View from the chair
So, it's election time again isn't it? Well Hoorah for democracy!
So, to vote or not to vote?
Well, ok, so I want to say yes, but yours truly here, formerly a died in the wool red socialist, would currently have to say that I'm still one of the great undecided. Of course everyone's saying that it's impossible to call it this time with our dear friends the Tories looking like getting the most seats but unlikely to be able to find enough people who want to be their friends, so probably struggling to form a government. Then there's those lovely Labour folks, almost certain to come in second place, but with quite a few wanting to be all friendly with them and give them lots of hugs, enough probably to put Mr Ed into downing street if he lets them. Only he's said he won't. "No thank you, I don't want to be your friend, I just want to sit in peace and eat a bacon sandwich".
But why is it so close? There's a lot of theories of course, but for what it's worth here's mine.
Back in the good old days of politics when Labour were on the left, the Conservatives were on the right, The Liberals were in the kitchen hoping someone would talk to them and everyone else was the Monster Raving Loony Party, things were a bit more clear cut. Working class people were socialists, Upper class people were Tories and there was a bit of an overlap in the middle. But both big parties used to set out there stall, say "This is what we've got" and if you liked it, you voted for them. Easy. Now however, everyone in politics seems too scared to tell us what they have, preferring instead to say "what would you like?" and then saying "Oh yes, we have that, lots of it, vote for us". The net result of this is that both of the big parties are trying to say that they can do what the majority of people want. The majority of course by its very definition is the centre 80% of people, so we end up with the two big guys chasing exactly the same group of voters, offering them pretty much the same thing and as a result being neck and neck in the polls. The Liberals in the meantime of course are shouting "Hey, we're supposed to be in the middle, you stole our votes" but also "We'll play with you honest, we'll be your best mates, gis a job". Of course into the fray we now have the Greens and UKIP trying to mop up the stray 20% and these two in themselves are a couple of odd prospects. What we seem to have in UKIP is a right wing party for the working class, and in the greens, a left wing party for the rich (and dare I say it "Nimby") crowd.
So who is it going to be? Well it does look likely that David Cameroon and his henchman George "Ozzy" Osbourne are probably going to get the most seats. The big thing for them though is are they going to have enough seats to form a government, and if not, who is going to team up with them? Well there's good old Nick Clegg of course. Does anyone else know that a Clegg is a particularly vicious type of horsefly that attaches itself firmly to you, sucks out your blood and (seriously, look on Google to see what a Clegg bite looks like) leaves you looking like a bit like a tit. The thing is that dear Mr Clegg looks like being wiped from the political map with vague hopes of retaining his own seat (though that in itself could go Tory) and perhaps some Scottish islands and the odd few South Western outposts. Speaking of Scotland, more soon. The other one that many think as a good partner for David is that Mr Farage with his rabid band of drooling loonies loosely cobbled together under the vague pretence of being a political party. I think one of the wisest things David has ever done is keep his distance there. Let's hope it stays that way or god help us all.
So anyway, there's Mr Ed Millibland and his entourage. Maybe the bland bit has taken a bit of a turn though, especially now he's good friends with everyone's favourite androgenous loud mouth with a beard called Russell. So perhaps now Ed Millibrand? Poor old Ed though, judged more on his ability to eat a bacon sarnie than to potentially run our nation. And he could you know. All he has to do is seriously look at some of the coalition options available to him. There's the SNP wanting to jump into bed with him. Figuratively. I think... Then of course there's old Cleggy again (by the way, does he still do the voice for Wallace and Gromitt?) who has demonstrated that he's the political equivalent of Italy's wartime governments and prepared to join anyone who looks like a safe bet for 50p and a go on your bike. The Greens and Plaid Cymru have also hinted that they would join any gang prepared to corner David Cameron and nick his pocket money at playtime as well, so there's plenty of options for Mr Ed, but he may just be alienating himself that little bit too much by saying no to them all.
So the Scottish thing is interesting. Having rolled out another leader whose surname is a type of fish (rumour has it that their next leader will be Private Pike from Dad's army, then Captain Haddock from Tin Tin), the SNP have turned out to be rather good, and suddenly everyone is shitting themselves. Labour seem to know somewhere in their heart that they need these folks to help them get into power, but are terrified of the prospect and are still boldly claiming they don't need them. The Tories are also well aware that Labour need this lot to help them get into power so David is sending Nicola flowers and chocolates and offering to meet her behind the bike shed after school. Nicola of course is rubbing her hands together knowing that she holds at least a nine high flush, possibly better and that she'll soon have the option of saying "We'll join you and give you power as long as you then let us and the rest of Scotland fuck off on our own and leave you right up you know which creek with no visible means of propulsion". This of course is making Plaid Cymru very sad with their big broken dreams of being another serious contender as an independence party. Unfortunately for them, it seems that Labour are still quite good in Wales and still hold as much appeal in the valleys as a good hymn and the rustle of dry lettuce (Rustle, not Russell, leave it Brand).
The Greens of course are still green and care little whether we have any money as long as we save the trees and all build hydro electric dams in our gardens. They might win Brighton again, but then they might lose to someone who used to be a green, but has left them but is still green at heart, so I guess has to be called Verdant or something now.
Northern Ireland politics is something I don't understand in a big way. There are obvious serious divides between the largely Protestant Unionist parties who could end up helping out the Tories and the largely Catholic Republican parties who are a natural political ally for Labour other than the fact that any concession to the Republicans would be a concession to break up the union, and none of the big parties are going to do that.
So my overall opinion? I'm voting for that bloke that used to do the Crystal Maze - I think he might be interesting and could win in Surbiton. If he stands. Start the fans please.