Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ten years on

It is ten years since I last cared about the outcome of an election. Any election. May the 1st 1997 was a great night. There was a great sense of optimism that the exhausted Conservative government was being swept away by a fresh broom.

It is also just over 15 years ago since I was genuinely disappointed over the outcome of an election. I was gutted that Labour lost the 1992 general election. The next day a colleague - Vince Stevenson, an anarchist - said that in my lifetime Labour would win an election, Blackburn Rovers would get promoted and that none of this really mattered.

He's right, and the main difference now is that being a high profile journalist means it's no longer practical to support a political party in the way that I support a football team.

I vote in every election, I think it is my duty to do so. Even when the stakes aren't anywhere near as high as they are in some places in the world today. When I see the lines and lines of people waiting to vote in Iraq and South Africa then I am reminded of that important obligation.

I'll be voting Labour in the Marple South election for Stockport council. On the face of it the Liberal Democrats do a decent job of running the council. The local councillors, all Liberals, seem to be the only ones making any kind of effort to ask people what they think or keep the voters informed. And they don't seem to be suggesting that we're going to have to have fortnightly rubbish collections.

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