Wednesday 5 May 2010

For fuck's sake, vote.

The sky over London is pathetically empathic, brooding and low and just about to break into a weird little squall. I've been woking 14-hour days for the past six, and I'm bleeding and I'm tired and pissed off, and Torygeddon seems to be coming, and there's nothing I can do or say to make that better. No matter how much I scream and stamp I can do nothing to stop what's coming over the hill, not on my own.

Apart from vote, of course.

Which is the only thing we can possibly do tomorrow that matters.

So here's how it goes: you. Vote. Yes, you, with your quietly freakish views and your weird opinions that no mainstream party will ever quite understand. Vote.

Yes, you, with your sulkishly correct intimation of having been betrayed time after depressing time, in small ways, with politicians taking away your faith and your fervor piece by piece. Vote. I know you think it doesn't matter, not where you are. It matters.

I don't care how much you hate them, every single one, how much you want to tear it all up and sit in your living room and throw guilty glares at the TV and not be implicated in this whole fucking mess. You are implicated already. Now go out there and take some sodding responsibility.

Not that you should vote for just anyone, of course. You should vote for whoever is going to beat the Tories in your area. Not just because they're evil, or because they're incompetent, or because (with the exceptions of a few notable people who I know read this blog) they hate you and everything you stand for. Vote for progressives because Tories are scummish and dull and boring. They are boring. Look at that sky. Taste the clammy May air, how grey and hopeless it is, spring sap run to rot. Remember when it tasted like this? That was the early 90s. Do you remember the early 90s? Vote.

Because if you don't get out there and tick whatever box you need to tick, right now if you're at home, or as soon as you can get out of work, I shall consider whatever happens tomorrow your fault. And you should too, because it will be. Turn in your internet license, you've got no more business ranting at empty cyberspace if you can't put your shoes on and engage with hard copy the one time it matters.

Which is right now.

Get your shoes on, get out of the house and vote. Put the internet away. This is it. Game on.



  1. I like this post. Very well written. Not that I need persuading. I hope it persuades people who need persuading.

  2. My sentiments exactly - very well said. I don't normally get involved with writing-my-opinions-on-the-Internet, but I'm so worried by this election that I've ended up doing just that. I posted the following to my Facebook profile because I wanted people to know just how a Tory vote would personally affect me and so many others. I'd encourage everyone to do the same (or you're welcome to borrow from mine) - let people know just how insulting a vote for the Tories would be for the people in their lives:

    "If you vote Conservative, you insult me personally: as a woman, as a second-generation immigrant, as a student and soon-to-be graduate, as someone who’s lived in mainland Europe and witnessed the benefits our EU membership brings, as someone who values and relies on public services like the NHS and the BBC, as someone whose grandparents totally rely on threatened public services, as someone who believes in decent human values and a government which supports its citizens."

  3. My seat is solid libdem. My vote will knowably, demonstrably, make no difference. Nor will the popular vote figures because whatever happens, the tories will be first but libdems and labour together will be have a much bigger share.

    My vote will make no difference.

  4. All three is a vote for neo-liberalism. Pah!

  5. fighting for causes useless again... Lesbian will fight for causes most useful how to use your vibrator in public, rather than betray his own country

  6. I just can't bring myself to vote for any of the candidates in my local area - despite your heart felt plea.

    Sorry, in advance, it was my fault...

  7. This election has been two. One for the majors, the other for the minorities.Labour was always going to be the looser, not only for its betrayal of its core but more importantly it length in office.A hard hurdle to get over.

    At best and in a dream you can hope for a Labour/Lib/Dem government.Not that that would make any diffrence to those disenfranchised by the vaguires of capital.

    What it would do is ensure the next election would be fought on a P.R.system.For that will be the non negotialbe demand from the Lib/Dems.

    And resulting, a fair shake of the stick,for the minorities.

  8. I can't :-( because I'm not a UK citizen. Yes indeedy, I am one of those immigrant types that everyone loves to hate.

    Anyway, I agree with you on Torygeddon and deeply despise conservatives (of the UK, US or German varieties, for what it's worth). But the last few days/weeks have added an extra reason - if we get a Lab/Lib coalition of some sort, I reckon there's a good chance the Libdems will push for some sort of electoral reform. With a Tory government that just ain't happening.

    L, I like that last paragraph, might steal and adapt for my own use if you don't mind.

  9. Well, I am not Gen Y. And I wasn't here for the 90's. All I can say is that this election has reformed this political junkie. I think walking down the street to my polling station is the dumbest thing I have ever done in my life. But I am going to vote. Not because it makes sense. But because of AA. . . what's his name - the food critic. I am going to vote for the comedic value of going into a British voting booth.

    Now your anger. As the food critic says, soooo British. An angry nation. Anal retentive to the core.

    Give yourself a break. Try the gratitude diary that Seligman talks about. Keep an attractive notebook by your bed and jot down each day what happened and underline the bits you are grateful for (not gratified by). Try it. Hell. You are no more going to try it than my acquaintances are going to vote. They won't accept your challenge but will you accept mine? Mine take longer of course. 5 min an evening for 30 days is probably the minimum test.

