Well, the candidates have leafleted the local Monkton ward (Labour and the Independents thrice and the Lib-Dems once) and all I’ve received off the opposition so far is the hackneyed and insipid, soundbite-fused, ego-tripping crap that I get every year. The Tories and the neo-nazi BNP have not bothered leafleting, either because they lack the manpower to deliver them, the cost this would incur or because they fear a smack in the teeth from those local residents who do not suffer from historical amnesia every May (the latter is more likely the case when your gurus are Margaret Thatcher and Adolph Hitler).
As ever, every leaflet carries the photo of the candidate, either grinning like an imbecile or affecting an “I’m a caring person” pose, as if anyone should really give a flying shit what a candidate looks like – its what you stand for that matters, mate. The Socialist Party (founded in 1904) has, since it first contested an election, refused to put its candidates’ mug shots on election leaflets.
And as ever, the leaflets carry the usual bit on how the moon shines out of the candidate’s arse, how many committee’s they chair, how they were born and bred in Hebburn etc etc – the kind of crap the British Medical Association now lists as recommended reading for insomniacs.
IF you get this far in the leaflet then you are to be congratulated on your alertness and should consider joining MENSA or seek a commission in the SAS. But hold on, what follows suggests the writers of such leaflets penned their election address proper under the assumption that the average member of Joe Public is a cretin. For this is where we are to forget the past, to put aside our knowledge of capitalism and how it works, to disregard every broken promise of yesterday and to weigh up the candidates on how good their respective pledges are – and as a candidate you don’t have to actually realise the promise, just make it and in the knowledge that in 12 months time its un-fulfilment will have vanished from the public memory.
And when you get down to it each one of these election leaflets says the same thing and which can be summed up thus:
“Vote for me. I’m fuckin’ brilliant, me, man. And see me, I can make capitalism work like never before. I’m a fuckin’ magician when it comes to making a system based upon exploitation work in the interests of the exploited. Nah, capitalism is brilliant, man. Yeah, I know it causes misery and uncertainty and that it creates war and hunger and disease and waste and because of it there is a dirty great bastasrd of a hole in the ozone layer and the sea levels are rising, but other than that it’s fuckin’ magic, much better than fuedalism was or slavery. Yeah, I know you only get a say in how your society is run locally every year and nationally ever 5 years, but who gives a shit – all that matters is that you elect people like me, who will defend this amazing system of exploitation, and who will maintain an outdated system based on class and privilege balanced in favour of those with the most.”
And thus convinced the workers vote for these pricks and put these class traitors in office year after year! The Socialist case is a wee bit more complicated than that and involves the elector thinking for him/herself, challenging long held assumptions and using the most dangerous and subversive word in the English language – “why?”.
If you’ve got this far, then please scroll down and see what one socialist candidate has to say about this election, about the alternative to the rat-race which every other candidate is yet to consider.