Over the last few days, a dozen or more of us have been enjoying a spirited Twitter debate about ‘to vote or not to vote’. For me, the answer will always depend on the political choice, the voting system, and the issues involved.

On the contemporary UK landscape, I have been disenfranchised for many years now. That’s because:

1. A ridiculously unrepresentative voting system dooms the entry of new players into the market. The denial of my right to tick a box called ‘None of the above’ is an obvious ploy by the Establishment to retain their oligarchic privilege in perpetuity.

2. Of the two ‘major’ Parties, one advocates a laissez-faire economic system that has failed wherever it’s been tried. The other fails to oppose many of the elements of that system, while at the same time offering a set of unaffordable and opportunistic policies that were tried and failed before. Both accept globalism, and neither are avowedly mutualist communitarian. Both have paymasters that do not represent the electoral mainstream.

3. The single plank in any acceptable Party’s manifesto with which I agree is that of secession from the basket case formally known as the EU. This is put forward by UKip, a collection of muddled and accident-prone wannabe MPs led by a spiv who swans about in a camel-hair coat and guffaws into his bitter.

4. None of the current alternatives want all contributions to political Parties made illegal. This is so obviously the reason why the two main runners work for special interests (not the majority) I’m amazed anyone even wonders why I don’t vote any more.

5. I will vote in any democratic election where there is genuine choice. Don’t ask me to vote in a corporacratic election where choice is limited to six versions of wrong-headedness.

6. It is not I who should be asked to justify my abstention: it is the job of our current crop of oligarchs and fraudsters who should be asked to explain why more than 2 in 5 people don’t vote.

And don’t put to 2 in 5 down to apathy: faced with a real chance of dumping the appalling Neil Hamilton 25 years age, 89.2% of the electorate turned out.

Today, a political row is raging in the UK about Grant Shapps – the chairman of the Conservative Party: a man who made money as an online fraudster, and then used bombast, influence and his grubby solicitors to try and shut up those who were on to him. He is being defended by a Health Secretary who despises the NHS, and who used undue influence in a quango to make a fortune out of his shabbily run, tax avoiding company. A man who abused his Office to give favour to a Newscorp takeover bid. A Newscorp found guilty of phone hacking on an industrial scale, whose CEO was close to the Prime Minister, and whose top editor was sent to prison, having resigned as Cameron’s press adviser.

And people are really asking me to believe that all this shady privilege and jobs for the wide-boys would stop under a Labour led Coalition….or a Tory Party in alliance with Ukip – the former having dumped its leader as too nice? Ed Miliband spent his opening weeks as Labour leader trying to lick Rebekah Brooks all over.

Offer me a viable alternative to a rotten system – and the promise of a return to the Rule of Law, depoliticised police, reduced media owner power, banned private donations and zero dependence on a corrupt EU – and you will get my vote. But please: don’t preach to me about “being in it to win it”. I will only ever be ‘in’ if there is a reasonable chance of winning.

Which is, I have to tell you, why I don’t do the lottery either: at 13.5m to 1, I don’t like the odds.

Earlier at The Slog: Unreformed banks make an unmitigated Crash inevitable


  1. “Ed Miliband spent his opening weeks as Labour leader trying to lick Rebekah Brooks all over.”
    A truly repugnant scenario from both viewpoints ..

    Really you English and your proclivities…..
    I realise we Germans may have even more despicable sexual mores but we console ourselves with the fact we do not air them in public …..


  2. Whilst every word you write is correct,a none of the above would create a position were constitutional change would have to take place & i can not help thinking that it would result in a permanent government of civil servants rather than elected members,i only see matters being made worse by such actions & the destruction of democracy (has it is) for their good not ours


  3. Ed on rebekah,can,t see that happening,i doubt if Eds seen any intimate parts of a woman in his life! looks quite camp to me.


  4. 7. Ballot rigging: from virtual postal voters to evident miscounts to lack of accountability of Returning Officers.


  5. O/T but news today Met enquiry into child sex abuse cover up . All be it by the IPCC. Well done John for the part you have played in bringing this to light .


