Ballot Boxing (Bullingdon Rules)

Words: Jackal Trades

I was trying to eat a sandwich on Saturday and was approached by some students who asked me 'who are you voting for?' this was followed by being pointed at jokingly by a politically branded foam finger. 

I said 'I don't think I'm voting' 

They looked at me strangely and then with a patronising tone said 

'Oh! I see politics is not your kind of thing then. Come on guys let him eat his sandwich' 

Sandwich was immediately ditched and I launched into a Five minute rant (naturally) 


See for the most part I've stayed out of the general election chat which is unusual for me as most people would consider my writing to be satire, my spoken word as social commentary and I've heard my band been described as political more times that I would like.  I would only half agree on any of that if we all agree that everything is political in some form or another. My topical output has reduced massively since the referendum  comedown as I have been a mixture of too busy to watch the news or too disengaged to give a fuck about it. Nobody likes people telling them lies . So why is it that's all I see when I read the paper or watch the news? It has always been that way but I liked to follow it in the same way some people like to follow Eastenders or Coronation Street.

It's a form of entertainment there to be applauded occasionally , laughed at and more likely to be roundly booed. Like the Wrestling or something. 

Let me just say, I think SNP invading Westminster will be quality viewing entertainment but I fear thats all it will be. 

I predicted Salmond would be in Westminster the day he quit as First Minister. It will make for a bit of laugh at Prime Minsters Question Time (Salmond is no Milliband . He will make the opposition sweat and work for their supper)

The rise of Sturgeon is also a sight to behold as she can hold her own on any level . It's been quite encouraging that the press have avoided the usual sexist dribble attached to female leaders as they are seeing how popular she is proving down south as well. They are riding out the wave of her moment on the big stage to see how people react before they can tell people how they should think. I was in Salford playing a gig a few days after the Referendum and it seemed apparent that they had made Salmond into some kind of evil dictator  who was pulling the wool over nationalist eyes. 

That was never me. I feel a flag in the wrong hand may as well be a grenade. My want for independence was to break free from the House of Commons and the imperialism of the United Kingdom. 

I can only ever be partially proud of the geographical location I was accidentally born into. 

Sturgeon is saying the same things as Salmond but they sound less radical because the mantras have been repeated before and she oozes more likeability than the former First Minister. 

This will no doubt create interesting headlines that will be argued all over social media. I predict the Corporate Mainstream Media will paint Scotland, their M.Ps and their supporters as uncooperative spongers hellbent on breaking up the union at the cost of British prosperity. The Alternative media up here will quite rightly detest that suggestion and fight back these loose assumptions with biased opinions of their own. It will grow into continuous cat fights where activists repeat unresearched rhetoric and throw stereotypes back and forth at each other until hate crimes against each other could become commonplace and even encouraged by extremist elements on both sides. 

We are sleepwalking into A Scotland v England argument that will have the same depth as arguing over your favourite colour. You know the Tory v Labour 'debates' they have where one says 'This is bad' and the other says 'it was worse the last time you guys were in charge' and the other goes 'well at least under us----' 

Repeat to fade. 

Like the immigration debate where everyone talks about how we should be talking about talking about immigration but noone ever says anything. 

Scotland v England is going to be one of these straw man arguments. 

Where grey areas are painted black and white as a green light for yellows, reds and blues to make a point about their favourite colour being the best. 


I was up for independence . Right up for it. And still am. Not because I was sure it would fix anything but more  because I was certain the Westminster system was/ is broken beyond repair. Unfortunately, the divide of the referendum made everyone take their eye off the ball at policies and events that were happening down in that London. I hope the SNP can go in their and highlight these things now with other left leaning people and make instant changes without using bad decisions as examples to further their own agendas. I fear it will be a constant bar brawl though as the saying goes 'when you try to change the system from within it is not you who changes the system but it is the system that changes you' so I'm not advocating or supporting anything at this juncture. In other words I won't be voting. Or if so it will likely be a spoiled vote. I am writing this because a friend was raging at me because I said I didn't think I would be voting. 'your a hypocrite if you don't vote because you talk about politics in your live shows and your writings' 

I would argue that I would be more of a hypocrite for voting in something I didn't believe in and I genuinely don't believe in any of this right now. This is perhaps a temporary opinion and I'm not saying that this is the correct action by any means but not one of these politicians has convinced me of anything. And I'll never do anything because I 'maybe' believe you . And I will not accept the guilt-trip of 'but people fought and died for your right to vote' No, people fought and died for your right to 'have' a vote . And they never watched Question Time with their hands in their face over and over again.  There's a difference. They didn't fight and die so you could vote for Jim Murphy for example. 

The paradox here is there is many good people on the campaign trail who think they can make things better and I applaud their enthusiasm and encourage them to vote for whomever they believe in . However,  if you believe in The Tories or UKIP then you are particularly deluded. All I see right now is blind faith in S.N.P who are going to skip towards the Westminster meat-grinder. Scotland v England. The new immigration smokescreen where very little is achieved aside from cheap-shots and backstabbing. It's rigged. If not the vote itself then the narrow narrative in which M.Ps ,  the media and the people can discuss anything. You can talk about talking about immigration for example but not so much about TTIP , The 'historic ' sex abuse allegations , Scandals, Fraud or anything that could anyway affect the freedom we try to imaginatively frame ourselves in. 

