Sunday, May 1

The Vote, Oh Yeah

This, of course, is Election Week in the UK. For the benefit of our overseas readers, this means it’s the week we re-elect Tony Blair to be Pres.... Prime Minister. At least, for a while. Sometime soon he will hand over the job to Gordon Brown. (Personally, I rather miss old style politicians like Harold MacMillan. He used to look like my rich Uncle Frank. Politicians these days seem to look like people I might once have gone to school with, which I find altogether scary.) Anyway, for US citizens reading this, you could perhaps do with checking out Gordon Brown if you have not done so already, because he will be the one sucking up to George Bush before too long, and it is always good to know who is sucking etcetera.

in the interests of fairness, parity, clarity, charity (and even hilarity, because it rhymes and this is, after all, a primarily poetry website) and general truth I should say, of course, that the outcome of the Election is by no means a foregone conclusion. I should say that, yes. Perhaps I will.

Also I should point out that there are lots of political parties fighting for our votes, and these are some of the main ones:

The ones who will almost certainly win. We trusted them once, I think.

The ones who gave us Margaret Thatcher.

The ones who seem quite nice in a quite nice kind of a way. Their leader and his wife just had a baby, which should pull in a few votes.

The ones who I have never met a member of, ever.

There are lots more, of course. Some of them take distasteful further, even, than the so-called main parties. I have asked around for someone to write something here about why it’s important to use your vote and to not succumb to voter apathy. But it’s been difficult. It’s Spring, and several people were too busy in their vegetable gardens, getting seeds in. And the football season is almost at its end, and things have become very exciting, what with promotion and relegation issues reaching the crunch point. What was that great song about it all? Oh yes, “The Final Countdown”. People are distracted, and I can understand that. So am I.

One really should use one’s vote. I say that, but I haven’t voted in the last two elections. I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but only a little. My excuse is I don’t like politicians, either the ones I’ve met or the ones I’ve only seen and heard on TV and Radio. And to suggest I support them or condone their actions in any way seems to me to be a very difficult thing to do, when for the most part I don’t. That anyone could turn around to me one day and say accusingly “Well, you voted for them....” Simply, I’d like to be able to say I didn’t. I know it’s an unsatisfactory stance to take. I assume it's not a stance I would take if I lived in Zimbabwe. Don’t think I haven’t thought about it. But I have scepticism in my veins instead of blood, I’m afraid, and it’s times like this I become very aware of it (much more so than when I'm reviewing little books of poems, that's for sure).

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