Vote early, vote often - even if it’s for Lord Buckethead

Crop lord buckethead

Picture from Lord Buckethead's twitter acount, @LordBuckethead

Annie Gunner Logan takes aim at the 2019 general election campaign

TFN Guest's photo

21st November 2019 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

On December 12, only weeks from now, I shall be toddling along to my local polling station to cast my vote.

I feel as though I’ve lived through dozens of general elections but having double-checked, I was astonished to realise that this is only the tenth one in which I’ve been able to vote.  And if David Cameron hadn’t committed his singular act of folly in 2016, I’d still be in single figures.

For lo, I am indeed young enough not to have been eligible to vote in the pivotal election of 1979, when a certain Margaret Hilda Thatcher became prime minister for the first time. Gentle reader, can you imagine I was still at school, where I had languished for eight long and thirsty years without my playtime bottle of milk, courtesy of that same individual.

I was pretty peeved at being left out, especially given the consequences of that election result for people my age. I have always supported lowering the voting age, not least on the basis that I was far more politically literate at 16 than many of the fully enfranchised folk around about me at the time.

Annie Gunner Logan

Annie Gunner Logan

Are there welfare rights workers who’ll be backing Boris? Is anyone in the campaign for country sports leaning towards the Lib Dems?

My first crack at voting was in 1983, by which time Mrs T had waged war on Argentina and was duly swept back into power on a wave of Rule Britannia-flavoured fanaticism that I & my fellow fired-up first-time voters were powerless to stop. Then, as now, opposition factions and frictions did little to help.

Eighties elections were, for me, utterly depressing affairs, the outcomes of which were almost 100% certain before the polls were even opened. Nobody I knew even bothered to stay up for the results.

That all changed in the nineties, when I began to feel that putting my X in the box might conceivably have some kind of influence or impact. This was an entirely novel prospect, and an exciting one to boot.

An impact was duly made. It was enormously thrilling, seventeen years after first becoming eligible to vote, to have cast that vote for the winning party. And yet, because of further acts of folly on the part of a Prime Minister, it wasn’t long before the shine came off the whole thing once more.

Now here we are, fully forty years on from that first Thatcher victory, gearing up again for the leaflets through the letterbox, the polls and the pundits, the rosettes and the rubber chicken.

This time around, I’m seeing strong calls for the charity sector to get stuck in. “Charities should be bold in their asks in this seismic general election,” says a headline article in Civil Society.

I’m sure that some of them will be. But voting is a personal act, not an organisational one, and I am curious about the extent to which there might be a disconnect between someone’s personal political proclivities, and the agenda of the organisation they work for.

I know, for example, more than one person working at a senior level in financial services who will almost certainly vote for Mr Corbyn which, when you come to think about it, seems counter-intuitive.

What about our sector? Are there welfare rights workers who’ll be backing Boris? Is anyone in the campaign for country sports leaning towards the Lib Dems?

Whoever floats your boat, make sure you use your vote. Even if it’s for Lord Buckethead. Whose prospectus, as it happens, I find increasingly appealing.

Annie Gunner Logan is director of CCPS (Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland).