Driving my children home from school yesterday I slowed as I made my way down a busy residential road, eyes focussed on the middle distance, ears tuning in to an alien sound….

A loud hailer playing something akin to fairground music…

Piped messages of hope and glory…..

Then the horrible realisation of what I was following:

I must have sworn out loud because what followed was an attempt to explain to an 8yo what the raison d’Γͺtre of the BNP is? Ever tried? It’s not an easy one, and it ended with me summing up with “Basically they hate everyone”.

The whole experience worried me. How did we get to this? Although I did take come comfort from the light-relief option offered by twitter. I liked that a lot:

But the serious message is that this is where apathy leads.Β  You may not know who you want to vote for tomorrow, you may feel that the choices you have are all rubbish, or that no one is good enough to do the job, but by stepping back or conscientiously objecting you’re risking a lot.

Liz at Violet Posy posted a great link on her blog yesterday. The premise is that you decide initially on the four areas that are most important to you, eg Crime, Welfare, Education, Healthcare and then you’re presented with a series of statements (none of them attributed to any party).Β  You read through the statements, deciding which most resonates with you.Β  Once you’ve completed the process, it matches you to a political party. It does take a bit of time, but IMHO it’s time very well spent.

Please, please do go and vote tomorrow. Follow your instincts and make a choice, there’s an awful lot riding on it.

Is This What You Want?
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28 thoughts on “Is This What You Want?

  • May 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Oh my god that’s horrific! Hopefully we’ll see the back of them Friday x

  • May 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Apathy is the most worrying aspect for me. 22YO son has been checking out all the policies and knows, absolutely, which way he’s voting. On the other hand my 20YO son has decided he’s not voting at all. We’ve had HUGE discussions round the dinner table about why. His response? None of them are any good, nothing will change, what’s the point? And the scariest one? “It won’t make any difference to me” Oh dear god..Grrr, my grandmother would turn in her grave. I’m turning in my grave! Nothing we say or try to explain to him seems to make any difference. I feel a (little) bit of a failure about it actually. I will persevere, till 10pm tomorrow!

  • May 5, 2010 at 10:49 am

    If I’d seen that with my children, it wouldn’t be “What’s the BNP?” I’d be having to answer, but “What does ‘f***ing racist c***s’ mean, daddy?” πŸ˜‰

  • May 5, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Scary. For the first time ever I have taken the time to do some digging and learn a bit more and I feel really pleased that I have cast my vote. I even arranged postal vote as I knew it might slip otherwise with everything so hectic for us right now. I am officially Smug from Edinburgh. I just hope it does the job come Friday morning. Congrats on your mads thing! πŸ™‚

  • May 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

    The BNP is the reason why I’m splitting my ticket tomorrow. No, it’s not a surgical procedure. I’ll be voting red in the General Election, but we have local elections too. In my town it’s a two horse race with the Lib Dems just ahead of the despicable, hateful BNP. A Labour vote would be a wasted vote so I’m voting Lib Dem to keep the fascists out.

    I completely echo your sentiments, P. Bad politicians get elected when good voters stay at home. Don’t let them in.

  • May 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Trying to explain the election process to the mini-MD’s was tough enough without the BNP. Makes your blood run cold doesn’t it? Thanks for the link to VPosy, I shall be going over and doing the online thingy. I’m in a real quandry here. We are one of the “controversial” seats with Torys only pipping LibDems in last GE by just over 1000 votes. Labour haven’t got a hope in The Shire. Question for me is do I follow my political preference or do I tactical vote to hope Tory’s lose a seat & LDs gain?

    Funny times. Some more reading and decision making to be done today. I’m so glad my blogger mates are taking this seriously. Apathy and failing to exercise your right to vote are not an option in my very humble opinion.

    Whenever I think of the BNP the quote which runs through my brain is Burke’s “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    MD xx

  • May 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Nothing worse that someone giving out about the current political leaders when they haven’t bothered to go and vote themselves. VOTE! Jen.

  • May 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Yes indeed! Go Vote! You have just left the 1000th comment on my blog! That’s in total obv – you haven’t left me quite that many πŸ˜‰ x

  • May 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    It really is a dilemma, we’re in a Tory seat too but Labour have been more popular than LibDems but that’s not necessarily the case now. Buckingham is my neighbouring constituency and it’s where the kids go to school etc, in fact where we do everything except vote.

    The BNP, UKIP and Tories are the 3 main options there – it’s unbelievable, and horribly concerning. That said, Bercow is a good local councillor and deffo the pick of the bunch so if I had to choose then he’d get my vote.

    Burke’s quote is exactly what was in my head when I wrote this post – it’s too easy too assume that everyone will do the ‘right thing’…


  • May 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks πŸ™‚ I’m trying to work it all out here. The BNP fiasco is all going on in Buckingham, my neighbouring constituency. Here it’s less clear cut, so might call for some strategic voting….. more research to be done tonight!

