I just want it over now. The election, I mean, of course. I’ve had enough now.
And I normally LOVE this sort of thing, naturally, being nothing if not a fully paid up member of the Westminster Village; I thrive on polls and punditry. The coverage, the commentary. I am (I am truly sorry to have to confess) a prototypical member of the “sneery metropolitan elite”. (I am hell bent on changing this btw, but right now, if I am being honest, it is who I am, and I have to own it).
And if I’m fed up with it all, then I’d imagine that most of the UK would prefer to stick needles in their eyes than watch another ghastly minute. Even the frontline broadcast journalists (Robert Peston on Sunday, Jo Coburn yesterday) are openly expressing to camera their desire to see the back of it. And there is still another seven days of grim slog to the finish.
It has been nothing if not wholly dispiriting. We’re all exhausted. Politicians talk over one another (it is just plain rude). Journalists spend their whole time trying to catch them out (to the detriment of any reasoned debate). Where is the room for nuance, for reason, for consideration?
The country is more tetchy and grumpy than I have ever known it. Perhaps more so than it has ever been. And the only show in town is petty electoral gain. Nobody seems to genuinely want to tackle the reasons why so many people feel so left behind. So hats off to Grayson Perry who made a rather inspirational programme aired last night called Divided Britain.
This owed rather a lot to David Goodhart’s totally brilliant analysis in his must-read book The Road to Somewhere, but was none the worse for that. Mr Perry staged a brave attempt to get under the skin of our divided and unhappy nation, travelling the country to do so. He says about Brexit that it was full of “subtle, emotional, philosophical and spiritual questions too important and complicated for a yes or no answer”. Well, hallelujah! Some measured thinking. Frankly, it’s a shame he’s not running the country.
I love my country passionately and I will do all I can to work valiantly for its future. But we urgently need to find a new political paradigm. We reap the whirlwind of empowering people without any ideological underpinning, or unifying project; UK citizens only seem to have any identity as consumers, with the concomitant sense of entitlement, but without any common cause. Nobody believes in anything much. And our “leaders” (sic) merely respond to this consumer demand, they are wholly servile to opinion on the doorstep or in the focus group. Where is the healing force? Where is the real leadership? Mrs May is a “glumbucket” even if she is a grown up. Mr Corbyn is authentic but incompetent. You can’t blame people for thinking it is rather a bleak choice.
And it means that anything could now happen. Yet again, it would seem that all predictions of the final result on June 9 have probably been futile, my own included (and I can only apologise). Polls are not to be trusted. People know that it is in their hands to give the establishment another pop on the nose. Seriously, anything could happen as of today (although of course this may have changed again by this time next week). And I feel truly sorry for the Conservative team who must wish the poll had been held on 18 May. The only thing it definitely goes to show is that you go to the country AT YOUR PERIL at any time – let alone for the third national plebiscite in three years (four in poor Scotland).
No, I am sick of the whole shebang. I think the political elite is entirely missing the point. And I am counting the days. Although I have to confess that I will still sit up all through the night next Thursday watching the results; a leopard doesn’t change its spots that readily.
But I just want it over now. So that we can all get on.