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Not Apathetic

Tell the world why you're not voting - don't let your silence go unheard

They're not voting because...

I'm tired of politicians and their anodyne...

I'm tired of politicians and their anodyne cant.

Politics is vital, but parliamentary democracy is - sadly - a mindless void sucking the life out of issues of import, and sucking the vitality out of the population. It appears to be designed to bore us into zombification.

The vapid drivel spouted by all representatives of every party is meaningless management speak, and is interchangable between parties. Is there a real choice? It would appear not.

Nope. On May the 5th, I'll spend time with my family, shake my head at the media onslaught, and stay away from the ballot box like most of the country.

If elections changed anything they'd abolish them.

written 13th Apr 2005


Bri replies: I agree entirely with that last statement: If elections changed anything they'd abolish them.

Like they'd let the great unwashed make an important decision about the future of our country. We simply get the illusion we appoint our leaders. They are all cast from the same mould and are all power-hungry maniacs with little or no interest in the lives of the people who they "rule" over.

This is of course a gross generalisation and I do know that some politicians have the best interests of the people and their country at don't point that out ;-0)

written 14th Apr 2005

Al replies: anodyne cant? zombification? vapid drivel? vitality? parliamentary democracy? interchangable?

Clearly you weren't educated in this countries public schools in the last ten years? If you had, your sentence would have read...

Polatics is well crap in it.

You might find a break down of part policies useful, the independent did one and there's one on the Election 2005 section of the bbc web site. No vapid drivel there, no sir, all vapid drivel extracted.

Go on vote Lib Dem, you know it make sense.

written 14th Apr 2005

monkeynuts replies: Yeah...let's all vote for the Bullet Point Party!

written 14th Apr 2005

piersh replies: I think elections have changed quite a lot - for example why I got a university education while my semi-literate grandfather looked after cows all his life. I'm guessing you are well educated too - so don't kick away the ladder from those who need help from above. Commons debate may be vapid, but the outcomes are not.

written 14th Apr 2005

Al replies: monkeynuts... the name speaks for it's self really but I'll humour you with a response anyway.

If you ask Michael Howard or Tony Blair a simple question relating to their respective party policy on a particular issue they give a long and draw out answer to this simple question. This is called spin.

If you go to the BBC web site and read a break down on party policy you'll get an impartial look at the facts within 30 seconds.

I don't have time to analyse what politicians are saying or rather spot the things that they're neglecting to say, given your short and flipant response I'd say neither do you. go play with your monkey nuts!

written 14th Apr 2005

SM replies: Bri, I was educated in a state comp. But you're right, not in the last ten years.

I will not, however, be voting Lib Dem; if that's the answer, it must have been a bloody silly question!

written 14th Apr 2005

Al replies: You give no justification for that statement.

Do you prefer a party not to be honest with you?
Do you prefer them to be a bunch of smug liars?

written 15th Apr 2005

sans replies: All parties interchangeable? Really?
My gosh and they are spending their millions on saying the same things as well aren't they? :)

Government should not be boring? How about making the annual budget just a paragraph and fireworks after?

written 16th Apr 2005

SM replies: Al, the Lib Dems are no opposition force. They fundamentally represent the same interests as the other two parties. But they just do it in a cuddlier way. So Charlie Kennedy is a cuddly bloke and some of his mates wear sandals? So what? I happen to know Blait wears flip flops when he's on holiday in Tuscany, but it doesn't make him one of the good guys.

Kennedy reckons that he asked the questions we all wanted to ask over Iraq. Well, maybe he did, but only if the question was: "Are you sure that's wise, Prime Minister? Oh, well, if you're sure..."

written 16th Apr 2005

Al replies: Who's Blait and what have flip-flops got to do with politics??

Remarkably that post made even less sense than your previous.

Yes Kennedy was pretty quite over the war wasn't he SM, hardly said a word did he SM...

Who let this man out of the looney farm, come on hands up?!

written 19th Apr 2005

SM replies: Al writes: "Yes Kennedy was pretty quite over the war wasn't he SM, hardly said a word did he SM..."

He might not have been quiet, but the words he actually said were remarkably vague. He knows how to sound like he's saying something without actually saying it. And the proof is in the way he - and his party - acted once we went to war: he supported being at war, but wasn't happy about going to war. That isn't a coherent position.

Kennedy is a master of equivocation. He hasn't actually opposed the war, just said what provisoes he wished there had been.

My above parody of his position as the Sgt Wilson Option - muttering about whether a course of action is wise, but going along with it anyway - is valid, and stands no matter how many times you repeat my initials, Al.

written 19th Apr 2005

Al replies: You can't oppose a war once we're in it SM, what's the point SM? It only serves to destroy the moral of the people fighting it for us SM. You can express the opinion that we shouldn't go to war but you should support our lads once we're there, it's the responsible approach... SM!

