But Nigel Farage made me feel I should vote. Made me want to man the barricades. Made me want to walk through the rain to stand up for what I believe in (although in truth Anne drove me there). Because, often against the evidence, I still believe in and am proud of living in a tolerant land. And because I hate charlatans and weasels and pub bores and stooges for big business, and smug fucking hypocrites, all of which he inhabits whilst selling people some perverted version of integrity. (And yes I am some of those things sometimes, also. I don't like myself for it.)
The voting sheet was a lengthy thing – a couple of feet – full of proportional possibilities. Eleven parties after my vote. Seven of them centred on base instincts – hatred, envy, chippiness, blame - club little england circling the wagons against an imagined enemy – not least considering Shropshire is 99.8% Olde English, where it's always 1954 and raining. And I haven't included the Tories in that count. It comes to something when to someone like me they feel like a plausible tactical vote against right wing extremism.
One of the parties was called The Harmony Party. Its tagline was “zero immigration”. I actually felt ashamed. Mainstream politics is wildly, criminally, out of touch. I get it. I agree. I rage against the dying of the light. But we need to wake up to the fact that horrible people with bad intent are filling the vacuum. Quickly.