Don't get me wrong, I love Britain. I even admire what our political system produces. I enjoy our muddling along, our rather inflated sense of our own importance, our polite and rather old-fashioned tolerance of eccentricity ... It's just that I HATE politics. Can't bear conflict, abhor the manufactured ire and the insincere adherence to ridiculous viewpoints. I do not approve at all of drawing battlelines based on redundant and divisive notions of win/lose, us/them, all or nothing ... To be truthful, I sincerely hope NOBODY wins an overall majority at the upcoming general election and that idealogical pretense has to bow to the more rational, humane and life-enhancing virtues of compromise, collaboration and agreement.
I will vote of course. I toyed for a moment with throwing my hand in and offering a friend of the opposite persuasion a 'democricide pact': "I won't vote for my idiot if you don't vote for yours!" But I wasn't serious, I'll trundle down the hill to the polling booth in May, and make my mark, because it's one of the most important things I get to do. Whichever bunch of clowns makes it into power, will be kept from trying anything too ridiculous by the knowledge that in five years' time they'll be held to account for it. Besides, women ( men too!) went to prison, and some died, so that I could make that cross, and I feel I owe them.
When I ran a school I taught my pupils something that I hope will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It was 'The Pauntley School ABC' It went like this:
CARE for one another
Any political party taking THAT on would get my vote, no hesitation. As it is, I shall do my civic duty with grim determination. It's hard marking a ballot paper whilst holding one's nose ...