Time for another confession. Politically, I used to be a very silly little boy. I used to delight in being contrary and reveled in shocking those around me with my right-wing solutions to all the problems of the world such as everyone having to be euthanised at 60 to create room for younger generations and bombs being dropped on the worst housing estates to wipe out poverty the easy way. I say none of this with pride. If I were faced with such an idiot today I would pity and detest him.
Probably for much the same reasons that I supported a Catholic football team when amongst a family of Masonic Protestants, I became a 'fan' of right-wing politics. I was one of the few Young Conservatives in Scotland. I saw every problem as being solvable by the free-market and by the eradication of the weak links. What a prize fool I was.
Although I'm still guilty of many foolish moments in my life, I have thankfully grown up politically. Like many others in the UK, I was intrigued by the rise of Nick Clegg and the new life that suddenly seemed to encompass the Liberals. I was so fed up of being told how to live and think by New Labour that I was looking forward to seeing what the Coalition did. I saw a future of potential freedoms that had been so eroded under the Nanny State of the late 90s and the early part of this Century.
Now I look around me in horror as savage axes are wielded in every direction. I have to acknowledge that I look at it from a new personal vantage-point as I am not currently in a position to study or earn a living. I am vulnerable. I am needy. I am dependent.
This really is not what Liberal voters signed up for. At least I hope not. What we are witnessing has long-term consequences that should make us all, whether we are currently wealthy or poor, healthy or ill, a political Blue or Red, think long and hard about where we are headed.
We must consider what sort of society we want to create and maintain. How should we treat those who suffer misfortune through ill-health, poverty or bad luck?
The targeting of the needy rather than the greedy has dire implications for what society will become. Will we return to a 'me, me, me' culture? Some might say we've never left it but everything is relative. Labour, for their many faults, tried to preserve a safety net for those who needed it.
Watching current events in Tunisia saddens me for many reasons. It is a country I have visited as a tourist and is a place full of diverse culture and history. It saddens me that so much suffering is necessary to claim basic human rights and to preserve a revolution. Mostly though, I think of how much of a dream democracy is for many of these countries. Is democracy the panacea some see it as? We live in a supposedly democratic society here in the UK. Is it serving us well? Is the will of the people being acted upon?
A debate for another time though. For now, I simply hope we are aware of what we are headed towards and are prepared for the aftermath. How David Cameron thinks he can fix 'Broken Britain' by fracturing it into even smaller pieces is a mystery to me.