Wasted Vote? Not for me!

We all know what it’s like. You go into the booth on polling day, cast your vote, and then on your way out you fall to your knees and weep. Why? Because you live in a safe seat and you’ve just wasted your vote, that’s why. We live in a first-past-the-post electoral system, and that means for millions of voters the election is utterly pointless. An exercise in futility, carried out over and over until the end of time. It’s like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill, only instead of a rock it’s a huge bag of shit. And instead of rolling back down the hill, the bag of shit is elected into government. Geddit?

In 2005 I lived in the Windsor constituency, a safe Conservative seat, which meant that no matter what I did, the Tories were going to win. The Conservative candidate could walk through the streets naked, farting through a megaphone and he’d still pull in an impossibly high share of the vote (incidentally, he tried something even more risky: he knocked on my door and spent about ten minutes debating drug policy, but more on that another time). So for me, 2005 was an utter wash out.

Well not this time! By some glorious quirk of fate I’m currently living in Islignton which means I get to take part in the Islington South & Finsbury election, a tough battle between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Labour hold Islington South by just 1.6% of the vote, which means it’s ripe for Lib Dem plucking.

Not only that but the Liberal Democrats’ candidate is Bridget Fox, whom saw recently at a demonstration against the Digital Economy Bill without realising she was my constituency candidate. At the time I remember thinking it was brave of her to brazenly associate herself with a protest that included a big banner for the “Pirate Party”. In the modern era of smear and snap judgement, that took guts (either that or she’s deeply naïve about the power of a bad photo – Or maybe I’m just more paranoid about things like this…).

So, indeed, I feel terribly spoiled. My vote will count and I have someone worth voting for. Such novelty! This must be what it feels like for the Iraqis, only without the terror and the risk of being blown to pieces on the way to the electoral office. All I’ve got to worry about is a spot of rain or some dog-shit on the pavement.

On second thoughts, I might not vote. That sounds a bit too risky.

SIDE NOTE: The current MP for Islington South didn’t vote on the DE Bill, which meant that the damn thing got through. Thank you very much Emily Thornberry! I look forward to booting your arse out on May 6th.

It. Is. On.

Well, it’s on.

On Tuesday 6th April Gordon Brown finally called the election. I never thought the day would come, having been well versed in his cowardly nature over the course of this Labour government. I half-expected the Queen to step in, dissolving parliament and dispatching her guards to pull him out of Number 10 by the ankles. Such is this man’s love for power, and the damage done having to wait ten years, so close to the top job, but always out of grasp. A proud man, belittled by Tony Blair who had the insufferable knack of being popular despite his insanity.

So: May the 6th. Put it in your diary, tattoo it on your arm. This is going to be the most exciting election since 1992, and considering I was eight at the time, its safe to say its the most exciting election ever. Yes, the world didn’t really exist when I was too young to contemplate it. I know this. You know this. Or you would if your minds actually existed. Which they don’t. So there.

Anyway, enough Solipsism. Although I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot of it about over the next month. Gordon Brown must feel a lot like Rimmer from Red Dwarf’s “Better Than Life” – the soul creator of the world, but his own neurosis’ cause everything to fall apart. Perhaps that’s why, just when it looked like Labour was making a big come-back, a platoon of big business leaders made public their support of the Tory tax-cut proposal. The world hates Gordon, because he hates himself.

But is this big-business support for the Conservative Party really something to cause Labour heartache? The Conservative Party have always been the party of the rich, and given these business leaders are all ludicrously high earners, can we really take their word that a rise in national insurance contributions would damage the recovery? It’s like a weapons manufacturer speaking out on the importance of victory in Afghanistan. Just a tad bit of self-interest going on…

This Tory tax cut is hilarious. Not just because it isn’t a tax cut at all, its keeping it the same whilst Labour would raise it, but because they plan on financing it through cutting waste. Now think about this for a moment. No-one likes waste. No political party campaigns on a platform of increased waste. If it can be cut, it will be. If not, it won’t. A single party cannot make it a part of their campaign, that’s not politics, it’s a dispute between managers. And given that no target for cutting waste has ever been met in British politics, it’s fairly safe to assume this Tory pledge will raise our deficit rather than reduce it.

Nick Clegg, who I’ve been condemning since his election as leader of the Liberal Democrats (I would have gone for Chris Huhne who has enough pizazz to win a debate, whilst looking dull enough to win over Tory voters) managed to have a good day on PMQs. Finally he seemed to be getting wound up by the corrupt main parties and their opposition to political reform. We saw some anger. Great stuff, Clegg. Now lets see you mount a battle-wagon, touring up and down the country dressed as a phoenix promising to eviscerate your enemies with your fire breath. It can only win you votes.

Actually, Vince Cable seems so popular now that he’s pushed out at every opportunity to stand beside Non-Entity-Clegg. This will continue until the public start making the association and the magic rubs off. Don’t you get it yet? Cable – Clegg. Cable – Clegg. Cable – Clegg. Got it?

