ELECTION OPINION: When voting is about real choice again, then I’ll start voting again.

suffragettes29415Did Great Aunt Edna protest in vain?

The electorate is not paying attention to the issues, and none of the politicians are talking about the real issues. So what right am I exercising if I vote?

For the benefit of veteran Sloggers alone, I suppose I must post in the light of Monday’s ONS data….if only as a tribute to their patience.

Since 2013, I’ve posted seven times to say that the 2015 UK General Election was always going to be a race against time in the context of the Camerlot ‘economic recovery’ bollocks. That is to say, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had to cross his fingers and hope that the plates stayed in the air long enough to fool enough of the electorate into returning them to Office.

One of the plates crashed to the floor two days ago, as Britain posted “growth” data – fact, not opinion – that showed the economy is stalling again. It was the worst set of figures for a long time, and yet another dataset to file with all the others across the US and the EU showing that neoliberal economics and Bourse-dominated globalism simply don’t work for anyone beyond a tiny privileged élite. Yawn.

For much of the last four days, it has been brutally obvious that the Chairman of the Conservative Party has reached that stage of moral decay and mental bankruptcy wherein he approaches every problem thus: “The answer is to lie, deceive and cheat – now what’s the question?” Yawn.Yawn.

Other key elements of “the Government’s long term plan” now shown to be ineffective (and plain wrong) are first, austerity – the amount saved is roughly 10% of the money thrown at the banking system, deficit reduction is 50% behind schedule, and the National Debt is up by over 50%. Second, immigration into our already overcrowded and underskilled little redoubt is running at eleven times the level promised in the 2010 Election. Third, we cling onto the apron strings of a trading bloc that is flatlining economically, drowning in debt, facing multiple defaults, and acting illegally. Fourth, far from being more balanced, our economy is even more dependent on financial services than it was in 2008. Employment is “up”, but wage levels and hours worked per head beyond the senior management level are both way down. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

The biggest single problem our country faces, however, is a culturo-constitutional one. Just as, form 1974 until 1982, Parliament as the recognised Sovereign body was under attack from an undemocratic and controlling TUC, so today it is threatened again (this time far more seriously) by the monetisation of politics and policy in favour of capital, and at the expense of labour, personal freedoms, direct democracy and the will of the majority.

Be the issue LGBT piffle, the perversion of Justice by bankers and media high-ups, the voting system, or the the big isms – denialism, tribalism, Islamism and feminism – the biggest single franchise of the population in May will be what it’s been for nearly two decades now: those who don’t vote. Yawn.Yawn.Yawn.Yawn.

Closet élitists revel in dubbing the mass of voters “the sheeple”, but actually sheep is the last thing they are. The problem is threefold: they believe media lies, they are distracted by that same media set, and they’re bored, desperate and dumbed-down. While every institution from the police via the judiciary to the welfare system is being politicised, much of the electorate has been depoliticised. They are not the Sheeple, they are the Sleeple.

Now as the debate continues to pop back and forth about whether someone should not vote – and how Great Auntie Edna once chained the King’s horse to the Hyde Park railings before going on hunger strike – let us just consider what these women wanted two world wars ago.

They wanted the right to play a part in choosing the Government.

Hold the ‘choice’ thing for a second there, and then consider these simple points:

1. No major Party has vowed to tackle the threat to Sovereignty we very clearly face. (Interesting that former City-lout Nigel Farage sees a huge threat from Brussels….but none at all from Boris Johnson and his seamy mates in banking, the media, and multinational business)

2. No major Party has challenged the orthodoxy of all power to the minorities – be those minutegroups bankers  or LGBT radicals.

3. No major Party is challenging the fundamentals of the economic system we’ve adopted in various forms since 1979.

4. No major Party has a credible plan for dealing with the National Debt. (Most don’t even mention it)

5. No major Party has committed upfront to a drastic reduction in the power of media owners.

6. No elector anywhere in the UK can be even vaguely reassured that his or her vote will produce the result they wanted, because as I’ve been saying for nine months now, the election is a dead heat: once the horse-trading starts, all promises are null and void.

Now, given that all six of those issues are important to me, no serious political force has any of them as a solid Manifesto promises, and in a Coalition at least half of the pledges will be broken anyway, where is the “choice” here that Great Aunt Edna wanted? Where is my democratic influence on the future direction of Britain?

The use of genuine Edwardian heroines as a tool for condemning every elector’s freedom to abstain is about as close to the bottom of the barrel as one can get. And the next wide-eyed innocent who uses it on Twitter is going to feel the length of my tweet.

Onwards and, um…not sure really. Hard to tell. All depends on the weather, probably.

Yesterday at The Slog: Dealing with the foolish things

32 thoughts on “ELECTION OPINION: When voting is about real choice again, then I’ll start voting again.

