Post Election Blues

Mark Rants, Uncategorised 17 Comments

I’ve got post election blues. It’s been four days since the election and I still feel numb. To liken it to mourning is maybe overstating it a little, but the five stages of dealing with grief still resonate.

Stage One – Denial

Denial came and went as quickly as Sunderland counts its votes. Exit polls had been wrong before. They’d clearly not counted the votes from my Twitter timeline as they were 90% anti-austerity. Until the BBC canteen served up a sautéed hat to Paddy Ashdown or a deep fried kilt to Alistair Campbell there was still hope …

Stage Two – Anger

… or not …

By the time I was snoring on the sofa in a pool of my own dribble it had already turned to anger. Angry dribble, which sounds like a shit rock band from the 80’s but I digress….

I was angry with the pollsters for offering false hope and then getting it so spectacularly wrong.

Angry with each and every person who’d voted Conservative. Who’d witnessed the last five years and thought, ‘more of the same please, but without the handbrake of a Lib-Dem conscience’. Who’d put their own pocket before that of the most vulnerable. Or disabled. Or the NHS.

I was angry with Labour for offering such a pathetic alternative. With Ed Milliband for choosing a bacon butty when a cup of tea would have sufficed. For thinking a tombstone was a good idea and then compounding it by chiseling out sound-bites in comic bloody sans!?

Angry with a voting system that consigned millions of votes to the bin, and then angrier still that my preferred system of proportional representation would have returned 82 UKIP MP’s.

I was angry with Andrew Neil’s hair. With Jeremy Vine and his wanky graphics. And with Michael Gove for being, well, Michael Gove.

Stage Three – Bargaining

By the morning I’d reached the stage known as bargaining, or ‘what ifs?’

What if Milliband had accepted the SNP’s advances?

What if Caroline Lucas had led the Greens?

What if some pesky kids had ripped David Cameron’s face off and revealed the evil janitor beneath? Or Margaret Thatcher?

What if Hadrian’s Wall had been built just south of Stockport?

What if only those on Twitter were allowed to vote?

Stage Four – Depression

I’m not depressed, at least not clinically. I can’t afford to be. I’ve suffered a mental illness under a Tory managed NHS and it meant an eighteen-month waiting list for any sort of treatment.

But I do despair at what’s to come. Of just how bad it can get before a credible alternative surfaces. Of Osborne’s welfare cuts and haircuts. NHS privatisation and English nationalism. Scrapping the Human Rights Act and reviving the snoopers charter. Foodbanks and benefit sanctions. Of Michael Gove and Michael bloody Gove.

Stage Five – Acceptance

Bollocks to that, I’m still angry!

Not so much with those who voted Tory, at least not all of them. I know people who were previously staunch Labour voters but crossed over to the dark side. Who were as reluctant and heavy-hearted as they were shy. Who voted less by choice than by a lack thereof.

I’m no longer angry with the pollsters, who to be fair are now as redundant and irrelevant as the landlines they canvassed.

I’ve even forgiven Andrew Neil’s hair and Jeremy Vine’s green screen. Just.

But I’ve not forgiven the Labour Party.

I’m as stereotypical a Labour voter as you’ll get. Northern. Working class. A socialist at heart with an innate social conscience. And yet I didn’t vote for them either. I wasn’t prepared to choose between two shades of blue.

For what it’s worth I voted for the Whig Party (www.whigs.uk) because they offered a genuinely positive alternative, and I live in a safe Labour seat, but mostly for their positive alternative. You should check out their manifesto. No really, you should!

When my anger does finally recede I can’t help feeling it’ll only be replaced by despair. Already the in-fighting has begun. Do they go left or centre. Centre or left. To me, to Umunna. To Umunna, to me. It’s like a tragicomedy performed by the Chuckle Brothers.

And whilst all this is going on the Tories will continue cutting welfare, dismantling the NHS and widening the gap between rich and poor. Unopposed and with an ever increasing mandate.

