I’m not that fussed how you vote

Ballot Box

If the last few years have proved anything, it is that we have problems with the operators in all our political parties, the difference is, we have manipulative, selfish billionaires mostly driving the Conservative Party and manipulative, selfish millionaires everywhere else.

First, vote…

That doesn’t mean, however, that voting doesn’t matter. It’s not going to solve our problems, but it is important for two reasons:

One is that it sends a message. Politicians are pathetically concerned with how people are feeling about them, and like selfish people everywhere, they are far more aware of negatives so not voting for those currently in government — those who have been depriving, deceiving and killing our people for the last decade or so matters. If you agree, don’t vote Tory.

Second, let people know you intend to vote

The other is that we need more participation in our politics, not less. If you just don’t vote, you make it look easier for the powers that be to drop the whole idea of letting people vote. So please do vote. In most constituencies, you can only vote negative. There is unlikely to be a candidate who can make much difference for you, but you could make a point of voting against a Tory, to demonstrate that we’ve had enough of their behaviour. You can make that more useful by keeping an eye on the preferences in your constituency come the election, and working out who stands the best chance of beating a Tory, and voting for them.

That doesn’t take much effort, and doesn’t justify the millions and millions of words being spilled onto social media every day about how and why we could put up with voting for this or that party.

But in the meantime, do something useful…

What really matters is that we all resolve to use our vote, then stop wasting our efforts and our attention on it. What desperately, desperately needs our attention is what else we can do to improve the state of politics in our country. What we need is thousands and thousands of people addressing the real issues, such as saving our health service, rescuing people stuck in poverty and/or homelessness, addressing the refugee crisis (which is, of course, a crisis of wars and climate catastrophes, not ‘invasions’ by imagined hordes of enemies) and the cost of living crisis (which is, of course, a crisis of billionaires thieving, not a result of this war, or that vote). Hordes of people, getting behind campaigns that matter to them, and being heard — is the single and only thing that stands any chance of scaring our politicians away from being destructive, and every horde starts with one person saying “Let’s do this….” and those around them turning up an joining in…

This is the most important thing Jeremy Corbyn ever said:

Jeremy Corbyn poster - "It's not me they fear: ITS YOU"

Oh, and — the reason I don’t think it’s helpful to ignore a world of destruction because of that single issue that is the world to you is not that I don’t take your priorities seriously, it’s that it’s just too easy for a rubbish candidate to think, ‘oh, some key people in my constituency think X is the big issue, so I’ll say a lot of good things about X. I can easily drop it after the election…’ It is far more effective to expend your energy persuading others in your community that your issue is important. Help a sea-change happen. If it does, the politicians will follow.

In the meantime, please stop filling pub talk, newspapers and social media with who to vote for or not vote for, and why, let’s apply ourselves instead to what the trade unions, campaign groups and community groups are doing, and with what the people in  your town/estate/street are doing – anything that builds community, and builds people’s confidence for thinking this through, coming together, giving ourselves some power, and changing things.


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