Elections: Which sack-of-meet goes in which chair

This week I realized that I don’t like elections. Normally I take a great interest in politics. I have never been one for watching TV soaps. I am far too clever a person to watch East Enders, so instead I have to trick myself into thinking that I am watching something important that matters and effects my life.

I like to watch politician shouting at each other rather people in fictional pub. It actually has no impact on my life. And even at budget time when the announce stuff that does affect me, I am way too lazy to do the maths to work out if I am up or down financially. I have worked out the UK politics is my soaps. My main motivation for watching it is emotional engagement.

The trouble with an election even one as “interesting” as this one is that they have in effect taken my soap off air. All the characters have gone weird. Some of the best shouty ones have basically been taken of air and they have all been lobotomized. It an election the already cautious have become hyper cautious. The stakes for the players are so high that they are all on “message”. This is shit.

I am so board of who is going to spend more on what. I have never run a government department so a sum of money the represents the total spend, doesn’t convey much information to me. For a top civil servant, perhaps that is meaningful. For me: no.

Take the NHS, I would like to know what they are going to do that is going to make me healthier, or make sure my parents are looked after over the next five years, after that I would like to know, how much of my income I am going to be able to keep hold of. The total spend is beyond my frame of reference and frankly irrelevant to me.

The only way I can wrap my head around it is to think about the difference between a BIG issue and a marginal issue, one that matters to me, but wouldn’t matter to most people. So NHS or education. Changes that are made there effect many, many people. You could argue, that even if I put my feet up and have a beer, changes in those places are going to be made regardless of my involvement.

Then I think about a marginal issue, one that affects me but would not affect many people, say cycling infrastructure. Despite frustration at the glacial pace, progress is being made there. That progress has come because a well organised, determined coalition of people has applied constant pressure to decision makers between elections.  If anything this election is a big pause button for getting stuff like that done.

At the moment we don’t have the band width to have anything like a sensible discussion about anything. Because all the main players are just shouting the opponents name follow by the emotion that they want you to map to the name: “David Cameron, BAD” or “Ed Miliband, Chaos”. In my head the all sound like Matt Damon in Team America World Police.

Let’s face it these election are boring because they don’t matter. They are just about which sack-of- meet is sat in which chair. It you want something, you have to work out what your leverage is.If you have none, cut your losses and move onto something you can effect. If you have leverage use it.

Election time is actually a hiatus. It A time when politics stops so Politicians can decide who gets to wear which frock.