ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MAY 22, 2014
Nice to wallow in nostalgia once in a while. So earlier today I duly toddled off to my local polling station to indulge in one of those meaningless exercises whereby unaccountable power and institutionalised corruption is given a thin veneer of legitimacy, in order to cast my ballot. Ah, I remember the good old days when we had elections at least every other year. And my great grandparents might have remembered annual elections.
Not that my grandparents were actually allowed to vote in them good old days. But they could watch the carriages from the Big House trundle along to take the (male) voters along. And they could always hope the odd farthing or stale saffron bun would be thrown out of the carriage window so that they could scrabble for them in the mud while their betters laughed at them.
Anyway, less of those fond memories. The Labour Party in London and the Liberal Democrats in Truro put an end to a lot of this voting nonsense back in 2009. And the hedge fund investors and retired bankers on Bar Road or passing by in their yachts don’t tend to throw money at us any more these days. Sad but true.
Anyway, this time we had the privilege of voting for members of the European Parliament, which according to most of the papers is a scheme to take all our money and give it to Johnny Foreigner.
I’d only seen one party political broadcast. That was by Labour. And it was all about the NHS, with that Mr Milibland shaking hands with dying patients and telling us how we’d get to be misdiagnosed by a GP a damn sight quicker under Labour than the current shower can manage.
I did wonder what all that had to do with the Euro-election. Seems it’s bugger all. Though I expect Ukip can tell us how Europe is plotting to do something nasty with our NHS. Or is that the Tories and Lib Dems up in London town? It’s all a bit confusing.
Especially when the Labour broadcast turned out to be for the local elections. Which of course we’re not allowed to have any more in Cornwall (see above). And on top of that local councillors don’t have much to do with the NHS either come to that. Perhaps no-one told that nice Mr Milibland. Dear of ‘im.
So who to vote for? I waited in the queue (of two) as a party agent dumped a box-load of signed postal votes on the desk. Apparently some old folk had asked him to fill them all in for them, as they found putting a cross on the paper a bit exhausting. Which he had kindly done. What a good Samaritan.
Having been asked to confirm my address – which was a bit strange as it was written on my polling card, I licked my blunt pencil and pondered my important democratic decision. Engrossed in decision-making, I made the mistake of leaning on the tacky cardboard voting box, which promptly collapsed. Is this really all we can afford these days? Won’t be long before elections are just too damned expensive and go the way of public toilets and Camborne Library I ‘spect.
Got excited first of all by a party with the name ‘An Independence from England’. You got my vote, me’ ‘ansum. But turns out it said ‘independence from Europe’. Should have brought my reading glasses with me. Half of the parties on offer were offering the same thing. Large doses of English nationalism, get out of Europe immediately if not sooner, and end all immigration (but not to Cornwall).
Then there were the Tories. Half of them say we should get out of Europe as soon as decently possible and stop all immigration (but not to Cornwall). The other half urge us to enjoy globalisation. Sit back and watch the rich get richer as they profit from all the cheap labour that can come from Europe. And it’ll keep the bleddy unions in line too.
Then there’s Labour. Not certain what they want as I never got a leaflet from them. But I’m told they’re in all in favour of ‘hard-working people’. Which looks a bit radical. And they want a referendum before we pull out of Europe. Oh, and we should cut back on immigration (but not to Cornwall).
There was another party whose name for the moment escapes me. But this lot are like the walking dead these days. Or more like ghostly spirits. They used to take on material form but now you can see right through them. Doomed, doomed. Better we should put these political lepers out of their misery as soon as humanely possible by never, ever again voting for them, I reckon.
Which just left the Greens. Or spoiling my paper by writing ‘an MEP for Kernow – equal rights with Luxembourg, Estonia and Malta and compulsory Kernowek Kemmynnn’ across the ballot paper.