I'm quite envious when I watch the election process under way in America. It's not that I would want the saturation coverage that it must be getting because that is really a nightmare but there is an enthusiasm and a real feeling of change that I haven't known in England since 1997. After seven years of George W Bush, the hangover that just wouldn't go away, it doesn't really seem to matter (to an extent) who wins the election as things can only be an improvement. By 1997 we'd had 18 years of Conservative rule under the truly evil Maggie Thatcher and then the rather absurd grey little man John Major and people had had enough of political scandal and the mistreatment and underinvestment in public services; the desire for change was palpable and we had an anthem:
Looking back now it looks so cheesy but at the time it expressed what everyone felt, the Labour Party offered so much hope and after what had passed things could really only get better; this is where America is today. A general election wont happen in England until next year at the earliest and there are only two realistic results; 1) by some miracle Gordon Brown reverses his slump in the polls, develops a personality and wins. Would I celebrate? Even as a lifelong Labour supported, no I don't think I would. The last 11 years of Labour government have probably left me the most disillusioned with politics as I've ever been and that's not just about Iraq, I feel betrayed on many domestic fronts too. Option 2 is just as bad, the Tories get back in power under the cappuccino leadership of David Cameron (all froth and no coffee). He might try and put a smiley face on the Conservative Party but they are the same people as before, nothing has changed and if we see them in power expect tax cuts benefiting the rich and cuts in vital public services to pay for it as they go on to prove that they really are the party of vested interests.
America will have change, it's just a matter of seeing what form that takes but it makes for exciting times. In England change or none our prospects are bleak and getting worse and my only prediction for the next election is a low turnout.
This pessimism has been brought to you courtesy of insomnia.
David Markson: This Is Not A Novel
6 years ago