< April 13, 2004 | index | July 13, 2004 >
So June 10, 2004 yesterday was super Thursday as they call it. This means it was the European Elections, in London the Mayor and in many places (but not here) the local elections too.
Traditionally, I spend much of election days persuading everyone I know that they must vote (especially those people who will vote they same as me). This year it's especially important.
The area I live in is very Tory. For the few weeks before any election we are surrounded by Tory posters wherever you look. (Somehow, however, the Liberal Democrats have managed to win the last two general elections and the last local election down here). What's different this time, however, is the UKIP. The UK Independence Party is pretty new, as bases itself squarely in two camps: Withdraw from the EU and stop these nasty foreigners coming into our country. They've even take on that twat Robert Kilroy-Silk, and for fuck's sake: Joan Collins, who lives in France. They're getting the votes of Daily Mail reading wankers all over the place. Everywhere you look this year are the disgustingly bright UKIP posters, and I am determined to get as many right-minded people out to vote for anyone else.
Normally I wouldn't worry so much about parties like UKIP and, of course, the ever present fascist British National Party. I am aware they're allways gonna get some votes from braindead scum, but I didn't realise how bad it was.
Every Thursday, I drive my Grandmother up to the shops so she can collect her pension and get her shopping (yes, I know, I'm a very good boy). Today, I'm taking her up to vote too. On the way we passed her next-door-neighbour-but-one, who I've briefly chatted to a couple of times any always seemed O.K. He was getting out of his car. We've got the Euro Cup coming up, and like hundreds of cars around, his had a couple of St George Crossess on the top, which my Grandmother mentioned.
"I see you've got your flags up for the football." she said.
"Well, I'm an Englishman" he replied
Nothing wrong here. He's proud to be English, just like I'm proud to be English, and British, and European, and a human, and a Torquinan. But then he decided to revise his statement a little,
"I'm an Englishman not a fucking Asylum Seeker or a Paki"
At this point, words like Fucking Wanker and Racist Cunt are racing to the tip of my tounge. But I can't speak. I'm just so shocked. I make a mental note not to forget how powerfull the politics of fear are, and how many relly stupid people there are. At last I managed one sentence:
"It's people like you who have made so many right-thinking people ashamed to fly the flag for so long."
Not a particularly clever or cutting thing to say, but it is true. Not that he could understand, I suppose. I can never belive people like that will bring up the Second World War to be proud of. Not realising that it was a war against fascism and biggots not a war against Germany, and now he's losing it for us. Me and my Grandmother just continued up to the shops.
Mind you, who do you vote for this time out? In Torbay, traditionally we all have to vote tacticly. This means if you don't want Conservatives you vote Lib Dem. This is why the Lib Dems have been in power down here for a while, but for a lot of people it was just a proxy vote for Labour (An extra Lib Dem MP doesn't hurt Labour's chances of taking power as a new Tory one would.
The European elections, however, are now using Proportional Representation. I'm not voting for someone to represent Torquay, Torbay, or even Devon. No, I'm voting for 9 MEPs in the South West area. This is a Good ThingTM, it means you can get away with voting for who you want. This would also used to mean a vote, from me, for Labour, with no second thought, but I can't do it. Not given current events, so I ended up voting Green. I'd quite like a green MEP, anyway.