  1. ‘A survey of 18,330 people in October 2014 found 29% of voters said they thought there was no economic recovery in their area, while 57% believed they were watching the revival from the sidelines – feeling there “probably” was one but they had “not felt this personally”.
    That compared with 14% of voters who thought there was an economic recovery in their area and they had felt it personally.’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32480009
    So, over half believe the propaganda without seeing any evidence and maybe the 14% are London based bankers?

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  2. Accept all of the above need to be tackled but in current circumstances unrealistic for all of them to be achieved in one swoop. Your earlier piece on press barons trying to influence opinions and also to keep status quo and prevent all of the above happening suggests to me that we should start to chip away at power base by putting someone in charge who is not beholden to press and introduces laws to curtail powers and looks at possibility of state funded political parties. There is not much to chose on other issues and it will mean at next election better chance of getting EU issues across to electorate. Just do not believe in not voting when there is a chance to chip away at current set up, in other words need a longer term strategy.

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  3. +1 Gran Edna battle was fought over a life time or more,just like changing slavery it’s one principle at a time,only revolution changes things quicker & Britain is quite a way of that,although a Conservative,DUP,Lib-Dem,UKip will speed up the chances of that!

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  4. John,
    Agree with all, the whole thing is FUBAR, but we need, somehow, to effect some sort of change to this, otherwise the whole thing goes up in smoke!
    One of the two main parties will, of course, be at the wheel after the election but both will need the support of others going forward. People who trusted Clegg and Co last time round have been totally shafted, that option is no longer a sensible one. The Welsh, Scottish and Irish Parties are only a realistic option for the regions, and will eventually suck the ‘mother ship’ dry. The Greens?… can’t find a tie-dye pattern to match the grey hair, etc. etc.
    Although I can see why you feel the way you do, I cannot accept that I will be wasting my vote by using it to support UKIP. A letter from Tessa Munt, (Liberal), dropped thru’ my letterbox the other day informing me, in so many words, that unless I voted for her, or the Tory, I would be wasting my vote, because last time out only 3% voted for UKIP, well Tessa, one hell of a lot more voters are going to waste their vote in my constituency on UKIP this time and if, as I believe, the present shower are too arrogant to see the disquiet among a lot of voters in this Country, they are going to regret it for a long time to come.

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  5. I arrived – many years ago – at the decision that to vote for the recurrent crop of self-interested, narcissistic shits, was to endorse candidates that I feel do not represent me, nor, for that matter, societal interests in any meaningful manner.

    My abstention is my protest… until we have a true proportional representation system. (The AV nonsense was an utter waste of time that most people, judging by the low turnout vote, agreed with me upon.)

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  6. John succinct and accurate summary of the current total failure of both the current economic model and political class. I’m interested in the % turnout at the upcoming election to see how low it can go and the political class can still claim legitimacy to rule us.
    The problem is the two main parties need to die and morph into a couple of new party’s who can change the direction of the political economic process. What worries me is that it’s taken UKIP 20 years to get to where it is in the polls, and the only party which has changed identity is the LD’s. Unfortunately the Tory & Labour tribalism keeping both these 19th century parties going seems reluctant to full relinquish their right to exist and be replaced by a 21st century set of parties. Until the do things are not going to change unless the whole thing crashes and burns.

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  7. Have you effected a colour change to your website?. It is now black text on dark grey background with headers in pale green and impossible to read comfortably.

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  8. I keep hearing about these so called ‘triple locks’ that will ,’going forward’, ‘ring fence’ something or other. My proposal is to disqualify anyone who has an Oxford PPE degree from standing in a parliamentary election.

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  9. I’d still like to see a cogent argument to explain why not voting is better than spoiling your ballot paper (preferably by either leaving it blank or writing something on it like ‘none of the above’ and ticking it.)

    The point is that not voting is indistinguishable from apathy. A spoilt paper shows that you care enough to go to the polling station, but cannot find anything worth voting for i.e. it’s a vote of no confidence.

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  10. R15
    You make a valid point which I do, on the whole, accept. However, I did suggest to several activist abstainers three months ago that in the run-up to the Election, all pols on the stump should be harassed by Abstentionists. It got a near-zero response. Which is, er, a sort of apathy.

    Spoilt ballot-papers aren’t news, and anyway the MSM would put us in the lunatic fringe frame if it did become so. But Abstainers outside every polling station, properly PR’d, WOULD be news.
    There’s still time to organise it if the will is there.

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  11. Agree with most of your points. I listened to the monkeys interviewed on the R4 Labour Toady program this morning. If you want to linked with that level of humanity don’t even bother to register. If you want change vote for it. Liblabcon need a shock. Vote green if you are a fantasists, vote purple if you want to worry the eu, vote raving loony if you want, but for goodness sake vote. People died for the right, after all said and done

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  12. @reloaded15 – You have a great point! I arrived at a similar conclusion myself. I will be voting for ‘none of the above’. I want my vote to count!!

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  13. John

    Voting at this election won’t change things. Not voting won’t change
    things, so when do we start manning the barricades?

