Grant Woodward: Noel’s right, our election choice is no real choice at all

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SAY what you like about Noel Gallagher – his songs all sound the same, listening to bloated third Oasis album Be Here Now is only slightly less painful than root canal work – but when it comes to hitting the nail on the head he’s in a league of his own.

The veteran rocker famously appointed himself chief New Labour cheerleader back in the mid-90s, turning up at Number 10 to press the flesh with Tony and quaff champagne after Blair’s landslide win.

But like the rest of us, he’s since become thoroughly disenchanted with politicians of every hue – to the point where last time round he voted for a pirate. Yes, a pirate. And Noel’s not even on drugs any more.

On May 7, Noel says he’ll make sure he uses his right to vote. But it won’t be for a major party.

“David Cameron has no clue what he’s talking about,” he explains. “Sometimes I think Labour are worse because I believed in them before in 1997. I’m just going to vote for someone who I have no idea about, some raving crazy party.”

That noise you can hear is the sound of heads nodding up and down the country.

Because the choice that’s going to be put before us in a few months is really no choice at all.

For all the Tories’ promises that “we’re in this together” the truth is that society’s poorest and most vulnerable are bearing the brunt of austerity cuts.

The revelations about HSBC helping the nation’s wealthiest to dodge income tax reinforce the sense that under a Tory-led government the rich have some sort of Star Trek-style force field around them.

Over a thousand people who used the scheme have been identified as not having paid what they should have done to HM Treasury over the last five years.

So how many have been prosecuted? One.

Does this mean we should all vote for Ed then? Er, not quite.

No matter how hard they try, Labour still can’t convince us to trust them with the economy again after making such an almighty horlicks of it last time.

The fact that Miliband and Balls, the double act who advised Gordon Brown all the way to economic Armageddon, are still at the helm is great for the Tories because it gives them a stick to keep beating them with.

For Cameron and co, two Eds are most definitely better than none.

But Labour’s biggest problem is Ed Miliband himself, a man who’d struggle to get elected as leader of the local Scout pack, let alone an entire country.

If you want people to follow you, they need to know where you’re heading. And you get the impression Ed couldn’t find a decent policy if his life depended on it.

He’s Labour’s equivalent of Iain Duncan Smith in the early Noughties – a ‘holding’ party leader who’s never going to get elected but will take one for the team during the wilderness years.

Add in the miserable legacy of Labour’s disastrous decision to open the floodgates to immigration without putting in the necessary infrastructure – which can be seen in everything from school place shortages to a mounting crisis in the NHS – and they fast become unelectable.

So what’s the alternative? Well, there’s Ukip, who are doing what Nick Clegg did so well five years ago and painting themselves as the protest party of choice.

Hold on though, hasn’t Nigel Farage described his party as “the true inheritors of Thatcher” while talking about scrapping the NHS and cutting taxes for the rich?

Suddenly he looks less of a knight in shining armour and more the public schoolboy-turned-City trader he really is.

The Greens then? You mean that mad Australian woman who wants to stick the Queen in a council house? The Lib Dems? Don’t make me laugh.

Nope, I’m with Noel on this one. Pete the Pirate’s Crazy Raving Party will be getting my vote on May 7.

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