But I’m also angry with myself for not knowing what to do about it. Armchair activism clearly isn’t the answer, and it’s not like I could stand myself, I’d be an expense scandal waiting to happen.

So I’m left twiddling my thumbs in a political wilderness, albeit with Clegg, Milliband and Farage for company. Which in a game of snog, marry, avoid would be in that order. In case you were wondering. Which you weren’t.

Think I need a lie down.

Comments 17

  1. Oh this made me giggle just because of how you have written it. For what it’s worth though, I think I have come to acceptance because what other choice do we have? We certainly aren’t going to get another election before the five years are up. So I have joined a political party and I am looking into ways I can help in the local community because that’s the only place I can help. x

    1. That’s how I feel, although how and with who I haven’t decided yet.
      I hope lots more people do the same. Would be a shame if something positive didn’t come out of the mess.

  2. Brilliant postmortem. Thanks to the Lib Dems’ spectacular demise I feel there is no one to represent me any more. They even failed to knock out the badger-loving homophobe that is our local Tory MP – and we were promised it would be so close. I disagree with you on one thing – Snog, Marry, Avoid – I’d switch the order on the first two. 😉

  3. Absolutely brilliant!! I am with you every step of the way. The anger and disbelief is not subsiding, I was struggling with making a decision prior to the election – wound myself up and read myself ragged to make my vote – I then feel totally scuppered by the result. As Post40Bloggers Education Ed I’m intrigued to know which part of your cage he particularly rattled – I mean really specifically coz you know…we’ve all got our lists!!

    1. So many to chose from. To make it worse we also re-elected a Conservative council too, because who needs Surestart Centre’s, youth clubs, libraries, subsidised school holiday clubs, school crossing patrols …..

  4. I live in a very safe Conservative seat and so my vote felt totally wasted. Like you I was shocked by how many UKIP votes there were – nearly as many as Labour where we are. I think I went through most of the stages you mention last week too – only now I’m just really really frightened for the future
    🙁 Excellent post.

    1. A very small part of me is glad they got a majority. Let them do their worst and then be unelectable for a generation, but after that result I’m worried their worst will only be rewarded again … and again ..

  5. Great post! I joined the Labour Party on Saturday morning as an antidote to my usual armchair activism. I presume joining means I get to tell them what to do right?! 😉

    1. Thank-you, and lets hope so! I’ve spent the last few days thinking I need to join a party but not knowing which one. I’ve had ‘I can sing a rainbow’ in my head for days … at least up until green.

  6. Fabulous post!
    I’m still in depressed mode and I’ll stay depressed until the next election!
    I knew Ed had buggered it up when he nearly face-planted the Q on the debate. 🙁
    Oh well, best get well and truly lubed up in order to survive the next five years of shafting by the Tories!
    *weeps*

  7. Brilliant, brilliant post! I LOVE the way you’re angry and still angry, rather than going ‘oh well, that was a waste of time, what next?”. My question is, how you going to channel that anger into some positive change energy? off to check out the whigs….

  8. I think that, without a doubt, this is the best post-election blog post I have read to date (and I have read many!) I even read it out to my husband… I think most of us can relate to the stages you describe, and your way with words and humour help us keep our heads above the water of despair!! Like many, I am unsure exactly how to move forward from here, but I do know that I need to do something… we need to rally together, to keep each other going through the tough times ahead. In the meantime, I am off to explore the Whig Party!

    1. Thanks Amanda. I thought I might have calmed down by now, but no.
      I’m about to join a party but still not sure which.

  9. Given that you voted for the Whig Party you might be interested in Something New – somethingnew.org.uk – who are leading a new political movement that will goofily include the Whig Party.

    You can even help us build the collaborative manifesto that anyone (or party) is free to adopt and stand on – openpolitics.org.uk/manifesto

    And anger is a gift – use it. I’ve decided to do #365daysofpolitics to harness my anger at our government and political system. Feel free to join me – philipjohn.me.uk

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