Friday, May 02, 2008

Election nights are wonderful. There are swings, exit polls, and reminders that these graphics are based on projected vote-shares. For about 15 years, I've sat up into the too, too early morning breathlessly awaiting results at every opportunity. I even sat up for the results of the referendums on Scottish and Welsh devolution. But not tonight. Tonight I realised that I actually don't care.

I don't care if the Tories take a council in the north. I don't care if Labour can hold Reading. I don't care what Worcester woman does. Unless it's porn. I might stay up if it's porn.

As the early results came in I settled in front of Dimbleby's massive face, surrounded myself with booze, and waited. And waited. And it never happened. The tingle, the odd squeeze of the gut as the Tories take a seat in Wyre Forest, the infintesimal thrill as they lose one somewhere else. It never happened. I just don't care any more.

It's taken a long time for me not to care. I've adopted a position of haughty indifference in public for as long as I can remember. "They're all the same," was a mantra to live by. I knew this. I'd go on at tedious length about it. They're all the same. But, of course, they aren't. Some of them are Blues and are thus hateful gutter-vermin, a black crust around the rim of humanity's toilet bowl, whose every misfortune makes the world a happier place.

And the others have been swaggering disappointment-hounds, urinating in the face of all that was good and decent, with Richard Branson holding their collective penis. From Clause IV to tuition fees, from the Terrorism Acts to Iraq, to the 10p rate of tax, to all my adult life they've... No. It doesn't matter. I don't care any more. And, nominally, I never have - but there was always a little smile of satisfaction when they won something. Because if they won, the others lost. And the only thing worse than them was the others.

Except it wasn't. Finally, my gut appears to have accepted what my brain claimed to know. They are no better than the others. That half-hope that it was all Tony Blair, and that once he was gone they might rediscover the principles you always hoped they had? The pipe-dream of a twatbasket. Nothing more. A towering, imaginary palace, constructed of dandelion seeds and fairy guff.

And tonight, watching the heads bray and bleat about what this means for who, finally, I truly did not care. And I shall go to bed and not care. I shan't care. It's over, at long last. I do not care.

Until tomorrow, when they count the votes for London Mayor...