May 14, 2010

I have just burned down my local NHS hospital while listening to Phil Collins on my walkman

Forgive me, dear blog whisperer, as I bring the dirty subject of politics onto the clean pages of the Fat Roland blog.

I feel privileged to have witnessed the events of the past week. It's like we've all watched a unicorn give birth to a kraken: we have a sense of pride to have been part of something fascinating whilst trying to ignore that niggling sense of horror.

It has brought me my own dilemma. My political views were formed growing up in a Labour household in Manchester, sharpened by the poll tax riots and set in stone when the music world rose up against the Criminal Justice Bill.

That spirit of protest crystalised around bands like Dreadzone, Orbital and the Levellers, more of which I have waffled about here.

Which brings me to the Liberal Democrats. I have written the following comment on the Lib Dem Voice website:
"I hope some good can come from the coalition, I really do. The move to roll back Labour's civil liberties abuses is welcome. However, I am a left-leaning Lib Dem supporter who feels sold down the proverbial river by the pact with the Tories.
"I understand the reasons why, in many ways, the coalition had to happen - but the mantra 'vote Lib Dem get Tory' is too hard a pill to swallow. For now, and with massive regret, my support of the Liberal Democrats is suspended."
You see, my head understands the hobson's choice Nick Clegg faced: side with the reds and bring down the country into a burning heap, or side with the blues and bring down his own party for the sake of Blighty.

He underestimated the endless well of ire bubbling against the Tories. I agreed with Nick when he described the "gulf in values" between him and Cameron, so maybe I didn't take seriously the possibility of him using my vote to bring back Maggie's mates.

I loved spending the night at the Manchester count at the behest of some wonderful Lib Dem people, Northenden councillors Martin Eakins and a newly elected Mary Di Mauro. And nothing will ever take away the sense of pride when I voted for John Leech in 2005 and again in 2009 (and also in elections since 1997).

And so it's with a heavy heart that I suddenly find myself as a floating voter for the first time in my life. I cannot vote Tory. I feel betrayed by the Lib Dems. Labour have been shockingly right wing (see this piece by George Monbiot). And I don't feel that connection with the Greens yet.

I hope I'm wrong, and that I return to the Lib Dems like a prodigal son. But.... Tories? Seriously?

Maybe I need to rediscover my leftist roots. Or just keep joking about the whole thing, as I did on my Twitter feed the day the coalition formed after jibes from work colleagues about being a 'massive Tory' - because if I don't be silly about it, I may start a poll tax riot all on my own:

- Because I voted Lib Dem, I'm going to spend this afternoon being a MASSIVE TORY. Do join me.

- I am being a MASSIVE TORY. I have just smashed in the face of a poor person. I don't think they minded.

- I am a MASSIVE TORY: I have just burned down my local NHS hospital while listening to Phil Collins on my walkman.

- As a MASSIVE TORY, I've just pissed on a disabled person in a council flat. I am enjoying being a MASSIVE TORY.

- I've sent the single mums back to where they came from whilst shoving a miner down a pit. I'm a MASSIVE TORY.

- My final act as MASSIVE TORY is to seek social justice and sanctuary for the alienated and afraid. Oh, hold on....


Tim F said...

I rather think the Greens will be doing quite nicely over the next few weeks, as far as membership enquiries go. Whether that will begin the slow process of corruption that's eaten away at the other parties is another question...

Fat Roland said...

I can't tell the difference between (a) that depressed feeling I get when I think how most political ideologies wither as power becomes obtainable, and (b) that natural post-Tory-win depression which has had me wailing into my Special K for the past week.

Gareth said...

Thanks for the link to the George Monbiot article - very enfrightening stuff.

Fat Roland said...

Everyone should read that article. It's mind-boggling how unLabour New Labour were.