  10. I'm not so much bothered about keeping the Tories out over New Labour government or a Lib/Lab coalition. My only desire is for the introduction of PR - it helped the Scottish Socialist Party gain 6 seats in the Scottish Parliament, and therefore has implications for us all. On this point, those who proudly declare their intention not to vote for leftist reasons should be criticised for their ignorance and failure to learn lesson from the successes of comrades in other European countries in which the left has made progress under PR. It's no surprise that the people I find most often articulating this anti-vote sentiment usually belong to the "academic ultra-left", who have little or no experience of politics on the doorsteps, on the council estates, in the unions etc.

    And even those who are in a completely "safe" seat should still vote Lib Dem, as the higher the percentage of vote they have, the stronger the demand for PR will be.

  11. Imp of the Perverse6 May 2010 at 11:08

    I always vote and have just voted Conservative.

  12. For fuck sake, vote Socialist!

  13. "Vote for progressives"

    But there aren't any progressive parties with a chance of getting elected...

  14. @L

    Looks like i'm going to insult you then....i'm voting conservative.

    I don't see what, if any benefits EU membership has brought (especially when you compare the EU to the EFTA countries) and I do see the damage it has done - CAP anyone?

    Public services are going to have to be cut thanks to Labour and the massive budget deficit it has created through poor economic management. 10% of our deficit is structural, and nothing to do with the recession. If we don't cut it, we're going to go the way of Greece. Do I trust Labour, who are in hock to the unions to manage those cuts properly? No.

    As for human values - its clear Labour doesn't beleive in anything but telling people how to live their lives, not trusting people to live their own.

    I look forward to the Labour left whining on Friday about Tories drowning kittens and eating babies.

  15. "But there aren't any progressive parties with a chance of getting elected... "

    "I just can't bring myself to vote for any of the candidates in my local area"

    "All three is a vote for neo-liberalism. Pah!"

    Then get into a polling booth and write that on your ballot paper. Spoiled ballots have to be shown to all the candidates, so if you want to get any of the above messages to them that's how. None of the above are excuses for not voting.

  16. The Rapture Cometh6 May 2010 at 13:29

    I vote for King Jesus!

  17. Are you serious? This "anything but Tory" attitude could cost us a chance at having proportional representation at the next election!

    This idiotically paranoid tactical voting for Labour is what lumbered us with an incompetent deluded government who have introduced a substantial number of invasive and offensive laws in the last 13 years.

    Here is what I think will happen if the Tories do get in;

    They will have to save a huge amount of money somehow due to the financial mess we are currently in. Cutting a significant percentage of public spending will make them very unpopular at the next election.

    Ruling with a minority government will mean that their hands will be tied and hopefully any nasty legislation can be halted by the other parties.

    If they start experimenting new taxes on Scotland or showing any signs of Thatcher style contempt of the Scots then the SNP will carefully choose a time to call a Scottish election and there is a very real chance that the union is split. Scotland becomes a liberal utopia similar to Holland and Denmark and England becomes the Dailymail.

  18. I voted!

    I'm hoping for a hung parliament, possibly drawn and quartered too, sorry, bad joke. Because Labour don't deserve to win, nor do the Tories and the Lib Dems probably aren't that great. I like the thought of Labour and the Tories not winning.

  19. You inspired me to walk to the Polling Station to vote or at least attempt to vote as it turned out. They had no record of me, advised me to visit the town hall to get registered.
    Would have voted for the Socialist candidate if there was one, a Conservative if not. I'm spoiling for a fight and would rather battle Tory nobs than Labour.
    Anyway, I hear that whoever wins will become so despised, because of the things they apparently MUST do, that they will be unelectable for a generation. Tory it is then. Makes as much sense as voting Liberal.

  20. sinister agent6 May 2010 at 19:16

    I stared at the ballot for ages, because my local labour candidate is one of the best MPs in the commons. He's proper old labour, and fights his bloody balls off for us. The local Lib Dem candidate, on the other hand, is a bit of a non-entity, and of what I do know about them, I don't agree unusually often. If I could vote for him without voting for his party, I wouldn't hesitate, but.

    It was a real dilemma, I have to admit. Vote for the party, or vote for the better individual? Tricky business.

    On the plus side, there was rather a long wait, even with three queues, and far more people on the street on my way home than usual. Good signs.

    Here's hoping for a good result for the country, eh? Best of luck everyone, because whatever comes next, we're in it together now.

    And yeah, go vote. If nothing else, it'll show you how many people you've lived within a mile of for years and never even spoken to. That's who you're talking about when you bitch about this country. Talk to them. They're probably nice.

  21. sinister agent7 May 2010 at 05:10

    Do yourself a favour: Don't wake up.

    Jacqui Smith went, at least. At this point it's still a close call between a small Tory lead and a hung parliament with the tories holding most of the cards. Neither is much consolation for the unlikely looking state of the lib dem kingmaker play. And for Balls holding on.

    Still, it could be a lot worse. Baby steps, right?

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