Ah, politics. I hate it. I hate it so much that I’m actually really, really interested in it but I want to punch most people in the face when they post about it on Social Media, make jokes that make me realise I don’t understand as much as I think I understand, or just generally share an opinion.
I never want to be dragged in to a debate. One of my friends (I actually wouldn’t use that word – he’s actually the husband of one of my friends, so basically somebody who has been thrust into my life and onto my Facebook newsfeed without me choosing to have him there) posted something very arrogant and very, very incorrect about the election a couple of weeks ago. I stepped in with a reasonable* comment to let him know that he was incorrect, and he replied with kind of an insult. In that moment I thought of at least four fantastic comebacks which would have been very hurtful to him personally, and I was a grown up and didn’t utter a word. I was so angry for the rest of the day that I couldn’t sleep and, even now, my hands subconsciously form into fists when I think about it. I didn’t even mean to tell that story, but it was on my mind and it just came spilling out. Grr.
So anyway. Today is a politically nothing-y day, really. We go and draw our little crosses on a slip of paper, and then have to sit around awkwardly avoiding political conversations with people at work whose opinion would be severely affected if they knew you were a virulent UKIP supporter, or a hemp-wearing Green Party fan (for the record, I am neither of those things). If we go near the internet we’re subjected to people wrongly thinking their Twitter followers care in any way about their personal leanings, and if we go near the TV or radio (because I am old-fashioned) we’re subjected to news bulletins urgently reminding us that NOTHING HAS HAPPENED YET.
Nothing is really going to happen today, anyway. Sophie Raworth is going to be jumping around on a giant map outside Broadcasting House. She might get something funny yelled at her by a drunk stumbling away from Oxford Street at 1am if we’re really lucky. Jeremy Vine is going to be galloping around like a loon inside a CGI version of the Houses of Parliament, and colouring in the seats at his own whim. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I would pay good money to sit in the studio and see what he looks like before they add the graphics that make him look a tiny bit less mental. At 2am we might find out the results for a couple of seats – which is really only a good indicator of places you don’t want to visit. If you really think about it, it means they either contain over-zealous counting fans, or are so small there’s probably nothing there. It’s so much easier to sleep through it all and wake up to find there’s a new posh man in charge who isn’t going to really change very much.
But I bloody love it. I wasn’t so interested last time, for my first ever general election. I think I actually accidentally spoiled my ballot because I didn’t realise you weren’t allowed to tick the box instead of using a cross. I mean, seriously, people are clever enough to be trusted to ensure that our democratic system is upheld and yet they’re not bright enough to realise that a tick is probably a person saying ‘yes, I choose this candidate’? I’m still bitter. Anyway.
I turned up at the polling station before it even opened today. I was so excited to be the first person to cast a vote in my constituency. I imagined there was some kind of badge of honour, or possibly fanfare involved. There was not. And, despite me being there at godawful-o’clock (6:55am) I was the fourth person in line. And now I have to wait a whole five years until I can enter that race again. Next time I think I’m bringing a tent and just camping out. That gives me five years to get myself a tent. Or a life. Things could go either way. I guess it’ll all depend on who’s in charge in 2020.
*Obviously, even if it wasn’t a reasonable comment I, as one half of the argument, would be inclined to say that it was. However, on this occasion I’m actually in the right.**
**No, really. I am.