12 April 2010

I’ve never been so unexcited about a general election before this. Normally, they’re a two-month-long Cup Final, with novelties in red, blue and yellow to collect, and the knowledge that after the results come in you’re going to be up till four and want to take the next day off work.

This one isn’t like that. This time I have to find the least worst reason to vote for the least worst lot. If I lived in the south-west of the capital or the south-west of the country, I could vote Liberal Democrat and make it mean something. I can’t trust twenty thousand voters in the inner city here to do the same. My only role in the electorate is to stop the constituency maps going isolationist purple or fascist red-white-‘n’-blue.

(To all those not certain if they’re going to use their vote, including my own damn family: do it. Or one day the swingometer will go those colours and I’m going to be organising our tickets out to whatever other country is going to let us in and you could have stopped it happening, if you’d just been bothered.)

None of these people really represent me. Or maybe the problem is that too many of them do.

I want my MPs to have led insecure lives, so that they can understand what really needs fixing. I’ve never not known whether I was going to get paid this week or whether tonight I’d still be able to sleep indoors somewhere I chose. I’ve never had a zero-hours contract. I don’t think that I’m qualified to be in Parliament.

At the very least, let them have done some work before they ever thought about ambition. Let us have doctors at Health, teachers of something more than ideology at Education. Or teachers – Health and doctors – Education, if the point is that you’re meant to switch it round.

The ones we’ve got, it doesn’t matter whether they were boarding school or state school boys and girls, no matter how obsessed their origins make journalists. All of them, by the time they were twenty-five, had gone off into the world of internships, consultancies. (These days, the journalists all have to come from there as well.) I want to vote for somebody who doesn’t even know what those are.

But I’m going to have to vote for who we’ve got.


4 Responses to “Election”

  1. Ann Says:

    That’s the problem in most countries these days. The politicians see themselves as elite. Not having had to work in the trenches. It does make one want to just give up in frustration. I agree with you though, it is better to vote.

  2. Old Kitty Says:


    I’d vote for you!


    For me personally – I really feel that there’s a real danger of fascist elements gaining legitimacy this election – I never felt this in previous elections but this time round there really is this possibility.. and that for me is the strongest reason – is enough reason – for me to vote.

    Although yes, I do so see your point – after all that expenses scandals and lack of transparency and political inertia and elitism, I really understand what you’re saying. It’s a shame, shame, shame.

    The Times did a really good article (I’ll try and find it) about MPs who actually make a difference – the ones who don’t make the headlines, ones you’ve never heard of – but whose constituencies only have good things to say about them because they try and do make a difference whether it’s keeping a park open or not closing down a library. And I hang on to this article to keep my faith in the system going. I think the BBC did a similar exercise too.

    I think and hope that despite the rot, there are shoots of green.

    Take care

  3. AlexJ Says:

    It’s not much better here in the States. So many are corrupt, too.

  4. Actually the word around work *is* that our MP is one of the hard workers (and he’s been in parliament since the Labour landslide in 1997 but still hasn’t really done anything in government – which suggests his energies are elsewhere, I mean that in a good way). His constituents see a lot more of him than Mr high flyer in constituency over the river does!

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