The longer the run-up to the election goes on, the less inspired I am to go out and vote. Not that this is strictly true because I have a postal vote. And not that it would matter how I voted – living in one of the “safest” of “safe” seats you rapidly realise that an atheist, baby-eating estate agent would win here if it had the right colour rosette! We don’t so much have a count on election night, it’s more of a weigh-in!
No – what depresses me is the sinking feeling of “here we bloody go again”. Since reaching the age of suffrage I’ve been through eight general elections and each time it’s been the same. The government of the day chucks out elephant-castrating levels of statistics and reports to “prove” that we live in a land of milk and honey, where the pavements are made of gold and the dog-do is in nice neat piles. Her Majesty’s opposition deforestates an area the size of Norfolk to produce posters, leaflets, reports and polls that “prove” that we live in a land of abject poverty where the pavements are MADE of dog-do.
Every three, four or five years we are asked to decide – and that decision is always portrayed as between “us” (who can do no wrong) and “them” (who can do no right). This roundsong will be sung all the way up to May the Fifth with a counterpoint of platitudes about “a fresh start” and “getting it right this time” and “changing the mould of British politics”. It’s all horribly familiar, horribly trite and horribly depressing. And in another five years time we’ll have to go through the same bloody process all over again.
Oh, for some REAL change – a politician with some REAL ideas – someone who WILL tell the truth and deliver what they promise – but then such things only happen in the land where every cloud has a cuckoo on it.
Come what may on the sixth of May, just remember the 1970s graffiti –
“It doesn’t matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in.”