Virginia Barton

19 May 2017: Promises, promises


19 May 2017


Signpost, political partiesA snap General Election has caught us on the hop. The result, according to the media, is a foregone conclusion. But it’s been a year of surprises on the electoral front, and anything may happen.

It is one’s civic duty to vote, but hoards of people haven’t registered. For some reason, the 18-25 year-olds are reluctant to do so. Which is strange when you think that your average Protest march is peopled by that age group. They were vociferous when it came to the Brexit Referendum and were apparently solidly in the Remain camp. But too many of them never registered, and Brexit is happening. (Yes I know we can’t blame it entirely on them.)

To vote you must register. Today is Friday, May 19th, so you have only three days left. So if you are eligible, and have not yet done so, and are reading this — get on and do it immediately, you irresponsible slacker! You can register online; most Universities have set up a registration point, or you can even do it by post – if you run. Non-voters have no right to complain about anything: the education system, the police, the NHS, the House of Lords, taxes, blah blah blah.


I have voted for three different political parties in my time, and paid good money to join two; the most exciting being the SDP, alas a short-lived Party born of protest. Do it look up. For five brief years the Founders, charismatic Roy Jenkins, dashing Paddy Ashdown, mysterious Bill Rodgers and serious Shirley Williams stood for the moderate face of socialism. Labour rudely dubbed them the The Gang of Four; but many of us welcomed a more human, truthful face to politics.

Or so it seemed to me.






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