Big Eye, April 28, 2015

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Most people who regularly read my column probably have divined by now that I become very tired and emotional when it comes to politics and particularly politicians.

Politics interests me in the same way that dogs are interested in lampposts, bones and cats – but I am always seeking someone or some party that I can hang my hat on.

During my previous ‘three-score years and 10’ I have failed to find an electoral home that chimes with my personal beliefs and as each election looms the decision seems to become harder.

To date, none of the candidates in my constituency has even tried to push a leaflet through my letterbox let alone button-hole me on my doorstep.

My village is entirely devoid of posters jammed on sticks in front gardens and even the farmers have barely been able to summon the energy to plaster the hedgerows with posters of candidates gurning balefully into a camera.

Visitors from Sussex staying with us for the weekend commented that you’d never know there was an election going on in Norfolk judging by the political disinterest displayed by our sleepy little backwater residents.

Why is this? Why can nobody be bothered to even try to get my attention or request my vote? Do we not have massive problems in terms of infrastructure, migrant workers, poor communications systems and public transport arrangements?

Are we not suffering from a conniving and shabby leadership who appears to be able to shrug off responsibility for throwing away millions on half-baked waste schemes that come to nothing?

So why is nobody howling to the rooftops and demanding your mandate for change?

The current incumbents of Norfolk’s ‘safe’ seats appear to be so confident in what I imagine they think is their God given right to remain in their slot that even they can’t be bothered to venture to the provinces, although all the candidates managed to take their seats in front of the people who turned up for the “Q & A” session hosted by the Lynn News.

My belief is that the current first-past-the-post system and West Norfolk’s routine of returning the same people to Parliament time and time again has resulted in an utterly disinterested electorate who don’t vote or, if they do, it involves sleep walking into the booth and marking the only name they recognise.

The same seems true for opposing candidates who, on the whole, don’t appear to have the gumption to fight to get their alternative message across to the electorate and consequently look for all the world like they’ll acknowledge defeat before Polling Day.

It’s ‘one person one vote’ so whatever the rosette’s hue, the current mandate to rule is claimed by the party with the most votes.

What satisfaction can there be in knowing that the only reason you’ve been returned to Parliament as an MP is because nobody could be bothered to contest your seat ... unless you only care about the power and the glory?