You wouldn't have publicly wittered on about what a bad idea the war was knowing that it could demoralize our troops, would you?? Look what happened in Vietnam when people did that!!

You know it makes sence you argumentative looney.

written 20th Apr 2005

SM replies: Ah, so now we come down to it: if I disagree with you, I'm a looney.

Let me remind you of Kennedy's soundbite at the time of the Feb 15th anti war rally. This is before the war has begun. He was shown on all the news programmes saying "I have yet to be persuaded that the case for war against Iraq has been made". That's hardly unequivocal, is it?

Furthermore, as for supporting "our boys", the best support they can have is to be brought home from danger. That's what Rose Gentles says, the mother of a serviceman killed long after Bush declared the War was won.

written 20th Apr 2005

Al replies: Fair statement to make. The government was claiming they had clear evidence to show the existence of weapons of mass destruction, this evidence wasnt shown to anyone. Why should Charles Kennedy hold the arrogant position of assuming their is no case for going to war without hold of the "clear evidence" that the govenment claimed to have (which incidentally turned out to be another lie).

Perhaps what he was trying to do is give the benefit of the doubt on the evidence but demand that the evidence be made clear.

As for Rose Gentles you can understand her holding that opinion having just lost her son. The mothers of the service men that came home may hold a different view. It would be nice for those service men who did come home to be able to do so thinking, "we've done a good job for a just cause and our country's proud and grateful", which I think we all are whatever the justification of the war.

written 20th Apr 2005

SM replies: But many servicemen also believe they have been sent on an unjust war. I have read their testimony. I'm quite sure they can have pride in doing a job well even if they believe the war was unjust. You're playing semantics, as was your leader.

His equivocal construction was his tub-thumping rallying call to the throngs at the anti war rally. He couldn't even bring himself to say "The war is unjust". He could only manage: "I have yet to be persuaded that the case for war against Iraq has been made". It kinda supposes he *could* be persuaded. And once the tropps were in, it seemed he *had* been persuaded.

Anyway, you will no doubt follow your leader, like the Catholics backing Pope Benedict. For myself, I don't believe in leaders.

written 20th Apr 2005

Al replies: Perhaps Charles Kennedy should have taken a stronger line, perhaps this isnt in the nature of the man. I personally associate with Charles Kennedy and trust his judgement, I don't follow him blindly. I don't have any sort of blind religious beleif that he must always be right because he's the leader but I'd like the Liberal Democrats to be given their chance, maybe they'll end up lying to us and completley mess up the country but I don't think they will and they can't do a much worse job than previous governments.

You loose me completely with the statement "you're playing semantics" and so I can't argue with you on that one.

Interesting point you make at the end of that post; "I don't believe in leaders". Not mocking this view at all but it would be genuinely interesting to hear how you would structure things without a leader.

In your ideal political system how would decisions be made?

written 21st Apr 2005

tiger43 replies: To original comment.....I think you left out the fact that all politicians are mentally insane as well as being perverts of the highest quality and naturally all buggering each other at the same time.

Appart from that, your`e a complete idiot, who requires an education. However 10 out of 10 for your emotional outcry.

written 21st Apr 2005

SM replies: Al writes: " it would be genuinely interesting to hear how you would structure things without a leader."

Representative democracy clearly doesn't represent, it leads. Only direct democracy would be worthy of the name "democratic".

@ tiger. Thanks for the reasoned debate.

written 22nd Apr 2005

Al replies: Ok agreed, Direct Democracy would be lovely.... now back to the real world, three serious political parties to choose from, one of them's going to get in, just pick one!

written 22nd Apr 2005

SM replies: I don't like any of them.

Put it this way, imagine in the real world I'm a mugger and I'm going to kick you in the teeth, the shins or the balls. That's what's going to happen. Just pick one.

Well? Which one do you want?

Exactly, none. You don't like the choices.

I *know* people fought for my right to vote, but I'm sorry, it doesn't turn out here and now to be much of a privilege. Which band of brigands would you like to rob you? None of them.

written 22nd Apr 2005

Al replies: The shins please.

I don't like those choices but I still have a preference.

You can hardly say they're robing us really, they get paid well but not that well considering the high profile job they do. Tony Blair's wages don't compair favourably with those of David Beckham... even Gary "Step over, Sh*t cross" Neville gets paid more than our Prime Minister.

If they're doing it all entirely for personal gain then they're missing a trick.

written 25th Apr 2005

SM replies: all entirely for personal gain then they're missing a trick.”

And you’re missing the point; I don’t think they were doing it for personal gain (although they earn a damn sight more than me), I think they’re doing it to support a particular set of interests. Sometimes known - euphemistically, as if it were value-free – as “stability”, sometimes as the economy “doing well”. And what that really means is that the money is going to the “right” people, and that real power, real decision-making, are in the “right” hands. Not yours and mine. But the hands these things have always been in. No change, no rocking the boat, a bit of tinkering at the edges if the natives get restless, but apart from that business as usual. Call it the “Washington Consensus”, call it neo-liberalism, call it the G8/WTO/IMF agenda. Whatever, all three main parties deviate from it not one jot. Our “choice” is strictly within those parameters, and any perceived differences between the parties are smoke, mirrors and minutiae.

