Talking ballots

Posted by Ian

It’s that time of the year again. Local elections are being held across England and Wales on Thursday, along with contests for seats in the London Assembly and the post of London Mayor.

I’m not going to bang you over the head with all the moral and ethical reasons for voting; any sane, rational person is familiar with them and knows what to do.

I’ll merely remind you of how, in an age where so much of our life is beyond our control, the chance to have any kind of say about the world in which we live is precious.

We can no longer influence the price of a tank of petrol or a loaf of bread; we can’t do anything about interest rates or the ability to find a mortgage; we can’t stop our country going to war or signing up for more nuclear weapons; we don’t have a way of preventing jobs disappearing abroad or companies being gobbled up by international corporate giants.

But we can do something about the state of our roads, our bin collections, our nearby leisure centre, our parks, even our street lights and pavements. That may not sound very much, but together they add up to a hell of a lot to do with our quality of life and our ability to enjoy the world on our doorstep.

So get out and vote on Thursday. To coin a phrase from that unfairly-maligned decade, the 1980s: think global, act local. 

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41 Responses to Talking ballots

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    I\’m going to vote BNP, as a stand against this ruinous government we have suffered with for long enough

  2. David says:

    to be totaly honest i have lost all confidence with anyone involved with our political system. I am disgusted when our beloved leaders can blatantly lie,cheat,and milk our hard earned taxes etc as if it was their god given right. It is even more annoying when they assume we have no right to question their litle gravy train. As for brown and his refusal to allow us an EU vote,that just shows their arrogance towards the people who pay his fat cat salary and fat cat pension.  No i think voting just encourages them. also when i was younger (i am 62) councillors claimed nothing like these people do now

  3. john says:

    labours gotta go..ASP…

  4. Paul says:

    To waste one\’s vote by not using it forfeits any right to comment on the hypocracy of our \’leaders\’. Please use your vote to demonstrate that \’we, the people\’ have have the ultimate power. I, for one will not forget this current Governments action of robbing the poor to help the rich.

  5. Robert says:

    When you do not vote,you have to sit back and do,and say nothing.
    Your vote gives you the right to speak out.

  6. Tine says:

    Labour have ruined this country and Ken Livingstone has ruined London, so I will be one of the first down the polling station doing my part to make sure we aren’t stuck with him for 4 more years.

  7. Sue says:

    After sitting in on a council meeting I am astounded as to how much time and money is wasted. They did not listen to anything
    that was said and it seemed that all decisions had all ready been taken. I feel that Mrs Pankhurst will be turning in her grave,but
    no I will not be at the polling station tomorrow.

  8. Tine says:

    Why complain about they way things are done when you have a chance to change it you sit back and do nothing?? fools!!

  9. Stu says:

    Personally I think the best use of our votes is to turn up and spoil our voting slips.  If more people did that it would send a far stonger message to polliticians than not voting at all!  They cant say you havent bothered to go then because you have, and have made a firm choice that none of them are worth your vote!

  10. Aly says:

    Personally I think people have too little information to make a valid choice on who to vote for. I\’ll be down tomorrow voting, hell I\’ll even be at the counting as a agent but thats because I\’m supporting a friend. I don\’t really know if they\’ll be better then labour, I can only hope.

  11. Sue says:

    If each of us wants to change who gets in power whether local or otherwise, then we all need to vote and not just for the main 3 either as they are basically the same. People should widen their horizons and research other parties and check exactly what policies they propose and how they are going to implement them.
    If more people did this rather than just voting the top 3, then who knows what we could change between us all!

  12. j says:

    i think their are too many immigrants in this country for us to do any good.
    they take our hospital, gp\’s, benefits, and what ever they can take or labour can give them

  13. j says:


  14. Eddie Walker says:

    I say it\’s about time we had some decent food in this country. Enough dilly-dallying already! Where are my shoes?

