I'll only mention it this once. The election of course.
I have Been and Gone and Done it. Voted.
After weeks of agonising about who to vote for this time I still only made the choice when the pen was actually in my hand in the voting booth. Despite feeling disillusioned with all the major political parties over the last few years I've still been deliberating endlessly on where my vote is going to go.
Having a small business which often balances the tightrope between profit and loss, and living in the often politically overlooked countryside, being concerned about food security and a lack of support for farmers, lots of people would think it natural to vote Conservative.
Having a mum who survives frugally on her state pension and values her free bus pass as a wonderful gift ( particularly last year when she has having to use it to take three busses a day to visit her partner in the Hospice,) it would seem fair to vote for the Labour Party who made it possible.
And anyone who thinks electoral reform is important; and that people who struggle by earning less than £10,000 a year shouldn't have to pay income tax, and that the banks deserve a good hammering for messing up big time and then not lending to good businesses in the aftermath (oh dear: I feel a rant coming on.....) would have to vote Liberal Democrat.
I can't help thinking that my vote doesn't matter in the least anyway, and why on earth am I taking it so seriously? My friend Alice remarked yesterday that her two nieces at university weren't going to bother to vote, and that her own daughter of 15 was appalled at their decision. I can't help thinking that the 15 year old schoolgirl is a lot wiser than her older student cousins.
It also makes me wonder what the point of a University education is if it results in such apathy? As Alice mildly pointed out, some people in Africa walk for days to get their polling station because they see their vote as being so important. Afghani's and Iraqi's face bombs in order to vote. So many people bemoan the state of Britain and say things are so awful, but surely things can't be so bad for many if they can't be bothered to vote. And it must be the sign of a stable nation free of serious strife where people assume that everything'll be ok whether they vote or not.
My daughter Eliza has been interested in the election , as have the children of my friends , which is interesting. When I was eleven it all just passed me by, really. There was little political conversation in our household. It mostly amounted to my dad swearing under his breath whenever Margaret Thatcher appeared on the news. (But hardly surprising in view of the fact that he had been made redundant three times in not many more years as the factories in our Northern industrial town closed down , one by one.) His hatred for the Tories didn't prevent him from joining the town's Conservative Club to drink their cheaper beer, though, as most working men seemed to in our area!
Eliza couldn't believe it when we said that women had died in the early years of the 20th C so that we could have the vote. And it wasn't too much earlier that ordinary working men with no money behind them didn't have the power to vote either. So it seems frivolous not to exercise our right to vote however excruciating , or easy, the choice may be, or however obvious the result may seem to be.
And as a footnote to all this, I do wish that they would put up some big signs in the polling stations saying that it's a cross you must put in your chosen box, and not a tick. I had to triple check with the ladies behind the table at the station this morning. Because a tick is precisely what I entered on my polling card as a politically fired-up eighteen year old using my right to vote for the first time in the 1980's. Rendering it vote null and void. And I've been mortified about it ever since.
Well that's my journal entry to mark the election, and I shan't speak of it again...
Next time, lots of jolly, lightweight stuff about chicks, lambs and the dawn chorus.
Over and out !