When this blog was named (by a very talented writer, if a slacker when it comes to updates) and I was looking to see if anyone else had been similarly inspired, I stumbled across something from the States defining a ten minutes hate as the home straight in a hotly contested election. So now here we are. Just five days away from something which we are promised will be a cross between Judgement Night, the Second Coming and Armaggeddon. Does everyone have their popcorn and beers at the ready?
Because there is nothing the people of Britain enjoy more than a little light bear baiting. Although, given our reputation for loving animals and since Parliament rather stupidly outlawed the use of bears in 1835, these days we have switched to chaining politicians to a stake and poking them with sharpened sticks instead. Much more humane.
This could be the least optimistic election since records began, since this time we will not be voting FOR anything, especially not the change of government that we would mostly like to see, but simply chucking a well-aimed, ‘NONE OF THE ABOVE’-shaped spanner into the works. I know what I would like to vote against: expense cheats; fascists; expansions in state control. Where to find a party that reflects all that? And so, like many other people, I follow a party like it is a football team: my side, right or wrong, trying not to notice that the old loyalties are as outdated as the ideologies. Labour don’t want to be the party of the workers any more than the Tories want to be toffs. The Libbies would love to be the natural alternative, and are happy that people are suddenly thinking of them, but how can you vote for a party that can’t even run a website?
A parliament of individuals, independant and owing nothing to any outside interest, whip or Beloved Leader would be ideal. A bloody nightmare in practice. The European model of loose coalitions of like-minded fellow travellers perhaps. Or instead, what some commentators seem to fear, a Parliament of celebrities coalescing around populist issues like the Gurkha campaign. For myself, I would need to find a party believing in low taxes, shorter working hours and the right to stay up late. Find me that party and they can have my ‘X’.