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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Apathy rules today, ok?

The year I was 18, there were two elections (General and council), and I was so proud and thrilled to put my X on the ballot papers. I even did some canvassing for one of the parties, so newly minted and optimistic was my political confidence.

I have never not voted, a legacy of Mrs Pankhurst (we owe it to her) and a view that if we're lucky enough to live in a democracy, we must exercise our democratic rights.

But I won't be voting today in the European elections. I believe apathy and an appallingly low turn out will send a better signal to Mr Brown and the rest of the crooks (sorry: MPs) than voting for the opportunists who have sprung up calling themselves UK Independents, Monster Raving Loonies or whatever else. Vote for them if you like but they will be toothless and useless.

It's not just MPs' expenses I'm angry about because that's nothing to do with Europe. But the MEPs are getting a somewhat generous 47% pay rise which hasn't had much attention, That seems overly generous, even if they do get paid in euros, when most of us in the private sector have had pay rises of zero.

As for the MPs and their expenses. Words have occasionally failed me. It's the brass neck of the bufton tuftons who say haughtily they haven't done anything wrong, the system allowed these claims. That says nothing about their moral responsibilities. Duck houses, wisteria trimming, non-existent mortgages, bath plugs and charity donations. It would be a comedy if it wasn't so tragic.

I imagine the turnout today will either be derisory (it's usually poor for the European elections anyway) or the Independents will score massive wins. Whatever the country's verdict, it won't come a minute too soon. The Labour MPs who resigned yesterday and today fell on their swords too late. They should have done the decent thing the minute the Telegraph started its revelations. We're all heartily sick of the lot of them, whichever denomination they are. It's time for a fresh start.

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