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  14. Here’s a little ditty you can sing as you (plural) skip to the polls….

    “Vote, vote vote for the incumbents!
    In comes Nicola via the (back) door
    Nicola is the one
    Who will have a bit of fun
    And we don’t want the incumbents any more…..

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  15. I would ask anyone considering not to vote, TO vote, to spoil their ballot paper with whatever choice words they feel appropriate. As said above, a spoilt vote is counted, whereas a non-vote is ignored. I will not vote for a Conservative, Labour or Liberal candidates whilst we have first past the post elections. So many people voting under this system are effectually
    disenfranchised.

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  16. Pingback: John Ward – Election Opinion : When Voting Is About Real Choice Again, Then I’ll Start Voting Again – 29 April 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  17. @Skirmish. The ‘ Liberals’, as you call them, actually demanded AV, not PR, and then refused boundary reform, hardly the action of a democratic party, but then Clegg learnt his trade in Brussels, which is why he refuses to consider holding a referendum, because that might return a democratic result….

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  18. When you register to vote, no matter who you actualy vote for, you are giving a mandate to the entire system and institutions of government.

    You are giving your lawful consent ttto abide by all the ridiculous, nepotistic, cronyism that constitutes the current government machine and whatever appaling decrees and diktats they impose on us all.

    Abstention is a legitimate expression of the complete lack of faith felt by the majority of the population. A ligitimate, and in my view vital, expression of the realisation that none of the political parties represent me, ALL of the policies that they actualy implement were never formulated to benefit me, None of the major parties has the will, the wit or the cojones to change anything.

    If you want to live in a better world, get together with the millions who feel the same way and BUILD IT. Within yourselves with your attitudes, opinions, beliefs, principles, morals, activities and the decisions you make. The way you interact with other people.

    Think there should be better disabled access in buildings ? So get together with others and build it. Think the streets could be cleaner ? So clean them. Think the supermarket/monsanto mutant food cartel is evil ? DONT BUY IT. Etc, etc, etc.

    Yeah. I know. Ya wouldnt want to miss the latest instalment of your favourite soap opera, its all a bit communist, it could never work, nobody cares, nobody would join in, and ten million other excuses AD INFINITUM. Ad nauseam.
    Power resides with those who can buy it.

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  19. I know what you mean. The result it is also being manipulated, openly by the establishment media, their polling companies, and FPTP system and constituency boundaries, and perhaps worse.
    Neither Cameron or Miliband is up to dealing with the impending economic and social disaster, so the silver lining will be seeing whoever is elected destroy their party for a generation when they break their pie-in-the-sky spending promises.
    The best result for the country would be a stalemate between the two on low percentages, lots of votes for smaller parties, and another election in a few months under new leaders.

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  20. Excellent synopsis on voting JW, but I wish that you would put a cross against Ukip, if only to perhaps get us out of the EU

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  21. Seen link Ghost – nope cba and no insult to Keynes works by inflating the system to keep debt in place but it inflates asset prices and too many people over the last 30 years could not afford to purchase those assets … they became the serf caste and it has no relevance to abiltity etc. Years later now under such as system I proclaim a new system called “the mongol horde” and apt kill everybody who has anythingl I really have no issue with fighting unarmed combat to to the death … lose you die! Under a reduced resource economy that is kind of fair. Up to it no problem I am game on and improving/

    That is why the whole system is so shit … it is where it is going I even apply myself as a nomad and hold no worth on another humam beings life so sorry wealthy people pegging it in Nepal means jack shit to me., Hence no vote the system is becomng what you can take courtesy of Thatcher may she rot in hell so when I get there as an honest person I get to torture her for eternity … yay a result :-)

    Left – Right iI don’t care i would put them all in a pit where they will be made to fight each other to the death. Sad? Not really the game for me is over and only death now awaits and I DIE ALONE uder my rules.

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  22. I think the electorate has worked out that the curse of the modern age is politicians and that the problem is elite arrogant governments.As you say John
    Other key elements of “the Government’s long term plan” now shown to be ineffective (and plain wrong) are first, austerity – the amount saved is roughly 10% of the money thrown at the banking system, deficit reduction is 50% behind schedule, and the National Debt is up by over 50%. Second, immigration into our already overcrowded and underskilled little redoubt is running at eleven times the level promised in the 2010 Election. Third, we cling onto the apron strings of a trading bloc that is flatlining economically, drowning in debt, facing multiple defaults, and acting illegally. Fourth, far from being more balanced, our economy is even more dependent on financial services than it was in 2008. Employment is “up”, but wage levels and hours worked per head beyond the senior management level are both way down. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

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  23. I voted with me feet 5 years ago and so won’t inflict my views on the countrymen and -women I left behind. That said, agree with your analysis – on the biggest global issues, such as renewed East-West scuffling that could in theory lead to the end of us all, there is no debate at all.

    Like

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