Well things have been silent for a long, long time on this blog. I haven't posted for 18 months and in the main, that is due to a real piece of happiness in my life. I'm engaged, getting married in September and have somehow done what I never thought I would be able to do and moved away from the town of Bournemouth and into the "wilds" of Dorset. Things couldn't get much better on the personal front.
But the reason for this post is not to sicken you all with that kind of good news, it is to focus on the European Elections that have just occurred here in the UK and across Europe. Over hear, the UK Independence Party has won the majority of seats in the European Parliament at the cost of seats for the Conservatives and Lib Dem's who have seen their support crumble. The most interesting fact of this election, however, is the damning verdict on voter apathy.
Latest figures indicate 34.19% of voters turned out.
That means that two thirds of the voting population didn't bother to vote and that, for me, is a scary statistic that, if replicated in the general election next year, will lead to no overall majority for any political party and no clear direction for this country. Why should I be worried? Well why should be ALL be worried? Because apathy, the likes of which politics has seen in recent years will simply lead to those in power having a greater degree of autonomy and have very little to answer for. If two thirds of the country aren't bothered about who represents them, then it is clearly the case that the politicians will not be representing the views of the vast majority who have the right to vote!
All this talk about "landslide victories" and "earthquakes" in politics is a nonsense, because the vast majority of the electorate has not been engaged. Controversially, my view is that it is down to the electorate themselves to educate themselves on what matters to them and make their vote count, not that it is down to the politicians to engage us and make us vote for them! Vote with your feet, get down to the polling stations and make your vote count. if you don't like any of the political parties then spoil your paper! Let them know they failed you! Staying away and not voting, or not voting by post even, is a sure-fire way to get your views ignored.
Are politicians all as bad as each other? Probably, but that's not the point here! If you don't like them, don't vote for them! But vote for something! That is the key. Abstaining entirely does nothing for anyone and doesn't tell the establishment at all what your view is. Doodling on your ballot paper, believe it or not, will in fact tell them that you think the system needs changing because you don't agree with it!
I have heard people say, "I chose not to vote because I didn't want to" then when queried in more detail, normally say "I don't know enough about them and I think they're all corrupt". That is a perfectly valid opinion and one you should jot down on your ballot form and hand in!! That counts completely as a "spoiled ballot" which they are duty bound to count up and declare! If everyone who chose note to vote provided a spoiled ballot paper instead, the country would have to realise that the system is not working and do something about it!
Who you actually vote for if you've a particular persuasion is absolutely none of my business, my only passion on this is that I would urge you all to at least take the five minutes to scribble on your paper, or put an X in a box somewhere.
In this day and age, we all have more of a voice than ever and there is no reason or excuse why you would not want to have it heard, even if it is simply to say "Balls to the lot of you, I'm not gonna vote". That is actually saying what you feel and making sure they damn well know about it! You owe it to yourself, you owe it to those who gave their lives to save this country from oppression in multiple conflicts, you owe it to those who gave their lives to fight for the right to vote but most importantly, you owe it to those who have no voice yet, our children.
You have their voice. Use it.