Monday, June 01, 2009

Giving them a kicking

The election turnout next Thursday could either have nose dived, as people walked away from the election process as a whole, or they could flock to the polls as a protest vote. We wonder which way it would go, but now The Times seems to be pointing the way.

Relying on its Populus poll, it is suggesting that we might make 41 percent, up on the 38 percent in 2004, itself higher than the previous poll. That is completely bucking the general EU trend, with turn outs of 12 percent expected in member states such as Latvia.

There is no doubt as to why the British euro-elections have suddenly become so popular – and it has nothing to do with a sudden enthusiasm for MEPs. Simply, nearly four out of ten voters have decided to give their domestic politicians a kicking, the only way they can short of a lynching.

With UKIP leading the polls of the tiddlers – depending on which polls to take notice of – an exercise which the "colleagues" would love to think is the ultimate expression of confidence in the project is descending into pure farce. To protest against corrupt politicians in Britain, voters are set on sending even more corrupt politicians to Brussels, where the gravy train is even richer and the pickings easier.

There is no logic to this, and there is every logic to it. Since the whole exercise of sending MEPs to Brussels is meaningless, the voter reasons that they might just as well make the best of it and use the election for a purpose not intended.

When the results come in, they will be just as meaningless – a protest vote that will have no effect whatsoever on the domestic scene, as Brown battens down the hatches and stays in office for the full term.

Somehow, though, as even the saintly Mr Cameron is smeared, politics will never be the same. Estate agents will never, ever again be at the bottom of the popularity stakes.