Thursday, 3 May 2012

Diary of a Disenchanted Voter

I have a confession to make: I have been feeling guilty - very very guilty.
I feel I have let my readers down by my recent - or not too recent - mode of erratic blogging. It's not for a lack of enthusiasm or because I've run out of steam - it's simply a case of failing to juggle my balls in the right order.

It's crazy being subsumed by the desire to unleash something classic and phenomenal that makes your readers jaws drop, but then having insufficient time to execute all the colourful ideas swirling in your head.

A friend/reader of Fresh Angle said something that clung to my mind like smoke to cloth. He said the reason you are a less prolific blogger is because you're trying to craft the perfect article all the time. Just write anything, he said. It doesn't have to blow people off their seats.That was an idea...

But the epiphany came this morning.

I have trying - oh so hard - to put together a news bulletin for the week (Around the World in Five Minutes). But my efforts have been hindered both by time and the sheer volume of work required to write a news bulletin. It's just a page long but it takes hours of scouring websites and searching over and over again for stories that stand out.

This morning I thought, 'Gosh I'm not going to be able to post the bulletin AGAIN before I jet off for work'. Then an idea popped up: why don't I start a diary for the time being? Before I can get my act together to unleash another didactic, cerebral, scholastic piece I might as well fill in the gaps with exciting - I hope - highlights of my day. What do you think people??

So here comes the diary of a disenchanted voter...

Yesterday night I got in from work and church at 10pm to find three letters waiting for me. I am always excited to receive letters but I decided to suspend opening my 'Christmas presents' till the following morning - today. I just wanted to dive into bed and faff around on the internet, checking emails and reading news tit bits.

So this morning I finally unravelled my presents, and one of them was a short booklet on the London Mayoral elections taking place today. Had simple instructions on how to vote, who the candidates are and their manifestos.

I flipped through:

Candidate One - a fresh faced young man with a congenial face - offered a 'fresh choice for London' and is running under the banner of the UK Independent Party that has an overt anti-immigration stance. I thought, nah...not my cup of tea.

Sleepy-eyed Candidate Number Two of the British National Party asked me to 'Think Commonsense Vote BNP' - nooooooo way. Given a chance, they'll cart all of us mahogany-skinned mortals off to Africa/Asia  in an old rusty container in the next  24 hours...

The list went on. A candidate passionate about better policing; A woman - yaaay! - flying the green banner. Then the two forerunners: Ken Livingstone (the former mayor) and Boris Johnson (the current mayor).

Honestly I was hardly exhilarated by the booklet. If anything, it set off my cynical radar.

When I think 'Ken Livingstone', I think of a man who slurs his word so badly you feel like pulling them out of his mouth - grrrrr! I also think of the congestion charge that was initiated during his tenure. It is a charge on motorists for parking in certain congested areas. It has helped - I think - decongest London. Encouraged people to use public transport more.

Ken Livingstone
Then Boris Johnson - the golden with a blond mop who speaks plum-in-mouth (quintessentially upperclass). His only initiative that springs to mind is the blue hire bicycles circling London - encouraging people to keep fit and be environmentally friendly.

Boris Johnson
I don't like either of them. I don't like any of the candidates thrust at me. I feel they are just regurgitating some lame rhetoric they've rehearsed behind the scenes. There's no passion or heartfelt desire for change. In fact, I daresay they will not make any overwhelming difference if elected. And I think the same generally about politics today. Politicians have become blatant actors. It's about putting on an appealing facade that will win over the gullible voters itching to believe they will become the next superman to sweep away their intransigent problems - "YES WE CAN".

I agree -  there is soaring unemployment and economies are in chaos - it is a tall order to ask any politician to fix that in a jiffy. But sorry, politicians have lost their raison d'etre - their reason for being. When I look at politicans, they set off my cynical radar big time. All I can think of is empty promises, overriding corporate interests, propaganda, manipulation, dirty games, bribery, corruption, scandals...stop!!!!

Okay, my bowl of porridge has gone cold and I need to get moving but what would you do if you were in my shoes? Exercise your right to vote anyway or expend your time on more useful things?!

Your thoughts please...I have between now and 10pm to make up my mind while the polling booth remains open. Will my vote make any difference? I'll catch you later folks...tara.


  1. First, to answer your question: Expend your right to vote, of course. Yes, I agree the politicians have lost touch with reality, and they're acting most of the time, but that does not make your decision to vote any less important. I say "Go for it!" but as to who to vote for ... That's your prerogative, ma'am!

    Plus, I feel you on wanting to churn out perfect blog posts. I think I may have caught that "bug" too. The piece of advice the blogger you mentioned gave is pretty sound. I guess we have to put aside our inner "editor" sometimes and just write.

    1. Relentless builder, thanks for being my first commentator. You actually got me thinking. If we take a back seat we are relinquishing the power to decide our future to others.

      I appreciate your advice on blogging. I will get on with it - so help us God.

  2. I thought the journal was well written and you did a very good job documenting your train of thoughts. Politicians are really not to be blamed. This is like a job for them, the time for passionate leaders is down the drain.

    The only way we could get back to old good politics is to devoid every political post of every major monetary value and make it highly unattractive for pleasure seekers. Maybe then will we see individuals who put the public first actually run for the office.

    In order for this to happen, campaigning budget should be limited and gotten totally from the citizens. Let every citizen be given a $4 tax rebate every election year that they can donate to any political party of their choosing. This will force politicians to work for the people rather than sell their souls to the "devil" (big companies, corporation, e.t.c).

    Yes this wouldnt stop people being gullible and ignorant but at least it might shift the paradigm from pleasing and sucking up to corporations to pleasing the electorates who by the way, should be the most important people in this election year.

    And to answer your question, yes i think you should exercise your rights. Politics isnt an exception, its a reality that directly impacts each of us regardless of what we think or If we partake. Every decision made by some ignoramus politician affects the society in one way or the other so Ill encourage you to go out and vote for the individual that will do the least damage i guess.

    1. Mmmm "the time for passionate leaders is down the drain" is it Chuks? I hope that you realise that no change that ever came about in society occured without passionate leaders? Be they Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Tim Berners Lee (the world wide web), Crick, Watson and Franklin (structure of the DNA). The fact that today you and I can sit without a nuclear war, using MRI and memory sticks is because someone passionately devoted decades of their lives to bring it about.
      So are you saying that politics has become so good in the west that there is nothing that needs to be changed or that it cannot get any better?

  3. Chuks, you have a highly interesting viewpoint - wow. $4 tax rebates to donate to your party of choice. That will certainly keep politicians on their toes.

    Though I think the lack of passion and authenticity permeates every area of life in today's world. It's a rarity to find raw passion, drive, authenticity...we have all become clones, puppets and prototypes pandering to corporate greed and what we are socialised into thinking we should do and be. It's crazy.

    Thank you for your comment. It's much appreciated.

  4. I'll be looking forward to some good crunch from your diaries then Fresher Angle. Thanks. I must say that the picture of Hilary is a good dose of daily laughter for me already! What's she complaining about? Thanks.