Look, I know there’s nothing more tiresome than blogging a condescending plea, on top of being bombarded by all those fucking tweets begging you to vote, especially if you believe, and justifiably in some cases, that it won’t change much if anything. But, let’s be like Howard Beale. Let’s delude ourselves into making an exception.
Because this coming Thursday the wankers will be out en-masse. There’s been a concerted effort via social media to create the impression, mostly using fool’s gold polling by firms who randomly ask a thousand people at a time (which isn’t representative of anything), that the polls have narrowed. While encouraging engagement and turnout is welcome, it does alter expectations, and if it proves to be a mirage, and it could be, it has the potential to demoralise, possibly discouraging the young and first time voters from bothering again.
Realistically it would constitute a major success if the Tories lost their majority, but, going by actual election results past, this feels unlikely as there is a large demographic who always vote for them. We can call them quiet Tories. Don’t call them daft or misguided, the kind of contemptuous Guardian claptrap that gets churned out in bad faith. They’re the sort who’ll be friendly to you in person, but become coldly ambivalent to your struggles and that of countless others in the serenity offered by the ballot box. By voting Tory, they know they’re getting what works for them. The Tories’ recent cleaving to their euphemisms for austerity ‘No Money Tree’ and xenophobia ‘Brexit’, affirming the need for retaliatory means during nuclear annihilation, even commending the virtues of the ‘Big Society’ to fill in for their unforgivable shrinking of the welfare state, is an attempt, in the context of economic and constitutional uncertainty, to vanquish any tinges of guilt the bloated middle may suffer in lucidly conflating a vote for this shitefest with a central tenet of the Tory message, the most dismal of aspirations – that putting yourself first is the safe and smart choice. The SNP (Nationalism), Lib Dems (Eurocentric) or Corbyn’s socialism, thanks to a media that’s largely incapable of presenting a nuanced retort, are characterised as threats to the medicore stability we currently enjoy.
Usually I attempt to empathise with the other viewpoint in an attempt to understand its motivations, but not on this, that Tory voters see and ignore its hypocrisy makes them proper cunts. As spineless as Theresa May’s ‘campaigning’, actually. Given May’s inability to mask the blatant opportunism that drives it all, an opportunity to thoroughly shame Tory voters has arisen. The Tories gained a majority by cynically appealing to the indignant Little-Englander mini-Farages with chips on their shoulders, propping up their bar stools extolling their Elephant-man complexes of believing that progressiveness, be it modernity, science and intellectualisation, is a curse upon them. The Britain of Brexit and controlling immigration is now a hive mind, and is readily inclusive of archaic nostalgias – of how things used to be back when you could smoke in pubs, Africans, Romanians, Poles and Pakis knew their place was not on your street, in your area or even your town, young women could be molested in clubs and wouldn’t complain, guns were available to the likes of Thomas Hamilton and you could still watch reruns of Top Of The Pops and Animal Hospital as you were blissfully unaware that Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville, or even that fella who did the weather on This Morning, were nonces.
Sadly, the events in London on Saturday night won’t help to open more persuadable minds. It will certainly close a good few others. In this twisted scenario the mini-Farage mob and those who committed these violent acts are a dogmatic photo-negative of the other, with both wishing to arrive at the same goal – eradicating diversity. The Farage acolyte is privately delighted when secularity is targeted. It’s something he or she can still claim to own, albeit tenuously. Terrorism further fuels their sense of victimisation and marginalisation by construing its indiscriminate murder as both an attack on their values and to reaffirm that their beliefs on immigration and Brexit aren’t extreme enough.
Voting Tory puts such warped wisdoms in the ascendency, as they’ve already done so, to dire effect, allowing them to sell us all out – whether it be agriculture, the welfare state, affordable housing, the police and emergency services, pensions, fishing, The NHS, education and school meals and many more. And then there’s the threat of a hard Brexit looming just to preserve British pride. If not for Trump we’d be the biggest laughing stock around.
Sure, today you may be sorted, with your mortgage and your job, and you’ll work to make sure your kids will inherit it. But voting for a party other than the Tories isn’t going to strip you of what you’ve earned. Middle to low income folk are likely to benefit from more progressive governance, one that isn’t cowed by the crocodile tears and back handed threats from the rich and conglomerates. The Tories happily parrot their shite self-propagated mythologies of wealth creation and trickle-down economics driving growth, entrepreneurship and jobs, and that the prospect of introducing higher taxation will cripple their and the UK’s ability to compete.
Enough, and back on point – it’ll probably rain on Thursday, and it’s a Thursday, which aren’t Fridays, but nonetheless when you’re out, fucking vote. Tactical voting is straight up bollocks, but here’s something we can all agree on: every vote placed for someone (even the Make Cannabis Legal candidate) that isn’t Ukip, Scottish Labour and the Tories helps send the message that the way things are, and are heading, just isn’t acceptable.