People get into politics for all sorts of reasons. Here are just three of them.
1- A misguided belief that they can fix things. (From my experience, folk get into plumbing for much the same reason).
2- A sense of duty which tells them that by standing for office they can have a favourable impact on society. They can't.
3- A flawed desire to serve their fellow man/woman. In which case, wouldn't they simply be better off getting a job in McDonald's? "Hold the Pickles - oh that's right, no need to as he's not standing again - and easy on the rhetoric and condescension".
Ultimately though, people get into politics because they love the sound of their own voice. They've got a lot to say about not very much at all and goddammit they're going to make themselves heard whether the public like it or not. The fact that most of them are power hungry narcissists and all round bossy boots whose career path was pretty much mapped out for them the day they first pinned a prefect badge on the lapel of their school blazer is almost besides the point.
They're politicians and they want your vote. Well, they ain't going to get mine. They'd have more chance of getting one of my kidneys. They shouldn't get yours either.
After a rant like that, it probably won't come as any great surprise to learn that I've never voted in any general or local election. Indeed, my voting virginity remains firmly intact. If there's one thing a degree in Politics and International Relations teaches you it's that no good will ever come of it.
Doesn't it matter that your ancestors fought wars so that you could vote? Don't you feel guilty that those who live under oppressive regimes envy you for being able to enjoy a freedom which is so fiercely sought by millions who aren't so lucky? How can you expect to complain when you can't be bothered to exercise your democratic right by following your fellow citizens to the polling station? These are the questions that are thrown at me and others who share my apparent disinterest.
But it's not disinterest (I'm endlessly fascinated by the vanity and stupidity of those who wish to hold themselves up to mass ridicule when for instance they can't do simple mathematical division), it's disillusionment and discontentment. Besides, I'm not exactly sure many of my dim and distant relatives ever did much fighting. A lot of hiding and scarpering, but definitely nothing vaguely combative.
You can't help feeling that while we presently live in a much vaunted democracy, it's largely failed us. Maybe we should admit that we gave it a good go and now it's time for another form of government altogether. There's plenty out there.
What about an Absolut, sorry, Absolute Monarchy? Although throughout history our royal family have always loved a tipple. Certainly, the notion of a king or Queen ruling over us without being constrained by any law or custom is an interesting, albeit a slightly terrifying one. Of the current crop, please let it be Beatrice.
Failing that, we could always plump for a Theocracy, in which a Deity is recognised as the supreme civil leader. On second thoughts, I'm not sure I want to have to bow and scrape to Theo Pathitis. After all, we had quite enough of his annoying God like presence when he was on Dragons' Den.
A Benevolent Dictatorship is another option. As the name suggests this is where an authoritarian leader exercises total power over a state but professes to do so for the benefit of the population. A sort of kinder, less unhinged Kim Jong-un. In other words, Stalin.
Alternatively, let's give a shout-out for Marxism. Government for the people, by the people, of the people. From my perspective though, i'd never belong to a political ideology that would have me as a member - Oops! Karl and Groucho; it's so easy to get them mixed up. Anyhow, this being nice, safe Britain, Marksism might find more favour with the middle classes. Imagine, the whole nation uniformly dressed by M&S and eating bistro style ready meals for dinner.
Anarchy, however, would have to be my choice. Appealing to that little bit of lawlessness that exists within us all, the idea of living in a utopian society of individuals who enjoy total freedom without government intervention sounds fine and dandy to me. Provided, of course, no one gets into the garden and tramples all over my newly planted Azaleas.
So this election, don't let pompous political candidates with their grandiose sense of self entitlement feel they have an automatic right to your vote. Instead kick them in the ballot box where it really hurts and let apathy win.
For somewhere out there; beyond the blue, red, yellow and whatever other coloured horizon of the recognised parties, there's unquestionably a better choice. Stop getting excited, Tony, it's categorically not Blairism.