Blog: One Last Yes
Now that's out of the way we turn to matters political, for LO! It's VOTING DAY in the referendum! I set off this morning to VOTE and found the polling staff surprised to see anyone, for it was not exactly SUPER BUSY. I can fully understand why people AREN'T excited by it - Electoral Reform is VERY EXCITING INDEED for some people (e.g. ME) but I can understand why the prospect of changing the way we choose our MPs every five years for one that is A Little Bit Fairer doesn't set the world ALIGHT for everyone.
I have to say I'm MYSTIFIED why so many people are decided to vote "No" though. The first even VAGUELY reasonable argument I've heard has been today from The Man In The Falafel Shop where I get my lunch who said he wanted to vote for one thing and, if he couldn't have it, he didn't care. It's not something I agree with, or think is a GOOD idea, but at least it was an honest one that he actually believed in.
Everything else seems to split into THREE camps. Firstly there's the POLITICAL arguments i.e. "It will favour/not favour the party I support/hate and I do not care whether that is democratic or not" which has the advantahe of being HONEST, if not HONOURABLE. Secondly the idea that because AV isn't proportional and/or the electoral system needs a lot more than just that fixing we should vote "No" to AV because ... er... I'm still not sure. This is known as the STARVING MAN REFUSING ANY FOOD BUT CAVIAR argument and is usually backed up by saying that AV probably won't make MPs work harder or end safe seats so... um... we should stick with a voting system which DEFINITELY won't do either of those things.
And finally there is the wide range of IDIOTIC MENTALIST ARGUMENTS, which have been merrily paid for by THE LYING BASTARDS of The Conservative and - HELLO DAVID BLUNKETT - New Labour groups. Things like the £250 MILLION POUNDS that we would have to pay THE ELECTION PIXIES for the NON-EXISTENT VOTING MACHINES. FOR FCUK'S SAKE. Or "It Isn't British", as if ANYTHING is MORE British than slow, very mild reform based on compromise and fudged deals. GOOD GOD we are a nation that has "Anything For A Quiet Life" as our NATIONAL MOTTO, you'd think we'd be wrapping BUNTING round the ballot boxes! And let's not forget "It helps extremists" when a) it does the OPPOSITE and b) the way to combat extremism is through argument and persuasion, NOT THROUGH KNACKERING THE VOTING SYSTEM.
The most upsetting thing for me though is HOW MUCH this final group of arguments have been repeated. All my life I have clung obstinately to the optimistic viewpoint that PEOPLE ARE NOT DAFT and if you TRUST people they will show themselves to be DECENT and HONEST. That's why I've always LOATHED Marxists ideas about "False Consciousness" (i.e. "the reason the working class haven't done what we've told them and thrown over Capitalism is NOT Marx's fault, it's because the working class is thick" - i PARAPHRASE, but that's the basic idea). But over the past few weeks I've seen SO MUCH BILGE sprayed out by the Tories and their lackeys and so often heard it parroted back by people in all walks of life that I do start to wonder.
Sorry if this is a bit GRUMPIER/ARSIER than normal, it has all been in my BRANE. I'm very much looking forward, next week, to NOT thinking about this so much (and probably not getting to talk about it SO much for the next 30 years...). It's been INTERESTING to have one of MY personal bugbears become a subject of National "Debate", but it'll be a relief to get back to the simple joys of JUST ROCK AND ROLL soon!
So come on everyone, let's have one last singalong before it fades into history - take it away, Me Sat At The Computer!
posted 5/5/2011 by MJ Hibbett
But surely if Mr Falafel only wants to vote for one person then he could still do that after AV! You could still just put your number one preference couldn't you, you dont need to rank everyone in order if you really can't be bothered, so that's not really an argument. Still, I did my bit, went up with my three year old Dinosaur Planet fan who after asking me several time on the way to the polling station "why we voting here? why we vote? but why we vote here?" was alternating between singing "I'm saying yes... Nick Clegg" and Doctorin the Tardis by the KLF. he wanted to vote Dalek I think. i've gone off my point slightly, if ever I had one.... bye.
posted 6/5/2011 by matt
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