Don’t worry guys, I’m not about to get all political on you. Even politics isn’t political anymore. I’ll be the first person to hold my hands up and say I can’t stand election time. I avoid the bitching prattle of newspapers for the month and switch to Buzzfeed lists of stupid cats. My down time involves Netflix, baked goods and a kettle rather than placards, BBC Twitter feeds and ‘funny’ political cartoons.
BUT, before you all start throwing things at me in public, let me make it clear that I registered, I read the manifestos, I watched the debate, I begged my sister not to vote Tory, all the usual pre-election steps. And of course I voted when the day rolled around. The hashtags were everywhere, #Ivoted, #voting, angry statuses were crowding from left right and centre (ha), all united in ‘we don’t care who you vote for, just vote’, ‘exercise your right’, ‘people died for us to vote’ – it was all very dramatic. It all made me wonder: did the rest of the country read manifestos? Did they watch the debate? Or did they vote blindly in a Facebook-induced panic for the party already in power, because, in their view, ‘at least it won’t get any worse…’?
Or maybe it was Wallace’s (I mean Miliband’s…) famous sandwich-eating screw face that did it for voters. I don’t know what all of Ed’s stats are, I don’t know the ins and outs of his tax reform plans, but I do know what he looks like when he eats a bacon butty. That’s this election in a nutshell for you. There were giant tombstone manifestos, there were minor stumbles on camera that became slow-mos on Youtube, even Al Murray and Russel Brand jumped on the band wagon. Apparently gay marriage caused mass floods, we discovered that Farage allegedly has put many a bun in an oven (an important factor in a strong political leader – a strong sperm count), and Labour’s stone-carved pledges are already being sold up the river on Ebay. Something horrendous happened and it went by the name of #Milifandom. All in a few month’s work.
So back to that question – what did we learn from this random mishmash of social media mockery? I heard phrases like ‘I would’ve voted Green but there was no point…’ and this anomaly of ‘a wasted vote’ was thrown around all over the place. We learned that we like to play it safe, because if Labour or the Conservatives aren’t in power, how will some exotic newbie know what the hell is happening?! It will end in an apocalypse, four horsemen, lots and lots of traffic jams to Gatwick airport (at least immigration won’t be an issue anymore…)
But let’s give ourselves credit, we knew all that. We know ourselves, we know we don’t like change, we know we’re too busy to achieve a Master’s degree in economics to actually vote knowledgeably for the right party, and we do the same bodge job every year. So what did we learn?
Folks, I have no idea. Don’t eat messy food anywhere near a journalist? Setting your pledges in stone won’t actually set your pledges in stone? We didn’t learn, again, seems to be the answer. We’ve chained ourselves to our respective Labour or Tory views and we’ll do the same thing every five years. And every five years, there will always be an expertly timed snap of half eaten food stuffed into a politician’s mouth.