Election 2015 Is Coming.

March 29, 2015 at 4:01 pm

This will be the third General Election I’ve had the chance to vote in, and the second where I’ve paid attention to what’s actually going on. First time round I was a pre-occupied student without a TV or Internet connection in my room at a hall of residence. It’s worth bearing in mind that I’m talking about 2005, the TV was by choice and the Internet connection was because I decided to pick the cheapest place on offer. Either way, I didn’t really pay any attention to what was going on aside from the fact the Liberal Democrats promised to prevent rises to tuition fees, Tony Blair was the Labour leader and the Tories were Tories – naturally I voted Lib Dem!

Second time around everything seemed to have changed, and for the worse too. Labour were incredibly unpopular given their perceived handling of or role in creating the global financial crash, David Cameron was leading the Tories rather unconvincingly and everybody seemed to agree with Nick – right up until the point they got in to the queue at the polling station at least. Despite Labour being so unpopular, despite 24 hour coverage of how Labour f**ked everything up, despite the country being fed up of 13 years of Labour control and despite Gordon Brown calling an old woman from Rochdale a ‘Bigoted Woman’, the Tories were so dire they couldn’t secure that majority.

Instead, those who held their nerve and voted for Nick and The Lib Dems, seriously regretted having ever done so, now knowing that they’d be stuck with a Tory government propped up by their power-hungry Lib Dem pals. It wasn’t pleasant viewing, hearing of all manner of shady backroom deals between ‘senior party figures’ ahead of the official announcement. As it turns out, the Lib Dem voters basically got nothing they wanted, in fact probably less than nothing – a pointless referendum on a watered down version of proportional representation and a big giant kitchen knife in the back on many of the headline promises.

Anyway, so we all know about that, what of 2015? Well, I’m dreading this election and have been pretty much since the last one. We’ve had four and a bit years of political posturing between the main parties, stage-managing everything possible on the run up to what will probably be the closest run election in living memory. The biggest problem we have is that the party leaders are all a bit rubbish in one way or another: both Cameron and Clegg have no credibility in their substance, having failed to deliver on so many of their 2010 manifesto pledges, Ed Miliband seems to be disliked because he looks ‘weird’ doing pretty much anything and Nigel Farage has come along with pints of ale, pub lunches, his funny looking mouth, semi-racism (at best) and forced everyone to the right. That’s four pretty big problems, and that’s before we start talking policies, pledges, promises and the SNP.

Of the four, it becomes a question of who is the least bad option for running the country and it isn’t an easy question to answer. Nigel and Nick have no chance, particularly Nick because traditional Lib Dem voters think he’s a c*nt that sold them all down the river and Nigel has the problem that there aren’t enough racists in the UK to take him all the way to Number 10. That leaves us with Dave and Ed. Dave has shown that he’s not a particularly nice person over the past 5 years and he’s failed to deliver on an awful lot of his promises – however he’s covered that up pretty well in conjunction with a severely incumbency biased and compliant media. Ed seems to have all the ideas but lacks credibility on two fronts: firstly he does look odd in pretty much every ‘real’ photograph taken of him ever, and secondly we just don’t know how much of the failings of the previous Labour government he had an influence in.

Over and above that there is of course Scotland, with Cameron almost conspiring to lose the union completely and Labour seemingly about to be obliterated there in much the same way the Lib Dems will be in England and Wales we have quite an unusual set of circumstances. A PM so arrogant and lazy he presumed that the Scots would never want to break free of his reign of terror on the working classes and a Leader of the opposition who was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Now the SNP are more likely to hold sway in this almost inevitably hung parliament, regardless of formal agreements or not they will never support the Tories. Who knows, perhaps Ed knew he had to sacrifice either English or Scottish Labour votes, and knowing there are more seats in Scotland, and a Tory-hating opposition in Scotland, the calculated risk was to play it safe and ride with the establishment.

My final thoughts on this Election revolve around my general dismay at the political process and system we have in the UK. It may seem obvious and may have always been this way, but I just feel that none of the parties know how to represent the British people any longer, but they are all perfectly adept at representing their own interests. Miliband seems as though he is the least self-interested, but at the same time was pretty ruthless and calculating in defeating his brother to the party leadership, so I could be wrong. Until the parties begin to get in touch with the reality of both the people of Britain and what’s actually happening in the country, then none of them are equipped to represent the interests of the electorate. That being said, I thoroughly disagree with Russell Brand’s assertions that we just shouldn’t vote. Purely on the basis that the only people who would consider listening to him are more likely to be left-leaning and as such we’d end up with a horrible right-wing racist government for at least five more years.

I will vote, and you can probably guess which way I’ll vote. But I’ll be voting that way because it’s the least worst option, I won’t be voting blindly out of some kind of unbreakable faith in that party, but simply because I think they’ll probably f**k it up a lot less than the rest. For me, that’s a sad state of affairs to find ourselves in, and I don’t see it changing for a long, long time.


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