vote ballot


Tonight’s Friday Night Rant is one that is close to my heart and considering there has just been a local by-election is quite timely. I am an extremely political person, however I am continually challenged by the ‘system’ of politics both in Great Britain* and around the world. On the politics front, my personal bias is towards the Socialist end of society management, however I am happy to debate political belief and ideologies, particularly if it is facilitated by a nice wooden table, copious amounts of red wine, vodka and Marlboro, enough to last the whole night (till around 10am should suffice!), oh and add some great company as well and you will find that I am in fact a very happy bunny. I am extremely lucky to have some very good friends who share this wish for great conversation, however, I am unfortunately not able to join them anywhere near as much as I would like. Circumstance is a bummer eh?

Anyway, I am straying slightly from the point. The main content of this rant was written about ten years ago and was a response to my total disagreement with the way we, as a country, were being driven headlong into an unwanted war, the thin veil of lies that was fed by the government at the time sickened me. Could the British people be so gullible? Hell yes!

Anyway, here is the main bit:

Not Playing The Game (None of the Above)

Ok, so granted, I will usually let my feelings out via poetic verse, however, tonight I can not. Instead, I offer up a rant about the general state of things, and more importantly, the dire state of British politics today.

Now first up, at the moment I find it particularly difficult to vote, In the current system, I refuse to do so. Unless there is an option on the voting form that says ‘none of the above’ or something seriously changes in the political environment I will continue to refuse to vote. I don’t have an option I can vote for. Why is this so important to me, well, politics in the western world has become way too much of a game, it’s about winners and losers, it’s about gangs. ‘my gang is bigger than yours!’ ‘look at all the people who want me in power’. bollocks. People only vote for parties because they have to be seen, or feel that they have had a choice, that they have made a difference in the world that they inhabit.

Of course you and I know that they don’t, yet they are happy, because they believe that they have a vote. A voice. Their say. Their representative. Do they not realise how much of a game politics has become? Do they know that it is all just a game?

Martin bell knew that was the state of british politics, he went in there, fighting, with the eyes of a journalist (not your new-fangled BBC News 24 or SKY News journalists, who are more concerned with their own image, and the false story, and the duties of a 51st state, and the ”””’latest headline””” ””””’breaking news””””’ ”””” we were first””””,)

No, Mr Bell had seen the world, he had seen war, famine, politics, life, and he knew what he saw was wrong. He was an independent MP. How hard must that have been for him?

So how do you make a difference? Well you stand as a member of Parliament in your local constituency, you stand for what YOU believe in, not the game. Not winning. You stand for life. You stand for the benefit of humankind. For people like you and me. You stand for yourself. And so, until the voting form in Britain IS CHANGED, UNTIL I CAN VOTE THAT I DON’T WANT ANY OF THE ABOVE TO REPRESENT ME. NONE OF THE ABOVE, FOUR SIMPLE WORDS. NONE OF THE ABOVE MUPPETS REPRESENTS WHAT I WANT, WHAT I FEEL, AND WHAT I THINK. UNTIL THERE IS A NONE OF THE ABOVE OPTION, THERE IS NO POINT IN VOTING, AS ALL I WILL BE VOTING FOR IS A GAME. I DON’T LIKE THE GAME, MY LIFE IS NOT A GAME. I AM HUMAN AND I HAVE MY OWN RIGHTS AND MY OWN BELIEFS, AND SO, NONE OF THE ABOVE APPLIES TO ME.

It will never happen, there will never be a none of the above. That’s thinking way too far outside the box, that’s becoming dangerous, like Mr Martin Bell became dangerous, he became way too dangerous. and those playing the game, well, they didn’t like that, they didn’t seem to like truth.

shame on them. shame on them all. all the game players.


So, that was what I was thinking then, maybe what, ten years ago? On reading it back, It is a little bit shallow, but In general I still firmly believe that there does need to be a None of the Above option on the ballot paper. So at least that says something. What would happen if more people selected None of the Above than all the represented parties in an election? Chaos probably, and I don’t have an answer for that, I am guessing that would take a great number of further conversations had around a nice wooded table with copious amounts of red wine, vodka and Marlboro to sort out. In the mean time however, if the country really needs someone to step in and take the helm, I volunteer myself and am willing to rule in a similar fashion to Azdak from Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle. Maybe not perfect, but truthful.


As a bonus to this Friday Night Rant, I am including a short poem which was written around the same time and will be featured in my upcoming poetry book: Sounds and Vision.

Conversation: Sheep to Tony, Tony to Sheep.

This is not about oil, it’s about freedom he said
We show them how life is with choices he said
To choose how to live and to not end up dead
And that is our aim in this war he said.

A life like our own? Is that it ? I said
Our freedom to choose, are you sure I said?
To have faith in the truth, and to not be mislead
Is that your true aim in this war I said.

Yes he said yes, yes he said.
To be truly free and to never be dead.
To have lots of choice and to never be led,
Down the sorrowful path of dictation he said.

Well I don’t believe you, I think it’s a lie
For oil and for money these people do die
Your hunger for power is extraordinarily high
And that is why you lie, you lie.

How can you say that, how do you know?
It can’t be because I told you so,
For I have said nothing that could contradict
Our allies and their assimilation remit.

You must be some kind of traitor I think
So we’ll take all your pens and all of your ink
You’ll write no more, and you’ll dare not think
You’ll dare not think, you’ll dare not think.
You’ll write no more, and you’ll dare not think
You’ll dare not think, you’ll dare not think.
So I wrote no more, and I dared not think.
I dared not think, I dared not think.

© simon garlick 2002





*I use the term Great Britain for a reason… it might be a clue as to next weeks Friday Night Rant!