I want to take you back to the general election in May. As many of you know, I can appear to be rather jaded…I understand – I’m probably a bit laconic and I do like to be a smart arse. Fair do – guilty.
However, I wish that I could adequately explain my true feelings when it comes to my opinions on things. I’m not as cynical as I appear to be at all. Generally, I’m just disappointed. I feel like saying ‘I’m not overreacting – all the people who don’t say anything are underreacting. For God’s sake, everybody – stand up!’. Except that no-one listens and I’ve become a little bit tired of always trying to swim against the tide of opinion. I’m just deeply unoptimistic when it comes to politics now.
I wrote this on the morning of May 7th using a post from 5 years previously as a prompt.
‘Five years ago – on this date – the country’s future was still in the balance, as the political parties struggled with the concept of coalition.
I was mostly struggling with the prospect of having to wear neutral colours until the result was declared.
I should add that I think (I’ll be honest – I’m not certain here) that I was being flippant.
I’m wearing grey and black today – as I’m afraid to say that I will mainly be mourning the death of hope.
I’ve been encouraging readers and friends to vote but all I see is the innate corruption of the political classes.
It’s not their fault. Nobody gets into politics because they want to work in politics – they’ve spent their time dreaming of being Prime Minister.
They’ll compromise their longest held, most audibly declared beliefs for power.
They will betray their brothers.
They will appoint a shadowy cabal of people – drawn from such a small pool that it excludes almost everyone – to their cabinet.
They will declare their party’s politics ‘sane’ and then court the votes of people who are, clearly, insane.
They will flirt and plot with the leaders of larger parties like a regular Mata Hari.
You can tell me that none of that matters as long as the right people achieve power – I’m sorry but it does to me.
I’m such a cynical person, but I wasn’t born like this – I used to believe. I still work to raise awareness of projects and issues that I think are important.
I’m a really analytical person. It’s a skill that I’m proud of – even though it compromises my social communication.
The trouble is that I have an almost inbuilt ability to assess risk and probability.
I don’t see an end to this. I say this with tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart but I will be writing ‘I am spoiling this ballot paper as a mark of political protest’ today.
Please don’t accuse me of cowardice. I refuse to be bullied into voting for the ‘least bad’ candidate. I will not vote for a party whose local councillors have a record for corruption. I can’t vote for a party whose one issue stance means that they now have prospects for power but nobody experienced in the variety of industries required to wield it. Lastly, I cannot give power to anyone who can say one thing and do another.
I have worked in local government and for government funded institutions. I can honestly say that most of our politicians are – in my experience – too badly educated to comprehend the reports that I used to prepare for them.
To be honest, if facts and good sense didn’t correlate with their dreamy, ‘pie in the sky’ visions, they were ignored anyway.
I can only conclude that we are forced to vote for narcissists, sociopaths and/or those idealistic to the point of delusion.
I’m disappointed with myself today – I’m so used to being upbeat about things that make me feel sceptical. It’s a self defense mechanism, really.
Well, I’m sorry but politics just makes me realise that it’s a pointless exercise and that I can put on a brave face but it won’t change the person I’m smiling at.
I will put a smile on for all my readers – I hope you enjoy the act of voting. Our system may not be ideal but it does afford us all a measure of democracy.
I just wish their was a box I could cross for protest.’
I would like to add something at the end. I am absolutely pro-equal rights for everybody. Of course, I support the ideals of universal suffrage. That goes without saying. However, women fought and died so that we would have the opportunity to vote. So that women could enter a polling station and be guaranteed the right to mark their preference on a ballet paper – no matter that preference was. Every mark made on a voting paper is important.
I made my statement and I am proud that I did not vote for the status quo. Instead I went out drinking.