GE2015: don’t throw it away

By Hugh Coates

I’m worried.

In less than a month’s time, people old and young, poor and rich, morally barren, idealistically blind or otherwise will cast their vote on who they believe should take the tiller of this country, or at least share the grip.

Very near to me, the constituency of Norwich South – narrowly secured by the Lib Dems last time round – faces an almighty offensive from the Green Party as they look to make inroads into a traditionally Tory controlled part of the country. The volume of students in the city, mingled with general discontentment over issues such as poor transport links, has made this a potentially successful venture for the Green Party, with voters looking for something slightly different.

What concerns me is how students, as is the case for Norwich South, make for such a tempting foothold. It doesn’t take a political analyst to point out that students are feeling a little irked by politics these days, I also feel deeply misled – £9000 tuition fees is something I won’t be allowed to forget in hurry. After such a shafting, I am astonished by the number of people who will still show indifference to politics, or just give away their vote in protest.

Before I begin, let me be clear, I have no problem with anybody, having considered all the parties, deciding to vote for a party, that is democracy. What I do take issue with, is people directing their vote towards one party based on its face value and denying it from another,  for the same reason. It is this sort of puerile approach to politics that the Green Party so clearly demonstrated in their recent election video, a parody involving a harmonizing group of four middle aged men, wearing blue, red, purple and yellow-gold ties. Not only is this view illusory to the point of being willfully deceptive, it reveals a serious lack of credibility on the part of the Green Party. It makes Nigel Farage patrolling the cliffs of Dover and Martin Freeman’s most recent casting as a downtrodden ‘working man’ almost endearing (I love your work Martin I really do, I’m just making a point). From the Green Party’s position somewhere miles to the left – almost unrecognisable in the fog of radicalism – these 4 groups must look remarkably close to together. But to anyone and I mean anyone, who has clicked on to the BBC website, or any other mainstream news provider, and has had even the most cursory look at who is saying what, we see an election campaign not of 4 synonymous parties, but an exciting discourse between parties with different beliefs.

I plan to round off this article by sharing some of the most striking features of the Green ideal for anyone thinking of voting for them in ‘protest’:

1) Under the glorious Green Party, being a member of al-Qaeda, the IRA and other currently proscribed terrorist groups will no longer be a criminal offence. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that having grown up under the shadow of at least one of these malevolent groups and having heard a great deal about the other, that I hold no desire to live aside anyone who shares the beleifs of a terrorist group on our rather small island, which may have influenced my views somewhat.

2): Under the Green Party, we will leave NATO, tell the U.S. where to stick their ‘special relationship’, completely abandon our nuclear weapons and disband an ‘unnecessary’ army, air force and navy. In a world where war was only waged with inflatable swords, this would be an understandable approach.

3) Football clubs would not be traded on the stock market and would become cooperatives. Urm…

I have selected a few policies here that would aggravate me personally. There are some Green policies which I do believe have genuine merit, but they are very much in the minority. Certainly not enough to win my vote. The point is, I have made an informed decision.

I urge anyone planning on just gifting their vote to a party they don’t know much about or who ‘seem nice’, to please, at least, investigate further. If you find they are for you, then great. But throwing your vote around like confetti is nearly as bad as not voting at all – as the great thinker of our time Russell Brand is calling for. In the words of the the party’s leader herself, Natalie Bennett, the Green Party want ‘committed’ voters and not those ‘who lend us their vote when they’ve despaired of all the others and want to protest.’ Don’t become one of those people.

To anyone teetering on the fence of uncertainty, I urge you to visit this marvelous site to inform your decision: