There is no anarcho-syndicalist candidate for this constituency, and, although whenever election time comes up I can't help but have The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing's 'Doing It For The Whigs' rattling round my brain, nor is there anyone standing locally in the Whig interest. So I was in a quandary as to how to cast my ballot. I have never voted for a successful candidate in a parliamentary election, and 2017 will not, I fear, break the record.
Hereabouts, several leading activists for the Opposition parties have decided to throw their weight behind an independent pro-NHS candidate in an almost-certainly vain effort to defenestrate sitting Member Mr Jeremy Richard Steynsham Hunt, and those of them who were members of the Labour Party have been expelled for this temerity. I've seen a lot of her posters round the streets, but I'm no very great fan of 'independents', most of the time. You can be an 'independent' anything: the label tells you nothing, even in the vaguest terms, about the position that individual might take on any given issue. I'd sooner a candidate had some ideological tag as a broad guide to their views. If you don't know who this 'independent' is personally, you may as well just close your eyes and stick your cross in a random box.
My ancient, residual affection for the Liberal Party, nursed over years, still makes for a little pang of glumness as I see that YouGov are predicting that both Mr Clegg and Mr Mulholland will lose their seats: my friend Professor Purplepen has been doughtily leafleting and doorknocking in the interests of the MP for Leeds NW, and I fear her efforts may receive a poor reward. The Prime Minister called this election on the assumption that she was going to walk into a landslide and had to do nothing to justify it except offer up empty, robotic sloganising, and she heads a party that see themselves as the rightful owners of the country and everything in it: it would have been gratifying (and no more than just) to see that arrogance slapped back, to see their shock and surprise. But it probably won't happen.
Well: governments are elected to do a job, and we all know what job looms largest for the UK at the moment. Once that's out of the way things will look different, and there will be another chance, another window of hope, when we might choose to Do It For The Whigs.