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

[Comment is Free] The trouble with Tory Twitter

My piece on the ill-conceived, crassly-executed #Kerryout campaign went up yesterday on Comment is Free:

Labour MP Kerry McCarthy has had an unobtrusive career since she entered parliament in 2005, voting along party lines with relentless loyalty. Her parliamentary expenses are a bit more interesting, if you’re keen on interior design – McCarthy furnished her London home from Habitat – but even then, she’s a fairly middling figure. TheyWorkForYou gives her claims for 2007/2008 a ranking of 215th out of 645 MPs. That leaves plenty of more spectacular receipt-flashers ahead of her.

The Guardian, “The trouble with Tory Twitter”

Follow the link to read the full piece – although with today’s news, I’d guess the PLP is more worried about internal enemies that the little blue gnats behind #Kerryout.

© Sarah Ditum, 2010