled wine was to come down in price. This is, for mine, a massive missed opportunity for an industry in massive oversupply. In one fell swoop, much of the (lamentable) bulk portion of the industry could have been done away with…

  • william beavington

    What were the Conservatives drinking in the 1990s and most of the 2000s ?

  • Ben Smith

    My dad always said ‘never discuss money or voting intentions’. I’ve tried to stick to that one ever since.

  • Doug

    The term “Tory” has a legitimate history usage. Even Conservative refer to themselves as Tories, although it tends to denote old style Toryism (high church, royalist) as opposed to Conservatism (which was a by-product of the Whig movement).

    On another note the Conservative proposals are economically illiterate. They’ve signed up to massive spending commitments whilst saying they are going to cut waste (but not specifying where) and promising tax cuts which will largely benefit the better-off.

  • Simon T

    bordeaux producers probably crying this morning with the likely ‘hung parliament’ – probably expected some chunky orders from the only winners resultant from a Tory victory – Millionaires who stand to proffer from inheritance tax changes

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