Bookmark and Share

Monday 26th May 2014

4201/17120

I slept badly. Was it watching the success of UKIP or the late night chicken tikka I had had at Stratford's only restaurant open at 9.30pm? Either the anti-immigrants or the immigrants were to blame. Nigel Farage has never made me a nice dinner (and I suspect if he did it would be a dry old pie washed down with some fart-inducing real ale) so let's blame UKIP. Or the people who voted for them. Or the people who didn't vote at all.

Everyone was out to blame someone. Twitter seemed to think it was Russell Brand's fault. But much as I disagree with what he said, I don't think it had any impact on this result. The turn-out was the same as at the last Euro elections. Brand had merely given voice to what a lot of people feel - what's the point in voting when there is no candidate that speaks for me. Perhaps if someone as high-profile as Brand had said that the point in voting would be to keep parties like UKIP out of power then maybe he could have made a slight difference. But of course if a group like young people don't vote then the politicians don't have to worry about keeping them happy. If UKIP shows anything it's that a minority party with a single agenda can have a huge affect on policy.

But I can sympathise with the idea that the current system needs to be totally overhauled if it is to become relevant to the 21st Century. Maybe revolution is the only way, but I feel that the apathy displayed towards voting (and let's face it, even an issue like Starbucks not paying tax- if the public cared then they could make a change in months by simply refusing to go there) makes that unlikely too.

Personally I'd like to see a Europe (and a world) where we all worked together and weren't hung up on national identities or our parochial and selfish interests. But we seem to be heading backwards and dividing up into our tribes again. In which case, let's make multi-cultural London a seperate state and let the UKIP supporters live in their immigrant free enclaves by the seaside.

The extraordinary weakness of the main political parties and the abscence of any meaningful opposition is worrying. Hopefully this is all just a protest vote and UKIP's woefuly inadequacy will be demonstrated quickly. But the rise of fascisim on the continent and the casual racism behind our own anti-european party are troubling. As is the fact that the main parties have stopped referring to UKIP as racist because every time they do UKIP support goes up (is that because people think that UKIP are being bullied or because they secretly like racism - you decide).

Maybe there's a positive in it all and we're approaching a future where politics will not be controlled by two or three parties and we can have a grown-up and real democracy where every vote counts and parliament reflects all opinions. Though if that happens then this election suggests there might be quite a few extremists in that parliament. Although I've always called for people to vote in elections I am not convinced that if everyone had done so this time that the result would be any different. In fact I think UKIP might have done better. As the system stands a small proportion of people can change the course of things by being organised enough to vote, but if everyone voted I think we might have a pretty horrible government.

Interesting times. Slightly frightening times. But then that's the problem if you let everyone have a say. Democracy sucks.



Bookmark and Share



My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be touring from October 2014 to May 2015 All details here.
Buy a season pass to Meaning of Life, or make a donation for a badge, either one off or monthly at gofasterstripe.com/rhmol
You can watch most of the RHMOL shows for free on my vimeo channel
Buy tickets to Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from the LST website
You can download the audio for free from the British Comedy Guide or iTunes
You can subscribe to this blog on Kindle. Now only 99p a month here. Or just carry on reading it on here for free.

Also on your kindle (or any smart phone or tablet with the kindle app) catch up on the early years of Warming Up (with extra retrospective additions) with Bye Bye Balham and The Box Lady and Other Pesticles (only £3.53 each)