  15. Eddie Walker says:

    The morally respectable option of course is not to vote, but to stand for election oneself. However, it is above and beyond the line of duty to act in such a pompous manner, and I can only hope that none of those who might read this are struck with that ever so recogniseable flair which accompanies the most dastardly of occasional passers-by. Now, there may not be enough time left, but I for one (and one for I; a tiger, elongated smiles) shall not stand for this sort of hysteria. It is about time we, as Londerners, and London-goers, took a stand against this clear violation of dignified convention-upheld by only the finest creams of the most fertile crops-such a breed may never be fully apprieciated. Needless to say, one can only do what one believes is the correct thing to do, and others may demand more, but, in passing, it is quite obvious that this is a wasted endeavour, as there simply aren\’t the resources in place to deal with this modern-day hydra.

  16. Eddie Walker says:

    Please vote for me! I\’m really nervous about tomorrow. Mum ironed my tie, but she messed it up (again!) and now it\’s charred in the middle. Got the runs again, probably too much coffee, but I need to stay up to video BBC News 24. Got some new shoes earlier, mum said they made me look handsome but I\’m starting to think they make me look a bit gay (all the better I suppose, if I can steal the gay vote from old Paddy-wad!). Anyway, the videos need changing. Adios amigos! And please remember to vote for me!

  17. Will says:

    People gave their lives for democracy.
    Not to vote is irresponsible & dangerous.

  18. Unknown says:

    Well said John. BNP only party making sense realistically at this time. I shall be voting and not to vote is to give in to the present goverment.

  19. PAUL says:

    its lets get rid of labour day, im off to vote NOW
    Lets show these morons we have had enough of being taxed to death, if they get back in power im going to give up work as I will not be able to afford to work, I would be better of unemployed than earning a salary.
    Lets start with the councils and frighten them

  20. ashley says:

    Yeh BNP only party who appears to have sensible and realistic policies, time for a bit of a change i\’d say 🙂

  21. robert says:

    im personally going to stick with labour, ok the big thing atmo about the tax is pain and ive been short-changed by it, but i prefer the rest of labours policies what you dont hear much about. As much as id like BNP i doubt that could work now.

  22. Rebecca says:

    I\’ve no idea if I\’ll be voting today, for the simple fact that I\’ve no idea who\’s standing and what they\’re standing for.
    There have been no flyers through our door, no notices in our area, and I\’m not sure I like the idea of voting just for the sake of it when I\’ve no idea who I\’ll be voting for.
    I want to vote, don\’t get me wrong; I know the implications, but at the moment I\’m having trouble finding out who these people are and what policies they promote.

  23. thomas says:

    i agree with bobster! i think labour have done a lot of good! i just despair at the people who will vote as a reaction to media stories. in which bad news is the only news reported. if your gonna vote know what your voting for! BNP? deary me. please dnt x

  24. immiscibility_2020 says:

    I agree 100% If you don\’t vote, you lose your right to moan or complain about what follows!But it\’s not just for those reasons that it\’s important to vote: for us women, it\’s personal! It\’s been less than 100 years since women have been allowed to vote, and we owe it to those women who dedicated their lives to campaigning for us to have the right to vote. By not doing so, it\’s dishonouring everything they worked for.Read, think and vote – for your own sake!

  25. robert.hunt says:

    No matter which party you support, the important thing is to exercise your right to vote. Our freedoms are being eroded enoug as it is, without us forfeiting the one real power we all still have.

  26. georgia says:

    It does not matter how you vote… I feel whatever we vote, they have already made their decision, we are tiny ants in a rat race, which we have no control over.  I understand the upset of immigration etc.. but if BMP are voted all ethnic miniorities are under attack, including british citizens…. The public have no voice, we are under rule of goverment.

