I remember the first time I was eligible to vote. I believe it was for the 1992 UK General Election. It felt great. I knew all about the generations that dedicated their lives to ensuring that everybody has a free vote and it would have been an insult to their struggles if I didn’t exercise that right. So I voted. And that was the last time I did. Begin rant…
You see, since that time I’ve lost all faith in politics in the UK. Britain as a whole is a pretty small country in the world scheme of things, except that it has a great deal of self-importance. Whenever I travel to other countries I almost never see a mention of Britain on the news. But when I come back I realise why. The news here is filled with tabloid stories like “Diana’s former butler in gay marriage claim” and “celebrity drugs and sex shame”. The only other thing that seems to get reported is political bickering and sleaze. It’s pathetic.
Okay, so I’m exaggerating and perhaps ranting again. But what I’m illustrating is the state of mind I have when I think about voting. I just don’t have any faith that if I vote for any party that life in this country will improve in any way. I’m not bothered about myself, I earn plenty money and have a pretty damn good quality of life. If I have to pay a bit more tax to see our health service improve, or improvements in education, then I’m not going to complain. But it doesn’t work that way.
In the years since I was eligible to vote I’ve seen no improvement to this country, all I’ve seen is degradation. When you come back from America or France or any other civilised country you really notice what a dilapidated place this is. The roads are clogged, in very poor condition, the health service sucks (don’t get me on that one, it gets personal), crime is on the increase (it is you know) and the summers are rubbish. Okay, they can’t do anything about the weather, but the government should do something about the rest. When the Labour party replaced the Conservatives nothing changed. There was a real sense of optimism after a single party had been in power so long. But that optimism turned to apathy with me soon after.
I guess my problem is with politicians. The trouble is that they’re human. I’m sure that many of them do what they do because they passionately believe in making the world a better place. They seek a position of power so that they can try to make a difference. But sadly a great many of them are not there for that reason at all. It’s all about personal power. Spin. Never answering the question asked but instead putting a political point across that may be related, it may not. Seeming to say and do the right thing rather than doing the right thing. About staying in power at all costs once in power. It’s not noble. And as the old adage goes “all power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
There is a great deal of research done when an election is upcoming to determine the cause of voter apathy. For example, more people voted on the series Big Brother than voted for the Labour party at the last election. Well, the reason for my apathy is simple. I have no faith in politicians making anything better. No matter who is in power I just don’t believe anything will change. To me political parties in Britain are all the same. They’re stocked with the same people. They talk the same rhetoric. And they achieve the same results. Very little.
All views expressed above represent those of the author. Okay?