If that doesn’t work Clegg should start wearing a latex mask of Cable. In fact all Lib Dems should, a vast army of Vince Cables, marching on Westminster to sort out the economy and indulge in a bit of ballroom dancing. True, if the latex masks aren’t of a high enough quality they will look like an army of orcs, but the heart attacks caused will only help to thin the Tory vote.

Go on, order your Vince Cable mask today! I’ve ordered mine, and seeing as how I’ve created the entire world for my own amusement (being the only mind in existence) I’m sure you’ve ordered yours too. I’ll see you on election day, dressed in leather armour and clawing at the legs of wealthy bankers.

The Cable Army demand your bonuses! Flee before us!

Debate 1: Economics, Cable Takes It!

If you didn’t tune into Channel 4 this evening, then you missed a truly thrilling televised debate. True, the audience at this debate were yawning, looking at their shoes and scratching their arses, but it was thrilling, damnit!

The event was of course the Chancellors debate, with Chancellor Alistair Darling, George Osborne and Vince Cable battling it out over the economy. Perhaps it was because they weren’t party leaders that they had the freedom to actually discuss issues of worth, but it was the best piece of politics we’ve had in ages.

As many predicted, the Liberal Democrat’s lethal weapon, Vince Cable came out best, putting the others to shame. However, the debate benefited the others too, as Darling came across measured and thoughtful. Even George Osborne showed himself in a better light, though he was clearly held back by confused Tory policies. Time and time again he would say something that you could tell he internally disagreed with and this led to his answers seeming muddled, pulled too far in every direction with Cameron’s obsession with good headlines.

Great stuff, highlights include: Vince Cable refusing to ringfence the NHS budget but saying that he would prioritise mental health as it’s already woefully underfunded, and Darling cracking a gag about cross-party cooperation when accused of stealing a tory policy.

Looking forward to the leaders debates which’ll be far more bloody, but far less informative.

What I Won’t Be Doing On Election Day

I won’t be taking part in the May election. Sure I’ll vote, I’ll complain, I’ll rant endlessly to whoever will indulge me a moment, but I will not knock on peoples doors like I did in 2005. I’ll never do that again.

As soon as a person dons a political party badge a strange thing happens. They cease to be a human being. All likeable attributes are immediately stripped from the poor bastard and what is left is a walking target for the masses to throw shit at.

“You’re all the same!” they would howl at me as they slammed the door in my face so hard they were hoping the wood would fuse and never open again. I was always perplexed at that. How was I in any way like the Tories against whom I campaigned? But then, I was on the inside looking out, if only I could have seen me through their eyes I would have witnessed the faceless political blob I’d become, a walking advertisement for corruption, dodgy dealing and lies. Yes, the moment I’d tried to change Britain for the better I’d revealed myself to be the enemy.

So no thank you very much! Not this time. This year I’m going to be the one slamming doors. I’m going to be the one heckling some poor idealist who only wants to add you to his long list of “undecided”. You just watch me! I’ve been training my mouth to produce more saliva for extra spitting volume.

Of course that wasn’t the most gruesome aspect of election day. The true horror happens when you spend a whole day at the voting booths themselves. The average voter turns up, shambles into a little cubical, has some alone time, and then returns to deposit their vote. Its all rather similar to a sperm donor clinic, very similar if you think about it; most people’s votes are wank anyway. This is the truth you see when you witness voters close up. For a whole day.

First you have the grey vote. You remember the original Dawn of the Dead? When all the zombies gather at the shopping mall, mindlessly going through the same motions they used to when they were alive? Well it’s the same on election day with OAP’s voting Tory. They don’t know why, but they feel compelled to do it. As they totter in you can hear them chatting about how it’s nice to have a day out, “Oh I don’t know anything about politics, but its nice to see people down the community centre”. And it is a nice day out for them, who can knock that? The problem is that they are slowly strangling out political system just so they can have a nice day time, kind of like an entertainer on the tube filling balloon animals with nerve gas.

Then you have the working class who are so out of touch with modern times that they actually still refer to themselves as “working class” instead of middle class which is what they are. They hark on about always voting labour as if they are still the beleaguered underdogs set upon by Thatcher who must stick together no matter what, instead of the dirty sell outs they spend all their waking consciousness pretending not to be.

The final major group are the liars. These are the ones who sneak into the polling booths to vote conservative because they a) hate foreigners, b) are quite well off and would like lower taxes to get even more well off, c) hate people who aren’t foreigners but look like they should be, d) are a bit scared of Europe, or e) are deeply sexually repressed and want to stop anyone else having any fun whatsoever. People of this ilk usually have the sense to be ashamed of their vote, so when leaving swear they voted for another party. This is why there is a disparity between the exit-polls and the final results. It’s called the tory-bounce. And it’s shameful.

The last stragglers are the cocky superior arse-holes who think they’re all that because they vote morally, which usually means they vote lib-dem. Being such a young party, the liberals don’t have the advantage of feeding upon peoples sense of tribalism, instead they have to convince voters with things like “policy”. Can you believe it? Crazy! The result is that all lib dem voters get all smug that they actually put some thought into it. Some even write lengthy blogs slating all other sorts of voter, the scummy bastards!

