Facebook encouraged me to vote in the UK’s general election, which is being held today. Presumably this private corporation, mostly owned and run by Americans, believes it has a civic duty to persuade the most people to vote. They do this no matter where the voter lives in the world – unless he or she lives in countries that are not democracies. They do this even though Facebook takes no responsibility for the quality of the choices being presented. But if voting is such an incontrovertible good that everybody should be encourage to do it, why are so many voters being forced to make such dreadful choices? Consider the Americans who were confronted with either Clinton or Trump. Or consider the French who had to pick between the life-long fascist who is daughter to another life-long fascist, or the egotistical opportunist who suddenly stopped being a socialist because the socialists were unpopular? I cannot mock the Americans or the French for the failure of their democracies because we Brits have it even worse. Their malfunctioning methods for appointing a leader appear relatively sane compared to the electoral tragedy that has befallen Britain. Confronted with the worst of all choices, the only appropriate response is to not vote at all, in the hope this will be interpreted as the rejection of every alternative.
So I am not going to vote today. Voting should be about expressing a democratic choice, and ‘none of the above’ is also a valid choice, especially when the other choices are so lousy. It’s been a terrible campaign, I don’t like any of the manifestos, I don’t like any of the leaders, and I can barely believe that both major parties have such substandard front benches who are so clearly loathed by their fellow MPs. I live in a safe Tory seat with a career Tory MP who has done nothing useful during 25 years at Westminster, and whose name I would barely remember if it was not for the fact he once sent me a woeful begging letter because he assumes anyone who owns a company should be grateful to the Conservatives. The Conservatives have been taken over by power-hungry nutters with no principles, but the alternative is a rabble who mostly hate their own leader, which is not surprising given that he is a pacifist except for the occasions when he supports both the goals and methods of terrorists.
Either May is going to introduce excessive authoritarian powers to spy on all of us, or we must anoint a nincompoop who suggested turning nuclear submarines into the most phenomenally expensive troop carriers in history, and whose top advisor is a Stalinist who repeatedly denied the scale of murder by oppressive Communist regimes. May is a neo-fascistic unimaginative over-promoted arse of a politician but the third-rate job she will do is somewhat better than the calamity offered by a Labour leader who is so lacking in ability that none of the five previous Labour leaders offered him any lowly job, and even Diane Abbott was promoted to the shadow cabinet ahead of him.
What of the fringe offerings? Farron is a bad joke, a weakling who leads the Lib Dems because his party was thrown into disarray by an electorate that likes to protest but fails to comprehend why adults must sometimes compromise. The Greens are the ultimate lefty purist nightmare, able to pretend to be scientific whilst relying on uncosted emotional gambits – three day weekends?!? – and still appealing to the overpaid pampered Brexit-fearing home-owning middle classes because promises have no price tags when you know there is no possibility of ever being in a position to keep them. UKIP has the ideological coherence of Ed Norton punching himself in the face during Fight Club, just before he started blowing things up. And don’t get me started on the nationalist fantasists who think their countries will turn into utopias the moment they succeed in ethnically cleansing the influence of the evil English.
So to the vast majority of Brits who voted today, I say you all made the wrong choice, with the possible exception of you diehard Raving Monster Loony loyalists, because you’re doing as much good as anyone whilst also having a laugh at the absurdity of it all. Perhaps the next election will afford us a choice worthy of a country with such a long uninterrupted history of democracy, but today is a day when we should think about everybody who ever made sacrifices to protect our freedom, and feel ashamed that this farce is what Britain has come up with.