Im in Australia at the moment and i’m really quite scared about the election. You know the one? Our election. The UK one.
I’m sure you all know who you’re going to vote for and i wouldn't presume to change that - except to say that If any of you are considering, even momentarily, a vote for the Conservative Party. Then that is utterly unfathomable to me and you must be under labouring under some terrible delusion, hypnotised, disengaged to the point of being dangerous or simply an absolute unmitigated disgrace of a person.
Maybe that seems a bit much.
But - if you’re planning on voting Conservative, just have a good proper think why you’re doing that. It took me a very long time to stop ordering pork belly every time it was on the menu no matter the meal, the time of day or the hygiene rating of the establishment. - We all make bad decisions through habit. Thats all i’m saying.
Maybe you haven't thought about the election at all because you’ve had too much on with your “own stuff”. Maybe you’ve sworn off voting entirely - initially inspired by but more recently in defiance of, Russell Brand. Maybe you are basing your decision on who has the most “personality” Or maybe, “they” “all” seem equally odious and you wish a “curse” on all “their” “houses” You believe in short - they are all the same.
It’s easy to feel that way i think, but its dangerous - it serves only the incumbent and fundamentally - its not true, “They” are not “all” the “same”.
I have often felt underwhelmed and let down by the Labour Party in opposition primarily because too often they have seemed unwilling or unable to articulate an ethical and/or idealogical argument against the policies and actions of the coalition which have, to my mind, been entirely driven by ideology (albeit duplicitously obfuscated with protestations of fiscal necessity in times of crisis).
I wanted to hear big, brave arguments being made about humanity and compassion and responsibility. Arguments based in ethical ideas and idealogical integrity. I wanted someone to point out that the Conservative reliance on ultra wealthy donors is not the same as the Labour reliance on the unions and that serving the self interest of the wealthy has never sent good things trickling down to the poor. I wanted the terms of the debate to shift and the premise of the entire argument to change from fiscal legitimacy to social justice and it never did.
It has felt, to me, for a long time like the Labour Party have been trying to win a game, the rules of which have been defined by the Conservative party and allowed to stand unchallenged by a compliant press. A game that if they seem for a second like winning will be ruled illegitimate by the very people who invented the rules.
As i mentioned - I am currently in Australia, showing off, but even here with an entire planet between us to muffle it, i am staggered by the extent of the Conservative scaremongering, the attacks on Ed Miliband, the intimidation of those who support him and the heartbreaking success all this seems to be having in distracting people from the whole scale decimation of public services and the litany of broken promises and the sickening self interest that characterises the last five years.
So whilst there are things i wish had been said and arguments i wish had been made, whilst i feel, the strength and nature of my objections are often insufficiently represented by the opposition currently available - I am not scared of the democratically mandated politicians of the SNP (I would be absolutely delighted for them to drag the Labour party to the left in one of the sweetest coalitions i can dream of) I am not scared of Europe (I like a lot of its food and want to drive my camper van there) I am not scared of Immigration and I am not scared of higher taxes (I am ultra wealthy and you can have loads of it). I am scared of two things. - Firstly, Witches (Obviously, I'm not stupid) and secondly the prospect of another Conservative led government actively disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of people.
I’m in Australia (have i mentioned that?) and i’m very tired now, its 2.42 in the morning, i’ve not quite managed to say my piece and i’m going to bed.
Obviously if you are planning on voting for Ukip then there has clearly been some mistake that has led you to my mailing list. - you don't belong here. You were probably added to my mailing list by some crafty, comedy savvy immigrant who having been wronged by your loathsome insularity is looking to exact some odd revenge by subjecting you to sporadic marketing emails from a dwindling comic force. You can just click on unsubscribe and go about your misguided and fearful day full of confused, angry and cowardly chores.
All the best.
ps - I struggled a bit writing this - it was partially the tiredness (I am in Australia), partially not wanting to tell people things they already think (but probably think better than me) and it was partially resistance to jingoistic hyperbole (even when i agree with the thing being jingoistically hyperbolised). Whilst i was writing it - a friend send me a link to this article by robert webb and i think its very good - its basically what i'd have definitely written if i wasn't so tired and upside down and was, you know better at it and more informed.