Monday, 12 April 2010

That's How I (Electoral) Roll

Here we go again then. A general election is upon us, and we, as a nation, get to vote for the party we dislike the least to govern us. Between now and the sixth of May, the news channels will be covering nothing but these simpering politicians travelling all over the country trying to convince the public that they are the right person to run the country, while the opposition is nothing but a money grabbing opportunist who will drive you into financial ruin, forcing you to prostitute your wife/mother/daughter/granny and send the kids to the poor house just so that you can survive from day to painful day, all the while lamenting "why, oh why didn't I vote for the other guy?" The fact of the matter is that, more now than ever, it feels like we're being asked not to vote for the one which can do the best job, but the one we think will be slightly less rubbish than the others.

There was a time, long ago, when Britain was considered to be a great nation. This tiny island had an empire that spanned most of the globe, thanks in no small part to a navy second to none. Britain commanded respect, and we got it in spades. We had a royal family who were so much more than just a tourist attraction. We had many of the greatest writers and the finest minds of the time. Put simply, we had it all.

And now? We've got Jaffa Cakes. That pretty much sums us up. Britain has become a joke. Our royal family seem to be nothing but fodder for the tabloids and those magazines which tell you which idiot off Big Brother went down the chippy last night. Our general populace is seen as either toffee nosed, superior, aristocratic wankers or drunken, violent thugs. And we all have bad teeth and eat nothing but jam and scones for lunch, and fish and chips for dinner. But mainly, we're America's bitch. Dear lord, we're completely and utterly shitcellent!

That's how many people see us. They're not right, of course, but they're not entirely wrong either. Our royal family do often come across as nothing more than the celebrity elite, and those drunken, violent thugs can be found in most towns and cities without you having to look too hard. And yes, we're most definitely America's bitch. It's really not helped by having a prime minister who is very much the proverbial drowning man with a brick. Not all his fault, of course. His predecessor didn't exactly leave him with a country that was running smoothly, but he hasn't really handled it well. Things have only really gotten worse under ol' Brownie.

The problem is, we, as a nation, are idiots. In the upcoming election, I'm going to be voting Lib Dem. For me, I think they represent the best chance this countries got right now. I'm not going to go into they whys and wherefores, exactly what it is about their policies I like, or dislike. Nor am I going to do that with the other parties. I'm not particularly politically minded, and I find it a struggle to write about that kind of thing. That's not what this piece is about. Their policies aren't the issue for me right now. The fact that Britain is a nation of morons is the issue.

Don't get me wrong, I love Britain. In my own bizarre way, I guess I'm a patriot of some kind. The history of Britain is truly impressive, and I love the idea that one of the smallest nations on the planet commanded one of the largest empires. But when I say I love Britain, that's what I love. The history and the ideal of what it represented and could be. The reality of Britain at the moment is decidedly unimpressive at times. This election is a case in point. Now, I'm not campaigning or anything here, but the Lib Dems could get in if it weren't for some monumental stupidity on the part of a the British public. In a recent survey, people were asked who they would vote for if their vote counted. If their one vote was enough to get whichever party they voted for into power, who would it be? The overwhelming majority said that in that unlikely scenario, they would vote Lib Dem. When asked who they were actually voting for, they said Labour or Conservative. Why? Because a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote.

No, no, no, no, no! Don't vote for the party you think is going to win, vote for the one you want to win! With that kind of mentality, of course the Lib Dems won't get in. All their voters are voting Labour because that's what they think the rest of the voters are going to do as well! It's ridiculous! Either vote for the party you'd rather see in power, or don't vote at all. Stick to voting in the latest overblown ITV talentless contest on every Saturday night instead. Don't get me wrong, this isn't me urging you to vote Lib Dem. I will be, but that doesn't mean you should. All I'm asking is that you actually vote for whichever party your head is telling you can do the best job of governing this country. Tell your friends to do the same. Let's not settle for the ugly, boring person in the club because that's all we think we can get. Let's go for the thing we want, and if we don't get it, at least we can say we tried.

Unless the one you want is the BNP, in which case you suck and may get a Paddy Prescription in the not too distant future.

I don't pin my hopes on things really improving for Britain in the near future. But I'm not leaving yet either because... well, because Britain is sort of like my cat. It's really bloody stupid. But it's also kind of adorable in it's own way, and I love it.

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