So, here's a tumblr of spoilt ballot papers for yesterday's farcical Police Commissioner elections.It seems to be evenly split between protests against politicising the police force and crudely drawn pictures of male genitalia. Clearly, we are a divided nation.
I ended up not voting. I went out to vote, but forgot, perhaps because I only wanted to vote because it seemed certain that there would be a whirly eyed nutter of some sort standing, and the turnout was going to be such that this person stood a chance of getting in. That, too, would be a form of spoiling the ballot, which as I say I forgot to do. This seems to sum up the enterprise.
Thing is, that whirly eyed nutter could have been me. Me and my mate Kevin had talked over the possibility of a maverick populist run for Sheriff of Manchester, with a campaign based around the time my dog attacked the leader of the council while he was jogging in Crumpsall Park to symbolise my no nosense approach to politically correct policing, and a promise to get tough on whatever it is that people want to get tough on - you name it, I'll jail em. I could have funded the whole thing with subventions from tear gas and water cannon manufacturers and promised a drone for every neighborhood watch. Then I could have got reelected, jailed the council, appointed myself warlord and pulled in a bunch of guys from Hezbollah to consult on social cohesion. It would have ben a blast.
Incidentally, it's worth noting that pretty much every attempt to change British politics in directions which *promised* more democracy - regional government, elected mayors, STV voting the AV referendum and elected police commissioners - has been firmly rejected by the electorate. One hopes this is because of the lack of merit of each concrete proposal and because people see these things as responsibility dodges by actually existing politicians.