Who are the British, really? Leaving the UK after my last visit before Thursday’s election and I have to say I feel a bit choked. The campaign has been such a negative, demoralising and often mean-spirited affair. I’d like to think that Britain is a more assured, generous and positive country than has been on display the last two months. I think our instincts are better than the politicians believe or tell us to believe. Maybe we’ll muddle through as we always do. But I wonder what kind of country I’ll come back to after Thursday’s vote.
All the frigid (and usually false) arguments about deficits miss the point. More than any other election I can remember as an adult, this is a vote about values. As the Conservatives become ever more right-leaning on welfare, immigration and fiscal policy, their beliefs become more and more repellent to me. I find myself wondering who votes for them? Is this who the British really are? And if so, am I still one of them?
If David Cameron is still in power this time next month, I find myself answering the question in the negative. And that is a pretty emotional and unsettling feeling.