  6. I’m inclined to agree with you. The whole thing isn’t much different from the old Soviet elections with only one candidate – what’s the point in democracy when the only two people who can become Prime Minister are political bedfellows? The media are colluding in a complete charade. We’ll now have two months of them saying what an exciting contest it is, when the reality is in all likelihood we’ll end up with the same government in all but name after May.
    Farage at least offers something slightly different – but is the EU actually the central problem facing this country? I’ve increasingly come to the conclusion it is nothing more than a smokescreen for an incompetent and corrupt UK government. Farage’s bluster all too often seems a case of misdirection.
    What needed is a serious, incorruptible politician who can address the poison of our media and establishment.


  7. #1 : This. This is the thing that would be the first and biggest step towards a representative democracy. “None of the above” is the most important option in any vote that dares to call itself democratic, hence the reason it doesn’t exist in any western “democracy”. Without this option, the whole thing is a sham. With it, free market forces would force new players into the void it occupies. Satisfying the demand for something better.

    Still doesn’t stop me from adding it to the form myself, accompanied by a small pornographic sketch, on voting day.


  8. Doesn’t matter who you vote for all the players have the same goal, self-enrichment and self-empowerment and self-survival.
    It’s the same old same old, it’s going to take something very major to change any of that. Many years ago you only had to vote the current encumbents out to get change now, all of them have to go, can’t see that happening without some significant event occurring can you?


  9. I was watching Robert Prestons program about France on TV and he did an interview with Ms Le Penn who to my mind summed up what this current fight is about , it’s Globalism v/s nationalism and as globalism is damaging France , we want our interests protected and if that includes turning the EU from a super national government back into the simple common market it was supposed to be so be it.
    It was a long interview but she spoke more sense than I have heard from a politico in many a day. Ok she might round up anyone with a black face and ship them off to their country of origin, but her economic analysis was very good.
    It’s also interesting that the left and the right in both countries seem to be singing off the same globalization hymn sheet in anticipation of their jobs on the board when they leave office.
    Finally if the total votes cast fall below 50% of the total electorate then where does that leave the Westminster rabble it’s an interesting constitutional point and possibly the only reason to not vote. As I live in Scotland I will be voting SNP to throw a stun grenade into the Westminster establishment.


  10. Now here’s a democratic local election conundrum:
    Do I vote Labour for a 32 year old who has never had a proper job, comes from a 100% political family, was parachuted into Camden Council to get two years political experience, and learned her politics by doing internships for shadow ministers and MPs? Just the sort of career politico, the total opposite to Alan Johnson for whom I defitely WOULD vote. Her top priority is to introduce a “Mansion Tax” which will add £2.5k tax p.a. to my 2 up 2 down terraced workman’s cottage. That may go down well in a guaranteed Labour seat like Hull or Southampton where I could buy a 16 bed house, with stables and 5 acres for the price of my “Mansion” (no kidding!) – but in a London marginal it’s as likely a winner as the Poll tax.
    Oh and there’s the Millibean and Ballsup pairing problem as well.
    Do I vote Tory and give Cameroon, Jeremy Spoonerism, Michael Green, Smarmy Gove and their Central Command another bash at appeasing the global corporatists, pleasing the tax evading, non-dom media owners, doing deals with billionaires, the Swiss, Luxembourg and other off-shore crooks to hide theiur ill-gottens, generously allowing the banks to do WTF they like to the public and the country, screwing the NHS into American privatisation and patronising the public with “we’re all in this together”? Mmmm I think not.
    OR do I “spoil” my paper with by opting for NOTA (of which party I am a founder member)
    The rest are all utter losers in this stupid FPTP system and if I voted for any of them I really WOULD be wasting my vote.
    I agree with you for sure on one point John – it’s not so much political apathy which gives us turnouts of less than 40% as the lack of a sensible voting system in which I might bew able to find SOMEONE, anyone who can represent MY points of view (quite middle groundish as it happens) and the utter contempt in which we hold the great majority of politicians these days – Oh Yes even Micahel “how to maker pots of money” Green, “Honest” Jack the Lad Straw and Mr “I work freelance” Rifkind.


