Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Faltering at the Final Hurdle ...

I’m finding it hard to keep up the momentum this week on all fronts. I’ve retreated to my bedroom at silly hours, like eight o'clock to read fiction. Its election day tomorrow and I feel intensely gloomy and despairing. People who know me know that I can get like this sometimes so it’s not necessarily the possibility that we might wake on Friday morning to find we have a Tory government. It’s not in anticipation of the ‘mythic’ hung parliament. No, we've had a coalition government in Scotland for a while now and we are doing all right. This moment of introspection isn’t even because I’m undecided. It’s more to do with the insistent, probing question that faces me in the darkest hours. And the question is this: ‘what is the bloody point?’

Damned self-indulgence I know but I can’t shift a mood that feels like a huge heavy bird has swooped down, propped a claw on each of my shoulders, spread its wings and cast shadows over everything. ‘What is the bloody point?’ In these final hours, I am not filled with the possibility that this country will endure great change, for there is no leader of the three spirited enough to instill the confidence, let alone inspire it.

But I will vote tomorrow for the countless Suffragettes and Suffragists who fought so hard for my right to put a cross on the ballot paper.

These women obviously felt there was a point ...

Image from Photograph The National Archives

I’ll do it alone, for the year I suffered through Higher History where the struggle for the Votes for Women was met with sneers and indignation from the boys in the classroom. I did get my own back - I was the only one of the lot to get an ‘A’. So much for history.

But still I wonder, what would the Suffragettes have made of this three party race pantomime headed up exclusively by men, flanked by their good dutiful wives ...

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