I haven’t really written here about this year’s election so far, mainly because, alongside much incisive and relevant commentary, there has been a somewhat unpalatable chorus of morons bleating with blithe ignorance and righteous indignation about why one or another political preference is king, and I was keen to avoid joining them.
But as the internet’s keyboard warriors seem to think it’s OK to propel ill-informed, half-baked and shonkily constructed ideas and opinions along the information superhighway (I love that phrase, why doesn’t anyone use it anymore?) on to my screen and into my eyes, I’ve been ground down and have now elected to take a running jump on to the bandwagon and say some stuff that’s just fallen into my head, too. So here goes.
I didn’t want Cameron to get the keys to Gordon’s house. It’s not because Big Dave has a slimy face, although he quite patently does – in fact, he looks like a porcelain man who has been slathered in Vaseline before having his eyes smashed out, his soul hooked out through the holes and a creeping mass of deep, dark contempt for the rest of the human race piped back in its place. Also, he doesn’t look like a real Dave to me – I think it’s the hair that gives that away.
But it’s not those things that stopped me casting a Blue vote. The reason is that, traditionally, there have been some fundamental things about the Tories that bother me. There were the pretty elitist views on who should be allowed to be teachers, links to anti-semites and the far right in Eastern Europe. A new home secretary and minister for women and equality (!) that has a pretty regressive record when voting on gay rights and a ‘rising star’ in the party who has in the past held church services to “cure” homosexuals.
It can be too easy, often counter-productive and more than a little facile to cherry-pick unfavourable titbits of information, however damning, and use them subjectively as ammunition against those you perceive as different, bad or incorrect, though. Christ, New Labour were far from perfect. Tony Blair mutated from seemingly jovial chappy to power-bent, clown-faced warmonger without anyone really noticing until they were either marching through London against or at home watching – on their massive, credit-funded ‘buy now, pay nothing until next year’ TVs – the country lighting a fuse under Baghdad.
And Gordon Brown. Despite to my mind being by far the least disingenuous of this year’s three candidates, despite being unfairly lambasted for taking a disapproving stance on bigotry by calling a woman who was saying some fairly bigoted stuff a bigot and despite being held in high regard by some top world economists for leading the way amid a global monetary crisis with some pretty decisive action, he was at the helm for some seriously low moments of a disturbingly undemocratic magnitude, too. Digital Economy Bill, anyone?
But, apart from the questionable beliefs of some of Cameron’s cabinet, that’s all in the past. Whether you like it or not, Cameron’s kicked out Brown, his missus and those two floppy-haired little boys and moved in now and, despite the portentous cacks of cloud that loomed moodily over London for much of Tuesday night as the regime change was installed at Downing Street, as I write this there’s an almost heavenly shard of sunshine beaming down on me. So let’s just get on with it, eh? Perhaps it won’t be that bad. Perhaps we will, indeed, get something different this time.
Which brings me nicely to Nick Clegg. Nick Clegg is our deputy prime minister. Just say that again and think about it. Admit it: you didn’t even know who he was six months ago. In those six months he’s risen from relative obscurity to possessing probably one of the most-well-known boat races in the country – although I challenge you to actually describe his face without looking at a picture first. He may have only shot to our attention during those silly TV election debates with his scarily slight and yet startlingly well-received Fisher Price, My First Election rhetoric about change. He may have failed spectacularly to replicate this ‘popularity’ in the actual election by helping the Liberal Democrats to actually lose seats that they already had in parliament and yet manage to be part of the government anyway. But he’s there now, so let’s give him a chance, too. At the very least he might be able to temper some of Cam’s cronies’ supposed regressive outlooks on certain areas of policy.
We’re experiencing the highest unemployment for 15 years (2.5m people), a terrifying budget deficit, no one can fly anywhere because Iceland keeps throwing its ash at us, and, to top it all off, I’ve got a hole in the seat of my favourite jeans growing at a frighteningly exponential rate that the Conservative (sorry, Con-Dem) government may or may not help me with but that certainly won’t go away if all I do is sit behind my keyboard and contemptuously bash out endless lines of empty vitriol.