  • May 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Congratulations Smug from Edinburgh – that’s a good way to do it, wish I’d been that organised! It’s well worthwhile, I’m learning a lot – not least that I am not ethically completely aligned with any one party, but that’s not a good enough reason to abstain! I will be reading more tonight and trotting along in the morning to do my thing πŸ™‚

    P.S Thanks for the mads thing congrats too – pretty chuffed πŸ™‚

  • May 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    LOL, he is a scary looking man πŸ™‚

  • May 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    That pretty much sums up the situation πŸ˜‰

  • May 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    That site is great too – thanks for the link πŸ™‚ We’re a Tory stronghold here so there’s lots of talk of strategic voting…I’m still mulling, probably will be right up to the point I put my Xs in the boxes.

    P.S Big congrats on making the MADS final x

  • May 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I’m feeling quite nervous about tomorrow. I know whoever gets in is going to have a hell of a time but part of me feels it is a chance to do something different. However, to do that lots of us need to be brave. I just hope that the BNP falls flat on its racist head!

  • May 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I’m going to go against the grain here.

    My own apathy is not something I’m particularly proud of – I’m reading on so many blogs about how important it is to vote and many of the arguments resonate with me – they really do.

    But the choices we have are so limited. The parties are so similar these days – the ideological gap between Labour and the conservatives is just becoming ever closer – and the fact is that I don’t trust any of them. Todays politicians are all careerists. They do not represent me – they have no idea what life is like for the ordinary people they believe themselves qualified to govern.

    I think very low voter turn-out is a strong statement in itself. It is a massive vote of no confidence in the political process and in the people that shape it.

    There is no point in voting where I live anyway. The nationalists always win by a huge margin so it matters not a jot whether I vote or not. If I thought the BNP had any chance whatsoever of gaining power in my constituency, I would change my mind and vote to keep them out though. I’m sure even the most apathetic amongst us would probably make an exception in that case.

  • May 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Don’t worry, I’m voting to keep UKIP and the BNP out (although round here surely UKIP is the greater threat…?)

  • May 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    God the sight of it makes my blood boil! Its hard isnt it. When kids ask questions like that. What do you say? Its a hard one. I will be voting tomorrow although still undecided, about to do some research πŸ™‚

  • May 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I had a HUGE row on Sunday night with a friend of ours about the BNP. He was determined to vote for them and I told him that I respected HIS views but he had no idea about their secondary policies. I think it’s safe to say that he knows now and hopefully won’t be voting for them tomorrow πŸ˜‰

  • May 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Vote for Policies is a great site if only to focus your mind in this bewildering world of spin and smoke n mirrors.
    Everyone wanted an Obama like no-brainer candidate but we we don’t get that option do we? No! We get 3 middle of the road white men offering variations on the same theme. No wonder idiotic vile parties like BNP are starting to get a look in. BNP and UKIP only growing in numbers because mainstream poilticians are afraid to tackle immigration issues.

    Vote tomorrow. Ignore the rhetoric. Vote for the party you think are the most fair. That’s our responsibility isn’t it?

  • May 9, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Late to reply but here we are and we still don’t know what’s going on! Despite the fact that half a million idiots voted BNP, at least Nick Griffin lost his seat – it will obviously need sanitising before anyone else can use it though xx

  • May 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    There are always exceptions indeed, and I can see how it’s easy to be apathetic. Where we live, it was a done deal, always been the same, but I still went and voted and it felt good – It didn’t feel hopeless because I’d used my voice and it meant that the gap between the winning candidate and my choice was 1 vote smaller.

    I understand how you feel about the ideological gap narrowing, I went on the sites that asked you questions about your leanings and presented you with a summary of who you appear to support – mine were inconclusive every time, but in the end I made a fundamental choice about what I consider to be most important, and on that point the major parties are very different. Of course he we are now in a complete mess, it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out…


  • May 10, 2010 at 12:00 am

    and I voted Labour here for you…..still really annoyed about the Speaker’s constituency not being allowed to field major opposition – that’s archaic and I can understand apathy in that case. Wonder what happens next… xx

  • May 10, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Don’t know how the outcome has affected you Hayley but in this household we’re left with even more questions! Time will tell I guess… x

  • May 10, 2010 at 12:02 am

    I wonder if he did? It really interests me, the people who won’t tell who they voted for – as if they can’t quite justify their decision publicly. I don’t claim to know a whole lot, but I’ve no qualms in admitting who I vote for, I wonder if the half a million who voted BNP can say the same? xx

  • May 10, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Absolutely our responsibility, and we did, and now the silly feckers have got to sort themselves out…

    We really need more transparency without the need to read an entire manifesto, more honesty and less concern about what is or isn’t politically correct – it is ok to talk about immigration, the subject is not inherently racist. I agree, that’s what’s tempting people over to the dark side…..but they don’t all realise quite how dark it is over there – or do they?

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