Apathetic or just pathetic?

So on Thursday, May 6th, we’re going to turn out in our millions, right? Make the best of an antiquated system and use our vote in an attempt to have a voice, right? As if!

I despise the current system. With a few exceptions, we are dealing with a bunch of self-motivated spinners of the truth in fancy suits, and it does my head in, BUT, I use my vote, often tactically,because I’m grateful to have it.

Now listen here all you shouters and spouters of  “I’m not voting then I don’t have any responsibility to the mess they make” or “politics are boring”, or even, dare I say it “Up the revolution!” You don’t create change by sitting on your arse!! In fact, you are massively responsible for how stagnant our system is. 400 fucking years of so-called democracy and you’re still whining from your armchairs and talking about change. Talk is cheap, folks, and you wouldn’t even have a polling card landing on your doorstep if our ancestors had had your attitude.

Working class men didn’t get the vote in the UK  until 1867, and not without a fight but I shall focus on the women as it’s something I’ve read up on and know a bit about. Oh, and look, I am one.

Suffrage simply means ‘right to vote’, and us girls only have that because of the formation of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage in 1897. That’s only around 4 generations ago for most of us . Your grandmothers or great grandmothers didn’t have the right to vote because they wouldn’t understand parliament. So fucking what? Most folks today don’t know the whys and wherefores. So anyway, the Suffragettes were born. They started off peacefully. Then were manhandled, battered and bruised for entering meetings and having a voice. Then the stakes were upped after asking the then Liberal Winston Churchill if he believed women had the right to vote. They were ignored, so they pulled out the first ‘Votes for Women’ banner and were subsequently removed and arrested. The women refused to pay the fines and had their arses thrown into prison. What followed was mental. They burnt churches down, smashed all the windows in Oxford Street, chained themselves to Buckingham Palace railings, firebombed MP’s homes, wrecked golf courses. These women were passionate to the extreme!! Obviously, they spent a fair old time behind bars, mostly on hunger strikes, and were force fed so as not to die martyrs at His Majesty’s pleasure. Then came what was arguably the turning point when, in 1913, Emily Davison threw herself under the king’s horse and died. Emily was well educated and it begged the question, from the men of power anyway, that if this is what a bright girl does, how can we trust women of a lesser standing? Then came WWI, and the Suffragette most people have heard of, Emmeline Pankhurst, led the women into supporting the war effort along with their sisters. In 1918, because of this, women in the UK were granted the right to vote.

I’m a peaceful protester myself. Jayzus, I get battered and bruised enough on a quiet night out, but I don’t doubt that if I were there then, I’d have joined them. Imagine having no fucking rights? What these crazy, passion-fuelled chicks did got the ball rolling, and though it was their loyalty to their country that finally got them what they lived, and were prepared to die,for, they fought for us. This isn’t just about women either. It just happened later than with their male counterparts. Imagine where we’d be if they’d been as apathetic as you? And, let’s face it, it is all about the self for most folks now, again through apathy, whether it be because it’s easier to watch it on the TV or because too many ticked the blue box for too long, but gone is any sense of community. Some other fucker can sort it out, right? Why should you? You have your cold beer, the pizza’s in the oven and the footy is on in 20 minutes, or you’d rather sit around sipping on tea and slagging off whoever didn’t turn up to  mother and toddler group today.

Like I said, I’m a peaceful protester and don’t believe that such things like the poll tax riots got it axed per se. The sheer volume of violence may have sped the process up, but the sheer volume of the man on the street at that protest is what really made the difference, and you’ll never convince me otherwise. United, we are a massive voice but alone we are but a whisper.

Around 4.5 million LESS people turned out to vote in 2005 than in 1997 – the second lowest % of eligible voters since the end of WWII where, incidentally, there was an 84% turnout.

So, in 1945, after going through hell, apathy barely existed where the future of our country was concerned, so why does it so feverishly now? I’ve no doubt that the dullness of the ‘big two’ has something to do with it, and the splintering of communities has played a massive part. People used to speak to their neighbours and help each other out, where mine just advance complain about my twice-yearly parties and the state of my garden, though that’s because I’m a ‘foreigner’. Though to be fair, when we were snowed in, one or two brought us food from their deep freeze and baked us bread, but they did that for those that wouldn’t answer the door to the ‘do-gooding neighbours’ too.

You don’t vote because you don’t like the system? Or don’t want ‘responsibility? Or don’t agree with every policy one party has?

So does that apply to your whole life? You don’t like the rota a work so you don’t work? You’re not gonna drive a car incase you hit a fluffy squirrel? Your fucking your girlfriend off because she has a mole on her left thigh? Behave!!

And as for the revolution? Great, but how? Hasn’t humanity largely moved on? In the Western world anyway? My love for the Suffragettes is mahoosive, as it is for my family that fought in the World Wars and those before it, but is physical destruction the way forward? If only we could be fucked to get off our lazy, spoilt, yes spoilt – we’ve got it pretty fucking good as it goes and the law has to catch you living outside it, though I’m not referring to crime per se. It cannot be a crime to live your life however you like if  it’s not detrimental to others.

I’m not buying.

If we had, for starters, proportional representation and in turn referendums then surely there’d be less apathy? Because your vote would count, and would matter, and you damn fucking sure would have to take responsibility for not making your stand then. It would be the first big step into changing this utterly shite system in our favour.

I don’t care what your views on the Euro are, but I’m using it as an example anyway. Wouldn’t you rather have your say? For or against? And it be counted? I bloody would! Ok, so you won’t get your way every time, but you’d no longer be relying on some suited breadhead that your neighbours voted in, and then some pissed up old passed-its, making all your decisions for you.

So read through the manifestos. They’re around and about in bitesize. See what suits best, whether it’s what suits you, or your community, kids, whatever, and vote, though preferably not for the British Nazi Party. Or just spoil your paper. It still counts.

Don’t see it as conforming, see it as showing them that you are prepared to use your voice. Kill their assumption that you don’t care that you have one.

So, Dear Apathetic, be told –

YOU CANNOT CHANGE ANYTHING BY SITTING ON YOUR ARSE AND TURNING YOUR BACK ON YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES. FACTO!

and yes, I am shouting.

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