  27. Toyin says:

    Look, I have had and seen enough!
    The reality is that people fought for us to have the right to all vote. Whether your choices are limited is not the problem, because in the end if you really have a problem, you should do something about it through the ballot box or by engaging in politics yourself as some have done in more recent years as a response to IRAQ hence RESPECT (although they are a pretty vile bunch I must say).  
    I think it is silly to first say that you do not want to vote because of lack of choice. Even worse is to say that you do not want to do something about it. Yes this is hard to do but it has been done so people need to seriously stop whining. Most of the problem is that they themselves do not bother to engage in the political process or local politics then when things happen they don’t like, they complain about it.
    With regards to today however, the choice is clear. Realistically, I will be voting Labour because I know that I will be getting the most competent lot out of a pretty half-bad bunch. Vote Tory, Lib-Dem or worse still BNP – which I cannot actually believe some people here are so stupidly considering, and you get what resembles blatant xenophobic policies that will deliberately marginalise the poorest and the most venerable in our communities. If people really care, they will do the right thing.
     Quite frankly, I am sick of people blaming their personal circumstances on immigrants (most of whom work a lot harder than the indigenous population in the worst paid jobs).  I am also done with people blaming it all on Labour and not their own individual choices for how they live their lives. People spend way above their means then blame the government for it. Now really, did Brown or Livingstone physically force you to spend that extra £50 on booze and food? No we choose everyday to do things that we then don’t want to be accountable for ourselves. I have heard so many people complain about the congestion charge but then hark on about how green they are at home and how better they are in doing it than most when we know that car emissions are one of the biggest pollutants out there! In reality, we want the best but are never ready to quite swallow the consequences. Governments and their administrations that are doing their jobs are usually the ones taking the hard decisions to do what is good for us and not what we just want!
    Do the right thing and make a good realistic choice for now for London which is a Mayor and an assembly that will realistically deal with difficult Londoners demands sensibly.

  28. Tine says:

    To Mr (no name) below me,
    When I started reading your comment I was actually nodding in agreement with you because I too am fed up with these people that don\’t bother to vote for whatever reason and then complain about the way things are done afterwards. IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT MAKE THE EFFORT TO CHANGE IT.
    That was however until I reached your 3rd paragraph, because how anyone who lives in London can vote for ken Livingstone is beyond me! I mean, do you read the policies of candidates before you vote for them or are you one of those people like my Nan who votes Labour just because she has done her whole life.
    Let me educate you on a few of you beloved ken\’s brilliant ideas.
    He wants to reduce the speed limit on all residential roads to 20mph. (because it will save the environment. lol) At the same time he has closed all minor roads in London so that all the traffic has to go down the same main roads to get anywhere. This means that those of us driving in London (I’m a courier before you tell me to get the bus) have to drive over half a mile to get somewhere that is 200 meters round the corner. (Someone please explain to me how spending and extra 20mins stuck in traffic helps the environment).
    He also thinks that the fact that 54% of London school children not speaking English is a good idea because it means were multi cultural. The fact that our children aren’t leaning anything because the teacher is busy trying to explain the lesson in 10 different languages is irrelevant.
    I would like to point out that I am one of those people voting BNP and for the first time I might add, because having bothered to look at the facts they are the only party that makes sense anymore.
    Regardless of my views or anyone else’s I would encourage everyone to make the effort to read about the candidates and vote.

  29. peter says:

    (no name)

    Yeh BNP only party who appears to have sensible and realistic policies, time for a bit of a change i\’d say :)01 May 09:21


  30. peter says:

    Ashleybarker….says hes voting BNP…yet…he\’s not even 18 yrs old, hes not even from London and cannot vote in london elections AND….he has a photo of a black girl on his profile. wonders never cease, BNP is undoubtedly the party for thicko\’s.

  31. peter says:

    well, the fact that about 50% are expected not to vote at all…tells you that 50% of the country do not support any govt or mayor. And dont say if you dont vote you have no say or cant complain… makes no difference unless its a marginal seat….Boris is way ahead in the polls, my vote will not make a difference. And dont say if everybody thought like that, then nothing would change….the fact is…not everybody thinks like that…that only strengthens my argument that one vote doesnt make any difference unless its in a marginal seat. 

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