Tag Archives: Politicians

X marks the spot

I do like voting, and today I made a point of going into the village hall and putting my X on the spot.  I have a clear memory of accompanying my Ma to another village hall several decades ago and watching her vote in a general election when I was knee-high to an opinion.  And then, four years ago, I was able to take someone to vote for the first time ever and see his excitement in taking part in the democratic process.  He expected queues, in a local election, bless him.  But in fact he had the right of it.

Voting matters.

It is the one thing that really frightens politicians.  For that reason alone, it matters.  But it matters for other reasons too.

People don’t believe there’s any point.  The anarchists used to say that if voting changed anything, it would be abolished.  The truth of that was brought home in London in the mid 1980s when Thatcher abolished the GLC and knocked out the only effective opposition, “Red” Ken in the glory days of County Hall.   The only act in recent western history that was worse than the abolition of the GLC was Bush’s theft of the Florida votes in 2000, and for the same reason.  It was politicians pissing on the electoral process.  It was politicians pissing on us.

Voting matters.

If it didn’t, Thatcher would never have abolished the GLC.  If it didn’t, Bush wouldn’t have needed to frig the results in Florida in 2000.

Voting matters.

This year, of all years, all over the world.  Most of the time, I will freely admit, it makes bugger-all difference to anything, but even so it matters because it’s the only way we have of reminding the bastards that it’s us they work for.

Surely this is the most interesting year for elections in decades, with the Obama / Clinton stand-off in the USA, Mugabe rigging the election in Zimbabwe and still failing to win, and our two most bizzarely characterful politicians arm-wrestling for London.

So today I voted, in an empty village hall with the spring sun shining benignly down on an idyllic view.

I voted because women died so that I can vote.

I voted because so many Kenyans were killed because they voted.

I voted because Mugabe so clearly lost, even though he’s claimed a victory.

I voted because that’s how we got rid of Portillo and Kinnock.

I voted because politicians hate elections.

I voted because I can.

Category Errors #2 – Ann Widdecombe

Ok, not a category error as such, but a mental derailment all the same.

There I was, chatting away at the WI Christmas party with another member. It turns out that she’d had a pub about 20 miles from where I used to live. It further turns out she used to work for the local MP running his constituency office. It further further turns out she is a raving, raging, spittle-frothing tory.

We had a slightly one-sided conversation about Wonderful Tories She Had Met. “Michael Hestletine, he’s a very interesting man”. “That Boris Johnson, everyone under-estimates him”. Even, “Jeffrey Archer did a lot of good” and “Margaret Thatcher, what a lovely lady”.

I made suitably non-committal replies. I was brought up nicely. I have good manners.

Then she said

Ann Widdecombe, I’m a big fan. She talks such sense in the Daily Express every Wednesday”.

(The Daily Express thinks that Prince Philip took out a contract on the Princess of Wales, so we are not talking about evidence-based news-reporting, really).

Now it may be that there is much that is great and good about Ann Widdecombe, but unfortunately friends of mine used her name as a safe word during what the Daily Express would probably call “kinky sex sessions” and this struck me as being a rather good idea. You see, unless you are Paul Merton (who is a twisty so-and-so if ever there was one) you cannot think about Ann Widdecombe and sex at the same time. Or not in a good way, anyway.

Try it.

It cannot be done.

Not without feeling enormous physical and mental discomfort.

On the other hand if you have summoned the spirit of la Widdecombe to rescue you from pleasure past bearing, then she is inextricably bound up in your mind with kinky sex. Not a pleasant image I grant you, but that is rather the point.

So there you are. Not actually a category error. But while “rabid Tories I have known” might be a suitable subject for a chat at the WI, “choosing and using a good safeword for bondage games” isn’t really.

Or not at the one I go to, anyway.