Comment

Election sketch: can we get this over with please?

There’s been a lot of talk about darkened rooms of late. All parties seem mighty put out at what their opponents may or may not be getting up to behind the electorate’s back, while swearing blind that they themselves have never been found in a compromising or otherwise indecorous position. Nick Clegg and David Cameron? Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon? Cameron and Nigel Farage? But never mind the politicians. Kindly show me to this darkened room as a matter of considerable urgency: I need a gin and a lie down.

I have officially had enough of the 2015 general election. If we could all stop now, that would be grand. It was, I think, the debate-that-wasn’t-a-debate-because-Cameron-couldn’t-be-arsed that pushed me over the edge. Voices were most definitely raised, and on several occasions I had to leave the room in order to maintain near-normal blood pressure. So until Thursday I’m heading back to the bunker. This is Peter Sheehan officially checking out of election 2015. So long and thanks for all the fish.

But what of election night itself? I know that I shan’t be able to prevent myself from tuning in for at least part of it – although if Farage gets elected I hereby give notice that I shall not be held responsible for my actions. It’s tempting to play drinking games, but the sheer length of proceedings make this unwise – unless, of course, you want to be so blattered that you blissfully pass out in the kitchen as soon the exit polls are released and don’t come-to until the middle of Friday afternoon. I suspect that I’ll have to mute the TV before long, particularly if Cameron, Osborne or Grant Shapps/Michael Green – the enfant terrible of the Coalition’s dying days – are too much in evidence.

And if I may nail my colours to the mast: here’s hoping that they don’t get back in. A Tory or Tory-led government is something I have no desire to live through for another five years. But if that’s what we end up with at any point over the coming few weeks, expect to find me alone in my room, unwashed and unshaven, listening to Wagnerian opera and drinking vodka by the bottle. It will likely be autumn by the time I have the strength to venture out unaided.

By extension, it follows that I don’t actually fear the onslaught of the SNP as much as many in England appear to. And I doubt that a Labour government supported by the nationalists would be substantially worse than anything else that we could end up with. Ed Miliband clearly has no desire to see Scotland waltz off, and he has plenty of reasons to deny Sturgeon a second referendum. For the life of me, I cannot work out why voters in Scotland are allegedly launching a constitutional crisis across the border: they have as much a right to elect their representatives freely as do the English, and there is nothing unconstitutional about wanting to split the country in two – not least because, ahem, we don’t actually have a constitution.

What’s more, it would be a bit rich of David Cameron to take umbrage at the installation of a “coalition of losers”, the assumption being that the Tories will have the most seats, but won’t be able to out-vote Labour and the SNP combined. He seems to have conveniently forgotten that he has never won an election according to what is, at least, historical norm, and his party hasn’t won a majority for 23 years. If he once more manages to entice the Lib Dems into bed with him – which seems to be far from a given at this stage – then he will be even less able to appropriate the mantle of “winner”: Nick Clegg’s party looks set to lose around half of its MPs.

But all this is talk for Friday. I will be spending the next few days in quiet contemplation, mentally and physically preparing myself for the onslaught of confusion and bullshit that will inevitably come our way over the coming weeks. May God, in His infinite mercy, protect us all.

04/05/2015

About Author

Peter Sheehan Still faffing around after three years at Concrete, Peter is back for a second year as deputy editor. Presumably that means that last year wasn’t a complete disaster, but you never can tell… Peter has pledged to spend this year delegating as much work as possible to his colleagues, thus leaving him free to further his long-standing efforts to become Concrete’s one-man answer to Peter Mandelson and Malcolm Tucker.



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