Thursday, June 04, 2009

I Went To Vote

I went to vote yesterday. I took my son with me, partly because the polling station was at his school, but also because I wanted him to see me doing it because it’s important.

Everything I heard on the radio suggested that we citizens have become so thoroughly disenfranchised with the system, what with all the scandal over MP’s expenses etc, that none of us would bother.

And in the evening, since it was sunny and my son was at Beavers at church, which was also being used as a polling station, I took a book and sat on the church steps and read, and watched the people coming and going.

What I saw was a beautiful thing. Couples walking along hand-in-hand clutching their polling cards. Whole families with young children coming out together. Fathers and sons heading off to vote together for the first time. Groups of young people voting with their friends. People of all sorts, all colours, all ages. All of them smiling, all of them proud to be part of something. Just like me.

So whatever you read this morning in the media, a media that seems to be escalating its war against the politicians to ever more extreme levels, don’t believe a word of it. Real people are still going out, quietly, in their millions, to vote for a system that they not only believe in but are fiercely proud of.

And deep in the bowels of Westminster, of Brussels, of our councils, among the spin doctors, the media hacks, and the moat-cleaning duck-island building spivs, there are still people who are in public office for no other reason than that the want to help run the country and make it a better place. Long may they continue.