Politics: MTM’s post election rantathon.

You’re probably wondering whether or not I’m still alive so I thought I’d better put your mind at rest. To be honest, there are three reasons for my absence, first a sudden and abrupt cessation of all free downloads for my books had me scurrying to tweak key words, check categories etc on all the major book retail sites – I’m still none the wiser and thinking I’ll probably have to chalk it up to experience… ‘kismet Hardy’ and all that.

Second, I’ve had to learn to do some stuff and it took a while… more on that story next post.

Third, the election. For those who don’t know, there’s been an election here in the UK and even for politics, this one has left a really bad taste in the mouth. Perhaps I spend too much time on the internet but the whole thing seems to have been fought on the politics of hate: them and us, rich and poor, north and south.  I wanted to post something but I was so annoyed that I couldn’t make it articulate or un ranty enough. At the same time, I couldn’t  manage to post anything else until I’d written about the election. I’m still having difficulty being articulate and it’s still a bit of a rantathon. But it’s been a whole month now and this will have to do.

The aftermath of the election was also grim. There was a lot of silly, shitty ‘people who voted for … are the devil’s spawn’ style generalisations on Facebook. One person even asked that anyone who’d voted for one party to unfriend her because she didn’t want to know them. Like uh? For real?

That seems a little extreme. Perhaps there’s a very real need in all of us for a religion, or something like it. But I wonder how it is that people who are staunch rationalists or atheists are sometimes able to turn to politics with the exact same zeal and blind belief that they mock in those of religion. Maybe the human psyche has to believe ‘passionately’ in something. But believing in a political party? I have strong beliefs on what is right and wrong but the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ of politics seems quite murky. A party which has some great ideas in its manifesto is guaranteed to have some that, to my mind anyway, are complete pants at best, at worst, wrong or possibly even unwittingly evil. So it’s a case of compromise there’s no perfect absolute. Not for me. I’m drifting from the point though. Back to the them and us.

Doubtless all this categorising of other humans rallies the troops and makes it easier to produce catchy sound bites but unfortunately, it tends to do so at the expense of a huge uplift in pointless, ignorance-based, alienation and hatred. Perhaps I’m sensitive about this, because in the eyes of a sizeable chunk of the population my geographical origins render me unspeakable, so I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of it over the years.

That’s also why I, personally, can no more think it’s ‘the right thing to do’ to vote blindly for one political party without thought than I could cut my own arm off. Would we put such unthinking trust in a group of fallible humans if they were running a multinational? Should we blindly obey people who want us to vote for their right to wield power and run a whole country? Probably not. Let’s face it, power is guaranteed to bring out the bad side of the strongest among us. So my view is that we need to mix the ruling parties up as regularly as possible so they don’t get too used to it and remember who put them where they are.

However, despite not liking politics, or politicians, very much I think standing with your fingers in your ears going, ‘la la la la I’m not going to play’ and refusing to vote is probably worse. Yes, I’m sure if nobody voted they’d have to change but I doubt that would be with the revolution some folks want. Most likely they’d simply take even less notice of those they are supposed to govern than they do now. Or we’d really have a revolution. Like Syria. There are few things more uncivil than a civil war.

As a child, I grew up in a situation where the people around me came from all walks of life, all social backgrounds and all levels of income, and they were friends. I’ve never quite got the hang of ‘them and us’ because the people in my life have always been too eclectic a mix so support the concept. Everyone was a ‘them’ of some sort. As a result of this, when I vote, I vote for the people I think will do the least damage to the country at the time. I have voted Green, Liberal, Labour and Conservative.

That’s why I found it profoundly depressing: the way that this election seemed to be fought on the politics of hate, with (otherwise) intelligent rational individuals urging us to vote for their respective political parties – on the internet at any rate –  on the grounds that it was ‘the right thing to do’: as if their manifesto was some infallible dictat laid down by God, while at the same time happily mouthing poisonous platitudes from the mother ship decrying the moral turpitude of anyone who voted for a different bunch.

Do we really fall for this ‘everyone in party x is a knob’ style shit?

The fact is this.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE WANKERS IN THE WORLD. I know! Drop down dead in shock! But yes it’s true. A small minority of the human race are just total tossers. Nothing will change this and it isn’t anyone’s fault. But, contrary to popular belief, their monthly income, accent, occupation, the identity of their antecedents, whether or not they’re vegetarian are allergy sufferers or drive a certain type of car, or drive at all, their birth place, current home, school they went to, parents’ occupation, gender, social standing, social background, stance on animal rights, religion, colour or political affiliation has absolutely NO bearing on whether or not a person will be a twat. In short you cannot just pick a random aspect or experience about their life and say that everyone else who shares it is a tosser, well… I suppose you can, but only if you’re a tosser of epic proportions yourself.