Pre-result , already we have seen parties distance themselves from each other. They would rather get a backslap from staunch supporters for not co-operating  with opposing ideas than ever see any real change, progression or evolution as a species. "this is my idea'" well if its your idea then it's a fucking shit idea is the rallying call from all quarters. How good would it be if someone just once said from across the benches 'You know what? thats a great idea. Let's try and make this work' 

I am also not saying there's no point in it all or that we can't change anything. We can change things with music, art, charity, education, community projects or something as simple as being nice to your neighbours. Inspire minds to do great things. I'm all for that . It just seems that politics isn't attracting the keenest of minds right now . 

I like the Greens for example but realistically this is not their time. Then there's CISTA (Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol) a party roundly laughed at as a single policy political group but when you think about it this is one of the few things Parliament could actually do. Imagine this 'Todays business is to redraw the entire drugs policy that is criminalising youngsters, creating addicts and blatantly killing people with bad education and draconian laws. Lets reduce crime and make the country a safer place. In one swoop. Today' Easy!

 The Middle East? too complicated . The bankers? too powerful . The environment? too international . All the planets woes are soooo annoying innit? 

But drugs laws? every expert agrees they are foolish at best and dangerous at worst.  I think the drug laws are one thing politicians should be capable of getting their collective silly heads around and fixing but they won't because they may lose votes and it's ALL about votes. How can change anything if you don't get the votes? So nobody rocks the boat . They play it safe . They claim their expenses. They take cash for questions. Because if it is all about the votes , and it is, how you going to get votes without donations? These investors need to be kept sweet and in return they convince the M.P that they are making the right choice by dabbling in ruthless business practises that ensure a bright career after politics is over and then a handsome retirement.  They tell them what they want to hear then they ride off into the sunset with a handful of duck moats and an Eric Pickles goody bag of biscuits , cakes and denial.  

The good guys don't last . The good guys rarely even get nominated. And when they get ideas above their station they are blackmailed , mocked, sacked or disappeared. 

Labour are dead up here and that is kinda funny to me after all the lies and illegal wars but I also slightly understand why Russell Brand 's U-turn would back them for a vote down south . They are a slightly better choice than the alternative of Tory/ UKIP rule but to me that proves the lack of choice available to everyone.  

Slightly better . Slightly. Better. Neither has any real power to do anything of note. In a way, we give these politicians far too much credit. 

Nick Clegg has been Deputy Prime Minister since 2010. 

Nick Clegg has been Deputy Prime Minister since 2010.

Nick Clegg has been Deputy Prime Minister since 2010. 

Nick Clegg has been Deputy Prime Minister since 2010. 

OH! what power he has had eh? Look at his face! What a powerful man indeed. 

This is not Democracy this is Corporatocracy. 

This is not Capitalism . This is Socialism for the elite and Fuckyouism for everyone else. These are trained actors and puppets who know when to jump and when to shut up. And any kind hearted and fair minded politicians going down there for the first time will find themselves vastly outnumbered with their hands tied and their mouths gagged shut at anything of any real relevance. 

Change involves the long game. If you want to play the long game then you have to play the game. So therefor playing politics is being politics.  Bullingdon rules style games with a lizard-like higher archy keeping you within the rules of the said game otherwise you cannot play any more and you can't change anything if you can't play. 

Maybe I am wrong , I'll be happy to admit so, and maybe this period of history we are about to enter will be forever known as 'The Happy Fun Times' . 

I respect your right to vote so please respect others if they choose to not get involved in this overblown stooshie at the House of Commons subsidised bar . 

Never assume that someone's voter apathy has not been thought out .

Apathy does not define my position. 

They may have thought just as long and hard as you have but came to a different conclusion . I also understand the counter arguments and will not say my decision is better than yours as a fact. 

You can be the change you want to be in how you live your lives and not how you cast your vote . Too many armchair critics can spout the tired line of 'people died for your right to vote' then they ll do nothing productive or helpful for another Five years. Remember, You do have the right to vote but you do not have the right to be a cunt. Do not be deluded into thinking a wee ballot box shimmy will make everything better. 

It is not as important as they would have you believe. 

What is important is your friends and family and your drive and passion . Look after all of them and seeds are planted everywhere.

Speak out.  Insert pressure wherever you can . 

Because no matter who gets in we all have our work cut out for us. 

Literally. they are cutting our work . They are cutting our rights . They are taking our privacy and they are trying to censor the internet so you can't read or hear stuff like this that has an 'esoteric' opinion . 

So hail the royal baby and enjoy the Mayweather fight . Sorry I mean, the establishment's reality TV election soap opera...Ballot Boxing (Bullingdon Rules) 

Remember, I don't shout at you when you don't vote in X Factor or Big Brother. So please refrain from doing so to me as I watch the other channel for a wee bit. This year I'll likely be getting back into Sunset Beach or something I don't have to vote in as we prepare to celebrate 5 years of the Social Not Working at the 13th Note in Glasgow this Friday night