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9:27am on Thursday, 12th December, 2019:
I've just got back from casting my vote in the general election. The polling station staff thoughtfully put an enlarged copy of the ballot paper on the wall, which means I can show you the choices available to me.
The big surprise was that it turns out there were two independents, not just one.
So, my choices are between:
A man with three first names.
A man with a working-class name who lives in a former vicarage.
A man with a double-barrelled name.
A man who lives in a different constituency.
A man who lives in the same consituency but won't say where.
The Liberal Democrat has changed the name of his party for the purpose of getting a slogan across. This is sneaky, but not as sneaky as the Labour candidate, who paid for a Facebook advert at 20 to midnight yesterday so we'd see it today when it's illegal for media outlets to carry such political advertisements.
As usual, it's a given that Sir Bernard Jenkin will be elected (aside: what kind of father gives their son a middle name of Christison?) so my vote merely contributes to saving the deposit of someone else.
The big push in this constituency has been from the Liberal Democrats, at whom my vote would normally be directed. Unfortunately, I don't like their candidate. He's all about value-signalling and little about policy. The single policy he does have is the national one of stopping Brexit. The 2016 referendum was the one occasion in my life when I and the 14,000,000 other members of the electorate who live in safe seats felt that our vote actually counted: I am not going to support a party that wants to tell me that no, actually none of your votes actually did count, regardless of what they were.
The Labour party has made little effort, effectively conceding the contest. Jeremy Corbyn is a relic of 1970s left-wing activism, and those of us who remember how well that went back in the day are a little concerned. His spending plans are incredible (as in lacking credulity). He's so used to having to defend his views on ideological grounds that they've become entrenched, meaning he's incapable of changing them to the new reality.
The Green candidate has been completely invisible. This does mean that he has the advantage of never having said anything with which I disagree, so well played Peter Douglas Cameron Banks. Your party logo should be more minimalist so it uses less ink and helps save the planet. Dropping two of your names would have a similar effect.
The independents won't be getting my vote because they're not going to come close to saving their deposit and I haven't the faintest idea what their political stance is.
So, well done the Green party! Let's see if my vote helps save your deposit or not.
Incidentally, judging by what I see on Facebook, the Conservatives are set for an overall victory. Very few of the people I follow are right-of-centre, and those who are they know better than to post about it and invite a baying mob. However, it's the posts of the people left-of-centre that are more informative. In recent days there has been absolute vitriol directed against anyone who is even toying with the idea of voting anything other than not-Tory. This smacks of helpless exasperation (it's not as if any prospective Conservative voters will actually see those posts). If they were confident that the Conservatives wouldn't gain a majority, the posts would be more smug or sneering, and might actually promote some other party rather than run down the Conservatives nine posts out of ten. Therefore, it seems to me that the people making the posts think that the Conservatives will win a majority.
This time tomorrow, we'll know the answer.
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