This small group of voters is the reason why the lib dems are stuck around the 17-19% mark in the polls and are doomed to never shift. There simply aren’t enough voters out there willing to put thought into their vote. They can never compete with the greys, the greed-heads, the working-middle classes and the swingers.

The swingers, by the way, are not the sexually liberated fellows you’re thinking of, but swing voters who confuse polls by being easily duped into supporting either Labour or Conservative depending upon what the tabloids told them that day. You won’t see them at the polling stations though, they’re far too fickle. If you want a little cup of political jizz, you have to turn to the others.

It Just Got Interesting

The average voter doesn’t care about polls. Nor should they, polls are ever changing and one even a week before an election can be entirely different from the actual result. No, any sane person would ignore this gibberish and get on with their lives. Unless of course they are a political junkie, in which case these figures are poured over as a gambling addict would study reports of football injuries before a big match.

Previously, your libertarian commentator here has been in he bunker, quaking in fear. This is because anything but a Tory victory in May seemed unlikely. Truth be told, the reality of Prime Minister Cameron was proving too much for my fragile mind and I was forced to retreat beneath the duvet with a bottle of whiskey.

That was until today, because today things just got interesting. The Times have published poll data indicating that the Tory lead has fallen so much that if the election was held today Brown would remain as prime minister. Holy Moley! The Tory lead is down to 2 points, which is remarkable considering they once enjoyed a massive 26 point lead.

While choosing between Brown and Cameron is like choosing from a menu consisting of just puke and shit, the fact that the election is no longer certain makes this the most exciting election the UK has seen since 97.

The repercussions of this drop in the public’s esteem will have dire consequences for the Conservative party. Unless they move quickly to quell dissent, the traditional Tory grass-roots will become disillusioned with Cameron’s “modernising” and demand policies to appeal to the core vote, such as tough immigration and hanging dope peddlers.

So why have the public gone cold on Cameron? The biggest problem, I think, is that for all his talk of change he has yet to tell us of something that would change society. Six promises are being made by the Tories in the Brighton conference this weekend: cutting the national debt (not much of a change, everyone can see that needs to be done), boosting enterprise (because Labour hate business, clearly!), making Britain more family friendly (quite how this is a change, we do not know), backing the National Health Service (ahh yes, that ignored public service that has been starved of finance under Brown), raising school standards (Labour hate schools too), and changing the apparatus of politics (yet they oppose reforming our broken electoral system… hmmm).

Even if the Tories kept to their promises, our society wouldn’t be changed much. At best it would be run slightly better, and even then that will be open to interpretation.

This equalising of the two parties odds makes interesting news for the Lib Dems. With Labour and the Conservatives’ fates in the balance, the Liberals can choose the winning party by targeting the voters of the opposite side. If they target Tory votes, Labour gets in. If they go for Labour supporters, the conservatives get in. Ironically the Lib Dems are destined to make a winning party out of whichever they disagree with most, though that winning party will still need the Liberals to prop up their vote if they want any sort of parliamentary clout. It’s clear that the Liberal Democrats could very well be holding all the cards, but how they play them is certainly uncertain.

With over two months to go and three live debates, the whole game is still to play for. But at least now the game should be interesting.

Is it safe to come out yet?

It has been a long time since the last post. I would like to say this is because not much has been happening, but in truth the news has been packed with pre-election festivities. Instead I was burying my head in the sand trying to distance myself from the grim reality that “Prime Minister Cameron” is not far away. There us something horrendously depressing about a nation that thinks this slimy PR man is electable. I agree that Brown needs taking down; the man is a coward who plays with drug policy to score easy political points, he leads a party who were willing to sell out their beliefs to secure power in ’97 and has managed to rubbish the commendable cause of electoral reform by only proposing it in the run-up to an election he’s likely to lose. However turning to the conservatives just to spite labour is like joining Stalin because you think Hitler’s a rotter, or watching Ant because you can’t stand Dec.

So what’s been happening? What have I missed? Well, it seems fake British passports have been used in an assassination of a Hamas leader. What’s been most funny about this is the amount of idiots in the media, separated from reality by too many episodes of “24”, who praised this breach of international law. A similar response flooded our press in response to the revelations about UK complicity in torture.

So, torture and assassination. Nothing new there. What else?

Rather hilariously the Tories managed to cock up their figures in a report about “Broken Britain”. Instead of publishing that in the 10 most deprived areas 5.4% of girls are pregnant before the age of 18, they stated that it was 54%. This misplacement of the decimal point let us have a glimpse of the fantastical world of conservative politics, where the world is viewed through a crystal window powdered with a fine layer of cocaine, sneezed out in snorts of pious guffaw at those vile chavs that must make up the rest of British society.

Oh the joys of a UK election. I sure hope something interesting happens in the polls, perhaps the lib dems might pull their thumb out and give us an opposition with guts, or perhaps the electorate might decide that spoiling their ballot is better than voting for the windbags that occupy the two ruling parties. For now I’ll keep my fingers crossed and try to keep my head above ground, until I’m faced with the reality of Prime Minister Cameron of course; when that happens I won’t be able to dig myself deep enough.