  11. John, I know you hate Farage with a passion perhaps only equalled and surpassed by all the other corrrupt players from all parties, and whilst I too would vote ‘none of the above’ if it were an option, heres why I shall be voting UKIP at the election.Lib/Lab/Con have had their chances over the years, and each successive post war government has betrayed this country in one way or another. Now voting Farage may well make me a ‘racist’ and a ‘swivel-eyed loon’ and he may well prove just as bad as those before him, heres what voting for him in enough numbers to influence a coalition will hopfully achieve. It will I believe force the other parties to do some introspective navel gazing and realise that we, the British people have had enough of the stench that is a trail of unaccountable corrupt broken promises offered by them. We need more M.P’S with the values of John Smith or Lord Carrington in office, Vote UKIP!


  12. You need a specific type of product. None of them are perfect for your needs so what do you do. You choose the one that best satisfies your requirements.

    You need to eat. However all of the foods available taste disgusting so again, what do you do. You choose the one that tastes the least disgusting.

    There is NEVER ever going to be a political party that satisfies all your requirements so as far as I’m concerned I weigh up all the pros and cons and pick the one that seems the best.

    I would never not vote as I know how many lives have been lost over the centuries for the right and freedom to have that vote and feel it is our civic duty to do so.


  13. Kudos to you for being a founding member of NOTA! That is the only sane option open now. I would be willing to distribute flyers up here in Edinburgh, I will look into this at the NOTA site.


  14. Farage has had, as chief policy adviser, Lord Christopher Monckton, who was chief science adviser to Maggie Thatcher.
    Lord M has a grip on the One World Govt ambitions of the 1%s & banksters.
    Farage, therefore, has a good education.
    Whether he has been taken to one side & quietly read the facts of life by those 1%s, I know not.

    I’m considering arranging an interview with Michael Fallon, my local MP & UK Defense Minister re his ludicrous demonising of the Russians as the aggressors in Ukraine. Any advice, anyone?


  15. Whoever you vote for, the government still get in. In many ways the electorate feel that we are sliding toward fascism. There is no trust nor respect.


  16. My honest thought? Don’t bother – use the time more productively and enjoyably. I wouldn’t trust myself to be in the same room as them without wanting to slam their fool heads repeatedly on the desk for a good few minutes.

    They will be all smiles and welcoming, may even provide tea and stickies; they will tailor their replies to suit you, lie, obfuscate and generally take the piss. They take their orders from heaven knows where but it sure as hell isn’t us, the electorate, so – unless you have a genuine fondness for having your nose rubbed in it – I would avoid the smelly ones if I were you. Esp. Mrs. Hammond’s little boy :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have in mind, Mr. C, a little merry verbal jousting.
    No physicals, as yet. :)
    We all wonder what’s coming down the road,
    & a goodly number of us have the darkest suspicions.

    However, now is the time for facts & reportage,
    & the deconstruction of lies & propaganda.

    I’ll be able to contain myself, & hopefully report back.

    PS: I think Mrs. Hammond’s little boy is & has pissed off.
    The current chair-warmer is Michael Fallon.
    Subject to change with zero notice, of course.


  18. I been through all the options. No vote, Vote Nota(counted as a spoilt) Vote Blank, Vote tactically.
    Im gonna vote Green cos thats what I want. If enough of us vote for what we want the system will be shown to be ludicrous and i trust that maybe there will be a new outcome especially as the Ukip, SNP, Plaid anti-austerity vote will maybe throw a few surprises. I know it looks like we we get Cameron or Milibean but just maybe chaos will ensue and we know what comes out of chaos.


  19. Your good friend Anna Raccoon has just said “I will vote and campaign for UKIP “. Smart Lady ! You on the other hand foam at the mouth when you mention Nigel Farage . Without UKIP Britain would be a bleak place indeed . Hope springs eternal and not voting in our not fit for purpose FPTP system still makes no sense


  20. Does your vote involve a machine? Nigel Faraway has announced the results of his next election and he will win a seat as MP. Or retire.


  21. Mr. Ward, a brillant list of reasons to abstain – especially number 2. i do still vote at the local level because so few do the votes sometimes actually have a chance of a choice. Nationally there is no real choice.


  22. Nigel Farage has made it perfectly clear that in 10 years time he will not be in politics. His one aim is to take GB out of europe, once this happens, he will be waving bye bye. I will be voting UKIP because I have never heard a lie from Farage. Refreshing. And going back over all his you tube vids from years back, everything he predicted would happen did. He is the closest we will get to ‘by the people for the people’


  23. It’s rare that I would praise anything the BBC produces but RP did produce a pretty decent programme. Last year he did a decent job looking at China’s bubble economy. Perhaps he’s right to see France has the weak link in the EUSSR.


