A shrug of complaint

In 2002, I joined a Stop The War march in Sheffield. I didn’t enjoy my time as a protestor very much: I was a pushing a buggy, my baby started crying, there was some chanting, we shuffled around the city centre perimeter, and then I peeled off glumly to finish my shopping, feeling slightly embarrassed.

It wasn’t a moving moment of communal resistance. It was a tired shrug of complaint directed at some ministers who weren’t even looking. It rained a bit, and later on there was a war because there was always going to be a war anyway. So that was a good use of an afternoon.

It’s the Iraq war that feels like the biggest disgrace and disappointment of the Labour government. I hate the PFIs, and the patronising and ignorant populism, and the student fees, and the ruinous way that business and banking interests were whored to. Those things have all been depressing and awful and deceitfully introduced, obviously, but they mostly haven’t involved actually killing people on purpose. It doesn’t matter when the Labour party shunts out Brown, or who ultimately replaces him: I don’t want to vote for them until they’ve purged every person who ushered that bloody war through parliament.

That doesn’t matter very much where I live, because it’s a solidly Lib Dem area with an MP I won’t hate myself for electing. But you can’t build hopes and dreams on the Lib Dems. They’re political stodge: acceptable and wholesome enough, but a bit depressing when you’re looking at a whole plateful. Better, though, than the Tories – whose prospective government promises to continue everything grim about the current one while unapologetically rewarding the rich for being, um, rich. So I want the Tories to lose, Labour don’t deserve to win, and the Lib Dems fill me with limb-deadening ennui. Election 2010 will be an early night for me, I guess.

© Sarah Ditum, 2010

13 thoughts on “A shrug of complaint

  1. We could do that double cross post thing on Martyrs on election night if you want? Won’t that be hip and ironic?

  2. Well I’ll have to get it watched. I was going to make a pithy comment about being cruel about Twilight in my last post. You’ll be pleased to know I told all the kids that it was rubbish in my last school. The look on the girls faces was priceless.

    I apologised immediately after.

  3. Elecetion night GB may bore the socks off you. Imagine a country where no one complains that the PM has prorogued parilament because the winter olympics are on, and no one complains. You might call it Canada

  4. Given this whole bloodsucker kick you’re on, surely you’ll be voting for Bath’s vampirically-named Fabian Richter. I’d like to think that when Foster gets in again, Richter will shriek, “You have made a powerful enemy today!” and turn into a cloud of bats, leaving only his rosette fluttering silently to the floor.

  5. Worse than the sheer feeling of pointlessness was the way the protesters were treated in Brighton when Bleugh was there for the conference. Totally peaceful, good-natured march and the police took great delight in employing the same level of intimidation with cameras as I’d have expected to encounter from armed military in less democratic countries. Distressing, unnecessary, and so very effective at underlining how little the voice of the people counts for now.

  6. I do agree, but thinking of my ballot as a protest vote against a teeny-tiny minority party party is still quite depressing. Unless you mean the Tories.

  7. Yeah, I meant the Tories mostly. I was referring more to the realistic victors. Although any vote against the BNP is a good thing, even if it is inconsequential.

  8. Not Sarah Box with the slightly rude name and the sexy facebook profile-style picture?

    All this Twilight talk reminds me that I forgot to blog about the midnight premier of New Moon, which was amazing. I was about overcome by oestrogen from the panting audience.

Comments are closed.