Monday, 4 July 2016

Sore Losers...(and a window into my imagination)


What an overreaction from the self appointed intellectual left and the sore losers who voted remain. Still it continues, with hypercritical and blinkered Facebook posts, dull exchanges on Twitter and even a march in London to criticise old people for voting to leave. Perhaps if their poster boy had been someone other than the grotesque Eddie Izzard salivating over cheaper flights then things might have been different, but still...What an overreaction from the self appointed intellectual left and the sore losers who voted remain. Still it continues, with hypercritical and blinkered Facebook posts, dull exchanges on Twitter and even a march in London to criticise old people for voting to leave. Perhaps if their poster boy had been someone other than the grotesque Eddie Izzard salivating over cheaper flights then things might have been different, but still...

One thing that does annoy me is the looseness with which people are using the term democracy. I have seen it used as a term to essentially mean the desired outcome of their specific forms of utopia (I am a socialist, democracy is socialism - that sort of thing), something only young people can achieve, or something that you moan about if you don't get what you want (preferably on a protest march). In the purest sense of the word, democracy is genuinely illustrated by the referendum that occurred last week and yet this is lost on some of the more banana-republic-esque commentators who have splurged their bile in recent times. In order to explain why it is I feel this way, it is necessary to understand my thought process during every election or referendum, which is as follows...

When I vote I walk down the road from my house to Em's school and am filled with increasing resent and despondency. I have an idea of which box I am going to tick only to glance up and notice many other people making their way down the street in the same direction with the same purpose of casting their vote. I see a middle aged man and think he might vote the opposite to me. That cancels my vote out. I need to place my vote just to stop his having a positive impact on the count. Then a younger lady across the street might also vote a different way, putting my choice in negative credit (this phrase means something in my head). Couple more folk in front, some behind - what if they all vote a different way? I may as well not bloody well bother (I'm angry now!). Sod it, I'll walk back home and forget voting. Actually, no, the people need my view. I'll campaign for a different system, one where few people get the vote and we replace democracy with a benevolent dictatorship with me at the helm. Here, the fantasy really starts to take shape and all these people whose presence on the way to the ballot box are send packing. In place, I stand tall and triumphant, placing their votes on their behalf, happily steering the country in the necessary direction - that is to say the direction I feel it needs to be headed towards. No, no, don't thank me, it's my pleasure, happy to serve. Though, on second thoughts, why are we even voting? If the outcome is inevitable and the inevitability is me at the helm, then we can just do away with polling booths, vote counters and the whole damn thing. I'll just remain as I am, content in my capacity as Prime Minister.


Well, hang on. If there is no voting system, we don't need a choice, and if we don't need a choice then we don't need an opposition. If there is no opposition then we don't need a government. I don't need to be the Prime Minister because there is only one minister which is me, lord high minister of everything. But of course, I cant handle everything, I'm just too busy. There'll have to be some things I cut out. I cant make my speech from the dictators balcony to the cheering masses without my bodyguards flanking me...


And then I reach the polling booth and a smiling lady greets me, ushering the way in. Two tables of vote-counters take my ticket and give me the card. Everyone is pleasant and I snap out of the previous vision I had. Not only that but I feel guilty for the very thought of it. I vote, I go home and wait for the results. The results come in. Either way they show that the country isn't completely made up of morons and providing the Green Party doesn't get it's wish to allow fiver-year olds the vote, we'll be on course for a sensible future. Just imagine if anyone else had their fantasy come true of a dictatorship... the only thing worse than having myself in charge of the entire country is, god forbid, someone else.


People voted, it happened, blah, blah… but this is a strange thing. We are dealing (for once) with the consequences of people actually voting to change something. That very rarely happens. For the most part (and with fair reason), people typically elect to keep things as they are. There is a comfort to familiarity and moreover even if things do not go to plan it is dangerous to keep chopping and changing. In this case, however, the referendum came down on the side of change and we find ourselves suddenly scared by the reality of that. It happens if you leave your job – you hand your notice in and then walk away thinking “shit, did I just do that?” There is then a period of angst, reflection and perhaps even regret before the new job starts and you can transition properly into the new state. For Britain that will take some time as Brexit has not yet been triggered. However, consider this. What if we had chosen to remain (let’s say by the same margin). Would we have seen similar protestations and teeth-gnashing? Yes, perhaps to a lesser extent. But the point is that I can guarantee that many of those who in the end chose to remain having been wavering for several weeks would have immediately questioned their decision and felt a sense of remorse for not having had the courage of their conviction. How do I know that? Because it is the human condition: it is the way of things that we always have an immediate sense of regret over the choice we didn’t make. It doesn’t even have to be a regret. It is the process of coming to terms with the fact that both choices are not available and either consequence cannot be undone on a retrospective whim.