Actually, I voted last week, because I applied for a postal vote ages ago in case I ended up somewhere else come election day. But I have just been to have a nose around our polling station anyway, to see whether it’s busy, and I’m pleased to say that it is. It was empty when the beloved visited early this morning, but almost everyone on our estate is either a parent, a drug dealer or a lunatic, and they all have good reasons to be elsewhere at 8am.
I spent quite a long time thinking about who to vote for; more than I have done at any other election. 1997 was easy: it was the first year I could vote, the sun was shining and we were facing a bright new dawn. In 2001 and 2005 I think I voted Green, in the hope that a high Green count in my (safe Labour) seat would persuade the big parties to introduce greener policies. I sort of think that was misguided, now: I don’t believe the big parties care or are guided by how many votes the small parties get, as long as they don’t start to become an electoral threat.
Anyway, the Green candidate in my constituency seems to be madly xenophobic: he thinks we should begin immediate negotiations for withdrawal from the EU, and that the UK should stage a military intervention if Iran develop nuclear weapons. Nutter.
I dabbled for a bit with voting Lib Dem, too, but when it came down to it I think some of their policies are a bit wishy-washy and undeliverable, and the main reason I wanted to give them my vote – their refusal to commit to replacing Trident – turned out to be another damp squib, since their alternative doesn’t sound any better.
So I went Labour again. My candidate is Tessa Jowell, and I don’t mind her too much, even though she lives in Highgate. I can’t blame her for that. I’d live in Highgate, if I could. And after looking into the main parties’ policies a bit more closely I realised that the Labour party, for all the things they’ve done in the last three terms which I bitterly disagreed with, still represent my views better than anyone else does.
Anyway, if you haven’t already, go out and vote. Anyone you like, as long as it’s not the Tories*. I could summarise the social and political and economic reasons why I don’t want them in power, but when it comes right down to it, it’s quite simple: (a) they’re the Tories, and (b) have you seen David Cameron?
The Call Me Dave problem was summarised more neatly than I could do it by a teenager who I walked past as I came back from the polling station. “That Cameron”, he was saying to his friend, “I just don’t like him. He’s too white.” Exactly, I thought.
*I am assuming that BNP voters don’t really read, so won’t see this.