On the home straight

The final week has begun. On Thursday we vote – or not. On Thursday the people decide who will run (or ruin) Britain for the next five years. Or not.

It’s your choice — if you choose to make it.

This is the home straight. Parties are now locked into their strategies. Michael Howard will go all out in his personal attacks on Tony Blair. Tony Blair will do everything he can to suggest that a vote for anyone but him is a vote for the Tories. And that a vote for the Tories is a vote for wrack and ruin and the end of the NHS.

Does anyone believe it all?

You would like to think not, but too many people do.

Next Thursday I and my Liberal-Democrat colleagues across the country will have a simple proposition for you. Forget the spin, forget the fear, forget who you voted for last time: instead, make your own personal choice based on the plans that we — and our opponents — are putting on the table. That’s it. That’s all there is.

Everyone knows what the Liberal-Democrats stand for. More police not ID cards. Smaller class sizes. A brighter future for pensioners. An end to tuition fees for students. Care for the environment. Compassion in world affairs. Putting patients first.

We stand with Make Poverty History, Friends of the Earth, Amnesty International and many others for things that promise a better future for everyone, not just a better future for those who can grab hold of power and keep it.

If this is what you want, vote for us. If it isn’t, vote for someone else. But, whatever you do, vote.

Because, at this election, there is only one way to waste your vote — by not voting at all.