As we move quite quickly into the election period it is quite depressing to see that all that seems to be on offer to the people of this country is austerity of one sort or another.
Heading the list is of course the austerity package on offer from the coalition partners.More and then even more of the same.The budget that we've just had was a dreary bit of repackaging of tired old threats with a penny or two off beer prices and a promise of one hundred quid or so in tax cuts in a year or so.
If the Tory budget was uninspiring then the alternative budget presented by the Lib-Dems to a virtual empty chamber just about summed everything up.A Mickey Mouse empty yellow box which when opened was really fully of emptiness-a fitting finale to the fall and fall of the Lib-Dems as a political force in the land.
Thwe best thing that can happen to them is decent oblivion,I hope the SNP make the dreadful Danny Alexander history!
And then came the Labour Party budget.It was once again austerity at a slower rate.The opportunity to offer a vision of a different Britain,one that has no nuclear pretensions,one that doesn't worry about cutting the paper defecit,one that isn't going to continue the reactionary education policies.
And above all a budget that promises to really help rebuild the NHS, not prattle on about economy savings and 'priorities' in health care which really means another bouts of Titanic deckchair shifting.
Our friend in the Us is facing a heart operation, he needs one,but because of the absurd private medical system it will cost him over $100,000 to have the operation he needs now.
If he waits till he's 65 Obama care will kick in and the operation will be a mere$6,000!
This is a guy who has worked hard all his life paid his taxes and been a good responsible citizen.
Not surprisingly Farage,the back of an envelope populist wants some sort of health care system like America,based on private insurance.
I'd better declare an interest at this point.I'm going into hospital in a few days for a serious operatiion.The diagnosis is a bit grim but the prognosis is good.I have a thoughtful local GP who knows what to look for and a brilliant team of nurses and spercialist consultants who have the whole adventure planned to the smallest detail.
I am confident of the quality of our NHS.
I don;t want my country to sit at the top nuclear table,swapping yarns and threatening countries with 'shock and awe'.I don't want my country to be known as the 'deputy dawgs' of world policing.
I want my country to be like wee Cuba.Not an especially well off nation (Thanks to the US boycott) but a nation that pro-rata sent more doctors and nurses to combat Ebola in West Africa.
I want to be a citizen of a country that has the highest levels of international humanitarian aid possible.
I want to be proud ,not of the number of sabres we can rattle,but the number we can turn into ploughshares.
I want to vote for a party that can offer hope,not just to the people of this country,but to the people of the world.
So who do I vote for on May 7th?