Don’t chase the Kippers, people say. Chase me. Coax my perfect unicorn vote from my tightly clenched hands and I will willingly deliver a pristine snowflake shaped X next to the right place on the ballot form. Why is politics shifting to the right just because some tweed-clad men managed to get a few racist nutters to go to the polls? What about the 60-odd percent who didn’t vote and who were disenchanted with the big players… Why is no one beating down their doors?
Which is all very well Goldilocks, except you couldn’t be bothered to vote last time. Did we not deliver, among the 10-15 candidates you had before you, a single one capable of stirring you into performing your democratic duty, even if you had to do so with a slightly heavy heart or – worse still- holding your nose as you walked over to the ballot box, flinching at the stench of your own messy compromise?
Why should anyone chase my vote if I’m going to coyly say “no thank you” and sit at home eating crisps instead? The maths is quite simple: the Kippers – those who haven’t died off in the meantime from an overdose of spite – are going to be voting next time. They’ll be out. Because they could be bothered. You couldn’t. Whose vote is worth more time and effort?
Yes, the Kippers have dragged politics to the right. Through simply turning up and coming through the curtains to vote. Of course the main parties want their votes. Because they voted. Imagine if a similar number of people as them had voted green, or some other alternative vote – what then? Would we still be being dragged to the right? Not to the same degree, that’s for sure. It’s not about the Bearded Rubbish Actor, it’s about apathy in general. Who will put the bell on the cat? Well, how about you?
People talk about Boomers and how entitled they seem. But at least they vote. At least they bother to try and make a difference. At least they take part. That’s one half of the deal. The other half is being given someone to vote for. But that can’t happen unless you start to vote anyway. And that’s my generation’s failure, expecting everything to be handed to us in a neat tailored package tied up in a bow. It’s not going to happen.
Chase the Kippers? Why not. Who else is giving the parties sometime to campaign to?