St. Shmalentines Day

Could this possibly be the most depressing day of the year for single people? I think so. I would be tempted to hide away under my bed until it all goes away … except it’s a solid bed with no room for me. Oh, yes … and I need to work!

Talking of annoying and overrated things, Gordon Brown was extolling the “virtue” of voting New Labour at the next election, repeating time and time again the phrase “The stakes are too high to stay at home.” Now, I don’t especially want a Conservative government and certainly not one lead by Michael Howard, but this new line of campaigning from Labour just doesn’t wash with me! “Please vote for us, cos at least we’re not the Tories!” I’m sorry guys, if you want my vote you’ll have to tell me what you’re going to do, not hope to scare me into voting for you cos you’re not the other lot! Maybe they’re finally realising that there’s no good reason to vote for them … so they play the “least worst” card.

In elections, the onus is often on the opposition (Mmm … alliteration) to make their case and say what they would do if in power … and the Tories are doing this. New Labour have just got into the terrible habit of re-announcing the same “bold new initiatives”, the same money, the same figures and pretending this is a record to be proud of. We seem a very long way off from the modern, efficient and “free at point of use” services in education and health, they have failed to come up with a workable and compassionate approach to immigration and the ridiculous obsession with targets brings more comparison with the Soviet regime than with a party committed to Social democracy. Sadly I don’t know what the solution is; I don’t believe the Conservatives will be good custodians of Britain’s public services and I have no faith in the Liberal Democrats whatsoever.

I think the next election is going to be one about the individual candidates in my constituency. I won’t be voting on the basis of party as I have significant problems with all of them, however I believe it is a civic responsibility to vote. Maybe I will end up voting for the least worst one, but considering ours is a safe Labour seat, I can’t see my vote making a big difference.

So, as St. V’s day 2005 draws to a close (and my card count, as usual, is a depressing fat zero), I feel this has been a futile exercise. Neither the political parties nor the women seem at all interested in me … Maybe that will change in time but for now, I console myself with my democratic ability to be able to give the polticians a slight kick in the teeth when I come to the Ballot Box. Roll on May/June/whenever it is that King Tony determines …


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