Election Opinions: Four Differing Perspectives - No3


  • Date: 29/04/2015
Election Opinions: Four Differing Perspectives - No3

Thomas Miller Investment invited some key personnel to consider the potential effects of this years General Election.

Four differing perspectives will be given, our third is from Christopher Smith (Deputy CEO and International Citizen)

"I am still reeling from the sense of rejection in not being allowed to vote in the Scottish Referendum, although I was born and educated in Scotland, on the basis that I no longer had a home there. It seems the Scottish National Party allowed anyone from around the world to vote, whether or not they had a historical connection to the place, as along they had lived in Scotland for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, those like myself with ancient ancestral connections to the country were not allowed to vote, which strikes me as perverse and unfair.

Given the way support for the Labour Party in Scotland is leaking away, it may well be that the Scottish National Party holds the balance of power in the next UK government. If that is the case I see Scottish independence coming back on the agenda, in the not too distant future. Whether Ed Milliband would permit another Scottish Referendum in the next five years we don’t know, but the SNP would be in the limelight, and the independence issue would be bubbling away in the background.

As a Scot living in England, I feel somewhat akin to the immigrants to Scotland who got the vote in the Referendum, and question my right to vote in the General Election. I wasn’t born in England and I only stay there from time to time, while my family live in Hong Kong and I spend more time on a aircraft throughout the year (although I don’t think they would allow me to claim residency on a Cathay Pacific or British Airways aeroplane).

From that position as an overseas outsider I am not sure what all the fuss is about. When the Conservatives and Lib Dems came to power five years ago the economy was in a poor state, due to previous poor management and of course the economic meltdown of a late 2008.  We have had base rates at 0.50% since early 2009 which has certainly helped those with higher personal debt. There seems to have been a lot of focus on the residential property market but if you live outside London you may wonder what all the fuss is about.  From the outside, the UK economy seems to have been doing better than most countries in world, and certainly better than Europe, which has created a strong platform for the future. The opposition don’t seem to have strong enough leadership or vision, so it would seem the sensible outcome would be no change."