And when it comes to living and learning I think I might have finally learned my lesson about trying to be too clever with my vote. Last time I voted tactically for the party with the best chance of abolishing tuition fees and doing a few basic things for the environment. I voted for the Lib Dems. To keep the Conservatives out. Shows how much I know about politics.
Despite loads of people doing the same thing last time in Skipton and Ripon I have been surprised at the hustings by the number of people saying they aren't sure whether to vote Green because they don't want to waste their vote.
The first point I am making to people is that in Skipton and Ripon you might as well vote the way you want because Julian has a large majority. I think the Lib Dems are going to lose a lot of votes because they soiled their reputation as soon as they took up office. I think Labour doesn't deserve a vote because of Blair's wars and Gordon Brown's way of ending boom and bust. I also think no one in Westminster will notice the number of votes these two parties get if Julian Smith is re-elected. I do think people across the county will sit up and take notice if the Greens suddenly come in with a hefty vote.
It is sad to see how far to the right the whole country has moved and how strongly leaving the EU has entered people's minds because of relatively few votes for UKIP. I am hoping that a hefty vote in Skipton and Ripon for the Greens will tip the whole debate in a new direction. A positive one that is about transforming Britain. We need to be at the cutting edge of the next industrial revolution. The inevitable move onto a sustainable low energy economy.
I stood in Skipton in Ripon so folks here had the chance to send to Westminster the message that they want a welfare state, the want an end to austerity, they want a secure and sustainable economy and they want an open minded tolerant country. It would be great if those who feel that way would give up worrying about complex tactical voting considerations and vote Green.
Oh and one final point. If people always voted tactically then there never would have been a Labour Party. They would have been squeezed out by the Liberals. So vote on your principles not on your tactics - and then when the Labour party once again abandons its principles when in office you won't feel as daft as I did when the Liberals raised tuition fees.