## Please note, all opinions expressed in this blog are mine, not anyone elses and not belonging to any company or whatever else usually goes into this bit in a column heading in a national newspaper ##
It was the Uni Guild Presidential Elections last week. Overnight, the campus became strewn with soggy painted cardboard signs declaring to us unaware mortals that so-and-so were standing for election. We had no idea what they were standing for, or who these people who wanted to represent us were. The paint and messages had run on practically all of the signs very quickly, which is rather a sad metaphor because I am not entirely sure what the Union actually do… apparently they meet up monthly, run mentors and lobby the university as well as putting on social events. All I recognise them doing is hosting one social event per week, having a couple of people sat behind the reception desk and putting multicoloured scarves on the mermaid in the square.
Its practically parallel to the real government. People vote for parties, and what they *roughly* stand for as opposed to the individual MPs for each area. And in ‘safe’ seats, well, there really isn’t much point voting is there? That apathy towards voting seems to have been amok on university this past week. By Friday, we had candidates coming into our lectures saying they honestly don’t care who we vote for now, but can we please vote!! I voted, of course, because I am of the opinion that:
IF YOU DON’T VOTE, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE POLICIES/DECISIONS MADE.
Its really that simple, even if your vote won’t count, vote. Because then, you can complain vehemently about how shocking this was, or that was. Looking at figures from the 2010 General Election, hardly anyone voted! It’s phenomenal. I guess, people are so disillusioned with the system, or know that their vote isn’t worth anything because they vote labour in a traditionally conservative seat. Or maybe they are like me, and think that it really doesn’t matter who is ‘in power’ because nothing will bally well change anyway. The two parties spend all their time making cheap shots at the others policies, that they forget what is really important. Its all well and good Mr Milliband saying that ‘The tories promised this, and haven’t delivered, we promise to change that’, but I think the question everyone will be asking is how??? Cameron is still criticising Labour, and Miliband has decided to announce ‘One nation Labour’ – which is absurd! All of it! Its amazing how absurd politics has become. People should go into politics because – and everyone take a deep breath here, because I am about to say something scandalous – they want to actually make a difference to people’s lives. And that isn’t just one class of people, its about helping everyone. Poor politicians. Maybe they started off with good intentions, but lost them along the way on their quest to power.
Look at it objectively: It doesn’t really matter which party you vote for. In the end, Labour are Conservatives with red coats of, and Conservatives are labour with blue coats on. The parties have merged so much to the point they are virtually indistinguishable. They both want to support big businesses, make lots of money for those with money anyway, and hide the poor out of sight. Perhaps it would help to have some in charge of government (maybe just a few) who have experienced a normal upbringing – for example, went to a comprehensive school and had a real life. I have nothing against a private education, some of my best friends were privately educated, but they have been ‘bubbled’ – they are protected from the harsh realities of real life, and they think they know what real life is. I find it amazing that Miliband claims to know how it feels to be normal, when he went to a well to do private school, and sounds it. He wouldn’t last two minutes in the estate I grew up on. I consider myself ‘multi-lingual’ – I speak properly, and I speak estate. I don’t think any of the leaders have had to scrimp and save for months to buy christmas presents, or had to tell their children that the holiday (camping for two nights in Dartmouth) has had to be cancelled because there was an unexpected bill.
One day, hey? Well, I can hope.