So there we go peps, when you next read a statement that runs along the lines of ‘everyone who voted labour is a twat,’ or conversely, ‘anyone who voted conservative is a knob,’ made by someone pitching it as actual truth, we can all have a quiet chuckle at who the real dick head is.

On the up side, my faith in the British public has been boosted enormously by the fact that UKIP didn’t get in.

For a light hearted take on the way we in the, laughingly named, ‘united’ Kingdom all hate each other, just spool to 2.45 on this vid and watch Andy Parsons sum it up.

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14 Comments

Filed under General Wittering

14 responses to “Politics: MTM’s post election rantathon.

  1. Welcome back. I try to avoid politics, but it sounds like business as usual for those power hungry, immature bastards that are running the world like a kid who needs a time out. At least around here.

  2. *applause*

    YES. YES. ALL OF THIS.

    Of course, politicians love the ‘us and them’ narrative, because if you can convince someone that anyone who votes [insert opposing party] is [insert insult] then you’ve got yourself a loyal voter. But as you say, it’s a shame the rest of us fall for it.

    • I guess with Cameron doing the come on let’s stick together thing the others are bound to go all out to prove him wrong – even if that means rubbing salt into old wounds to jemmy people apart – just so they can say, ‘I told you so.’

  3. We were all surprised by the results too but we didn’t have much time to dwell on them as things were hotting up here for the same sex marriage referendum (passed thank goodness).
    I have to admit it is nice to leave reality sometimes and go and stick my head in a book 🙂

  4. We had a foretaste of this kind of thing in the Scottish referendum campaign, which was extremely stressful and in fact resulted in someone de-friending me on Facebook because I voted differently from her. I feel that some of the political parties have almost become cults that suck people in and then won’t let go.

    • Hello there Celia, woman of mystery, thanks for popping in.

      I hear you…. I’m from the south coast but McOther is Scottish and I found that quite upsetting. Nobody on either side seemed to have thought anything through and no-one answered any questions, they just accused the interviewers of only asking because they were Scottish/English git and/or biased in favour of the other side. I’m sure it’s opened a lot of old wounds. Here’s hoping they soon heal.

      Cheers

      MTM

  5. Jemima Pett

    I got all my election updates from HIGNFY. It was all I could stomach.

    As for your cessation of free downloads… is this Amazon? They stopped pricing-matching my free first book on B&N, iTunes etc and put it back to 99p in mid May, 1 year after they price-matched. I’ve been getting more downloads from iTunes than Amazon recently so I don’t really mind.

    • It is. I think I might be able to sort it out, it’s just a question of identifying where people are looking but fewer books are listed. I used to use two pieces of software and get it done in a tick but one has completely broken now so I’m having to do it manually, using the other, which is not quite as reliable.

  6. Thanks for writing this. It reflects my own thoughts almost exactly. I appreciate the fact that many people have strong beliefs, and I have no objection to them being shared (and in fact that is preferable than the kind of designer ‘whatever’ apathy affected by some), but it should always be done with respect and sensitivity. And I despise the kind of self-righteous tribal clichés about how the Evil Tories secretly intend to turn the NHS into a giant baby-eating farm for rich Eton toffs, or Labour are planning to sell Big Ben to Alex Salmond and he’s going to paint it bright blue just to annoy the English*, or something like that.

    (*Though actually I wouldn’t put that past Alex Salmond. He’s a surprising man.)

    Politics is not black and white. None of the parties has a monopoly on probity or compassion. I decided to vote for the party who I thought that, on balance, were less likely to screw up the country during the next five years. I may be right or I may be wrong, but I’m tired of being effectively branded selfish, uncaring and/or stupid for doing so, often unwittingly by ‘friends’ who don’t know how I voted because I didn’t tell them (and I’m glad I didn’t). (You might be able to guess who I voted for.)

    • Thank you for dropping in. It’s lovely to find someone else who sees the world the way I do. I was beginning to wonder if I was going mad when I wrote this. I agree Mr Salmond is quite eccentric. I absolutely got where he was coming from wanting independence for Scotland but I am not sure that ‘because the English are bastards’ is a sound campaigning platform. All the issues seemed to be fought on preconceptions of others that might well have been true about 50 years ago but aren’t now. Sounds like you voted for the same bunch I did and for the same reason.

      Cheers

      MTM

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