  24. Majority opinion will nearly always average to middle,not too far left,not too extreme right, so it follows that it is there that the bulk of votes are to be had to keep your party wheels rolling and so we end up where we are now with no bloody choice at all really . Roosevelt did sort the banks out after the 30s depression but the the buggers are back calling the shots again regardless of how we vote.


  25. “led by a spiv who swans about in a camel-hair coat and guffaws into his bitter.”
    John you should not judge a book by its cover!


  26. Farage! A banker from a public school who hates the NHS and has spent his time misappropriating EU money. All you above who think he will be a breath of fresh air need to go to spec savers.


  27. There is one party you can vote for. Anti Austerity, anti trident, anti Westminster (sadly pro EU but I suspect only tactically). It also will be very influential come May being probably the third biggest party. The SNP. That’s why they all loath and hate the sainted Nicola.

    If I lived in England I’d wipe my a**s with my ballot. Fortunately I dont.


  28. Ahhh the SNP! The party that lied about Lockerbie and Dunblane, keeps shtum about child abuse, has introduced a social worker for every child in Scotland (4 to 18) without public consultation, intends on banning air guns because of a drugged lunatic shot and killed a child, and is going to give other entities access to patients NHS records. Nicola Sturgeon has positively endorsed the police chief Mr House after he has introduced armed policing at some routine calls.

    Finally the SNP “black balled” Craig Murray (ex UK ambassador to Uzbekistan) a truth teller, from campaigning for a seat in the Scottish parliament under the SNP.

    The SNP have shown themselves to be nothing more than stalwart fascists…. just like all the rest once they get in!


  29. Pingback: John Ward – Election 2015: Grant Shapps, Jeremy Hunt, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage, & Six Other Reasons Why Not To Vote – 17 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  30. Pingback: John Ward – Analysis : Why The Power-Merchants Are Wordsworths, Not Wordsmiths – 17 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  31. If I could have “none of the above” I would bother to turn out and vote as a vote of objection.

    Undfer any reasonable debate on this if the system was okay you could oust the lot and let the system run itself and for IDS that is an effciency saving matey of mega proportions. If anybody then offered a positive improvement to the system they would get elected by the people.

    So we have leave as is or improve if somthing better is found? Wow.

    So besides all the deceit I really can’t see the point in voting I just feel sorry for all the young kids who believe they will be better off by voting under the current campaign. Nope, after a lifetime you will figure out what was taken by the thieves and if you complain I am going to call you a c^nt!


  32. Exactly right. To not vote is to opt out, to give up, to accept the system as it is. That is not an option, that is for fence sitting, prevaricators. All of the regular parties are worthless, on that we seem to all agree. To say that Farage guffaws into his pint is about as useful and insightful a contribution as you would expect from a parasite like Dan Hodges and is not what we come to this site to read. Farage offers straight talking, sensible comment and solutions, someone who has actually worked for a living (as far as a trader can be classified as normal work) and he is getting my vote. I do not expect him to be PM, I do not expect him to get too many seats but I am hoping that it will give the establishment the kick in the groin that is required. Unlike poster above, I do not see the SNP as any choice for that whatsoever as they are more deranged with the public purse than Labour.


  33. Maxter…I don’t get all your references so would appreciate a bit more detail. But in this system surely a party that could at least rid the UK of trident would be something worth voting for? Plus it does bring the prospect of the archaic and corrupt UK constitutional arrangements collapsing. Of course all political parties are hopelessly compromised, but a vote for the SNP is the only vote IN THE UK that could lead to some progressive change. That does not mean I think they are right about everything all the time. In politics there is never an end point only a continuous struggle for progress.


  34. I have just switched on my kitchen’s extractor fan to find that it doesn’t extract, just recirculate. Kind of feels the same will happen whoever I vote for. Nonetheless, I still switch it on and so I will still vote – if only to show that I tried.


  35. I also forgot to mention that Nicola Sturgeon is a big fan of Hillary Clinton! If that does not sound the alarm, then we have a big problem.

    This next election gives people more of what they always rely on to get by, day in and day out when nothing ever changes for the better and keeps the status quo intact!



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