If you’re a party activist you probably think the differences are yawning chasms, but they aren’t. What difference is made to real, normal people? Speak to them: more and more they’ll tell you it makes no difference who is in power.

And look at the defections to the Lib Dems: today a Labour “left winger”, last week a disaffected Tory. Both believe it is their former parties that have changed, not them. If there is such a gulf, how can that be possible?

written 26th Apr 2005

Al replies: Those disaffected candidates appear to have taken the same line as me ie. "I'll have the kick in the shins please".

Their own party don't represent them any more and so they kick up a stink by jumping ship, it's purely a publicity stunt.

written 26th Apr 2005

Al replies: You may have noticed that I've only responded to your last paragraph. Your first two were incomprehensible to none-lunatics but I'm sure they make sence in your head. Sounded like some sort of bizar conspiracy that in reality our politcians clearly aren't bright enough to conceive.

written 26th Apr 2005

SM replies: You are denying the neo-liberal zeitgeist? I suggest you read up on the WTO and the G8. This isn't a conspiracy theory I'm talking about: it's the new economic orthodoxy. It's effect in the UK is sometimes called the "post Thatcher consensus". Remember Mandelsson and his "we're all Thatcherites now" comment? That's what he was refering to.

You are spectacularly ill-informed if you think this is foil hat stuff! Even that Spectator journalist on C4 last night agreed with this analysis.

Do some Googling, read stuff you trust. Try the Independent's website. It's mainstream stuuf, this.

written 26th Apr 2005

Tiger43 replies: I have listened very carefuly to all the various queeries and questions put forward, however I still can`t get it out of my head that all politicians are insane. Perhaps insanity is an important part of their job discription.

written 27th Apr 2005

Al replies: I know what G8 is so don't patronize me... it's Gazza's new name, sounds like 'great' in geordie!

I wouldn't go as far as "spectacularly ill-informed".

I just don't see how these organizations are taking away anything from the bread and butter of british politics.

Clearly there has to be some co-operation between countries on trade and the environment and such as this. And there has to be some sort of concensus on certain policy, if there wasn't we'd constantly be at war with each other, as we were when all these type of organizations didn't exist.

As for "neoliberalism", "post Thatcher consensus", "Washington Consensus". Your shooting out rubish that I just don't see having any effect on me.

written 27th Apr 2005

Al replies: Can't disagree with you Tiger. You're not a Hull City fan are you?

written 27th Apr 2005

Tiger43 replies: To A1....Now don`t laugh, especially with our great history. Liverpool.

written 27th Apr 2005

SM replies: Tiger, I agree.

Al, "neo liberalism" is an economic term, meaning an adherence to unrestrained freemarket capitalism. It doesn't refer to "liberals" in the social sense, but to a new version of 19th century laisser faire economics.

Of course, there's more to it than that: the powerful of the world wouldn't dream of laisser faire being applied to themselves, only to the poor. That's what the WTO, World Bank and IMF rules set about doing. They create a world along those lines. It has implications in the G8 nations, because as well as a global 1st and 3rd world, there is also a 1st and 3rd world (so to speak) within nations.

Those are the parameters within which UK political discourse now resides. It wasn't always thus, it has been developing over the last decade and a half or so. If you are old enough to remember the 80s and before, you'll know that even within "mainstream" politics, there was a debate to be had. Now there isn't. As Mandy said, "We're all Thatcherites now".

If you wish to dismiss that as bizarre or lunatic, then you aren't looking hard enough at the issues. I'd recommend starting with Mark Curtis's book "Web of Deceit". If, having looked at this type of analysis, you still think my perspective is from Saturn or something, then that is your right. Clearly I can't give you a context via this website, if this is a new set of ideas to you.

written 27th Apr 2005

Al replies:
I don't remember the 80's. I'm not interested enough to read about this stuff, I don't have the time to at the moment.

I'll just stay within my safe limits for the time being and vote Lib Dem- a party that I trust. Thanks the attempted education though.

written 27th Apr 2005

SM replies: You must do what you think is right. But, just for me, have a look at Mark Curtis's book sometime. He's no wild-eyed lefty; he works for NGOs in the field of the developing world.

written 28th Apr 2005

Al replies: I'll make a note of it and have a look some time.

written 28th Apr 2005

About Not Apathetic

NotApathetic was built so that people who are planning not to vote in the UK General Election on May 5th can tell the world why. We won't try to persuade you that voting is a good or a bad idea - we're just here to record and share your explanations. Whether ideological, practical or other, any reason will do.

A lot of users would like us to mention that if you spoil your ballot paper, it will be counted. So if you want to record a vote for "none of the above", you can.