UK local election time again yesterday… I don’t know about where you live, but in this city it was hardly a maelstrom of excitement and enthusiasm. And I’m not talking about the voter apathy here, but candidate apathy.
I can remember a time not so long ago when a local council election meant you could barely open your front door for all the leaflets extolling the virtues of the various hopeful Toms Dicks and Harrys.
Posters supporting the candidate of choice adorned many windows, and you could barely sit down to eat you dinner without a supporter – or even the candidate themselves – knocking on your door as you took the first mouthful. There were even political meetings where you could go and heckle them.
You may not have liked any of the candidates, but at least you damn well knew who they were.
Those days, it seems, are gone. This year I didn’t see a single poster in a window – not just in my ward but during my travels around the city. Every dinner was eaten uninterrupted by political hopefuls. Meetings do not happen anymore. And as for the leaflets…
Four candidates standing in my ward… one leaflet received – take a bow the Green Party candidate, who got my vote, though not just because he sent me a leaflet but more because his competitors represented the dreaded T.H.E.M. [Three Headed Electoral Monster, otherwise that triumvirate of ugly sisters known as Conservative, Labour and Liberal].
But to be honest, even the leaflet I did receive was pretty poor. Do they have to be so boring ? Dont politicians have any imagination ? Actually, on this last point, yes they do have imagination, as any perusal of their expenses claims will testify. But somehow it never seems to be applied to their literature.
I think one day I may have to stand as an independent candidate, if only to improve the standard of leafleting. I’m doing this off the top of my head, no doubt it could do with a little polish, but how would you feel about picking up another damn political leaflet off of the doormat and finding it started:
He stood in the shadows, regarding the city spread out below him with a jaundiced eye. A seething mass of vice, corruption, inequality and [insert a local issue here – parking problems in the High Street or something…].
It would require a strong man to clean up this civic cess-pit. A man of integrity, a man of impeccable moral rectitude. Such men were rare, but had not the Gods themselves forged him for just such a purpose ?
And I could maybe knock up some kind of super-hero costume for when I go round knocking on doors – who was that masked man ? And hold political rallies backed by a rock band.
Would you vote for me ?