Tomorrow everyone over 18 in the UK goes to the polls provided they have a slither of motivation and nothing else on anyway. Despite what you may have heard, Great Britain will still exist on Friday. There won’t be any mass riots, a state of emergency will not be declared, mob rule will not be instated, an alien species will not declare us unfit as a nation and thus decide to take over for our own good and Scotland will remain just as irrelevant as ever. I dare say that no matter who gets in (them lot, the other useless buggers or the loonies – pick and choose which party you want them all to refer to) you won’t notice a marked difference in any aspect of your life. You might even vote for one party solely on what will happen to your taxes but when you get your first paycheck after May 6th you probably won’t remember to check let alone notice an increase or decrease. This year’s election run-up has managed to convince the country of two things. Politics is pretty much like Britain’s Got Talent and there is an actual and marked difference between the three parties. These are both lies.
No one party will represent you better than the other. No one party will push through that one policy you really like or delay that one policy you really hate any quicker or with any more enthusiasm than the other. As soon as they get in, it’s time for media courting, getting mired in the next big scandal, dealing with the opposition and gazing across the waters to America and sighing lovingly. The only thing I’m surprised by is how they’ve accomplished making us forget this. I assume many of you went through the same process I did. I ran the full gamut of feelings from excitement, enthusiasm, sanctimonious rage, depression and then finally apathy. For a while I loved it, I really did. I looked forward to how the parties were going to reach out to me personally and convince me they were the men for the job. I’m gobsmacked that I allowed myself to hope they would actually do that this time. They didn’t, they haven’t and they won’t ever. The weird thing is, I haven’t found one person who feels like they have. Who have they been talking to this whole time?
I’m still very much a supporter of the vote, of actually doing your bit and putting your X on the box but it’s not the kind of support for the system I had even last summer. Now it’s more that I feel you should use what little power you have no matter how little it counts. It’s when we all stop using it completely that we may as well give in and accept that ‘police state’ that ignorant morons who have some how convinced themselves they know anything about the subject insist we are ‘just one step away from’. No we’re not. Shut up. The UK isn’t perfect, in fact it’s pretty worrying sometimes, but you have to play the game. Even if playing the game only means voting for the least alienating.
Now I can hardly sit over here on the other side of the world and preach when I’m not getting stuck in myself so I’ve arranged for my mum to vote on my behalf via proxy (it’s totally legit I swear, it sounds like it isn’t but it is) which means I had to ring up yesterday and actually make a decision on who I was voting for. Remembering that who I vote for my local area will still be in charge when I return to the UK I made my decision and provided Mum doesn’t spoil the ballot or put the opposite of what I told her I will have done my remote duty. Feels weird. Not just because I’m participating in a democratic process from miles and miles away (in China no less) but because someone else now knows who I will be voting for. People bashing their political beliefs over your head is just as annoying as people bashing their religious beliefs over your head (on a related subject, Melinda the maid is trying to convert me and take me to Church on Sunday with the promise of there being nice girls there. I don’t know, are Church Girls the biggest advert for enticing a godless heathen such as myself through those doors?) so I try not to be too overt with it. I’m sure people know where my personal ideologies fall but I have always insisted that I will vote for who is best for me at the time and that I owe nothing to any party. The way things have been I may as well have closed my eyes and thrown darts at pictures of the leaders’ faces but hey, at least when the Tories win I’ll be over here on a completely different island.
And the Tories will win. If I were a betting man… well I wouldn’t put a bet on it because there would be almost no return. Ladbrokes currently has the odds of a Conservative victory at 1.06 leaving Labour with 8.00 and the Lib Dems with 41.00. Good to see at least they haven’t been taken in by Clegg’s popular brand of facelessness but then as my grandfather used to say ‘I’ve never met a poor bookie’. BBC has the blue vote at a 6% lead over Labour but is still predicting this will be the closest call a British election has seen in a long time. Closer than 1974 when Labour won with a majority of 3? If we have another night like that it might be worth my staying up all night/waking up extremely early for it. I don’t want any of those three humanoids representing me as a country to the rest of the world. With a choice between moody Scotch git, smug posh twat, and boring boring ohmygod so boring why would I want to choose? It’s the party that will manage so it’s a party I had to pick and I want to see the result of my actions, live if possible. So standing on the precipice of Votemageddon – Endgame Final Destination Catastrofuck what have I learned? That it was an infuriating process that was also kind of funny at the same time and that I will be fooled all over again as the next election rolls round. Votemageddon has one more entry in it reserved for the day after when all the smoke has cleared. You have until then, political parties to tell me what you have to offer but I warn you, Melinda’s church has girls and free mugs. I don’t think you’ll be able to top that.
(No I won’t tell you who I voted for.)