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The Absence of Politics

In David Hare's excellent 1993 play, 'The Absence of War', a Labour Party leader, George Jones, is the lead character. Famously brought to life by the late John Thaw, Jones is a good man; a man of principle and a politician who wants passionately to speak the truth.  

However, when the Tory Prime Minister calls a surprise General Election, Jones' frailties are laid bare. A hostile media attacks him on all subjects. There's in-fighting within his party hierarchy. And ultimately the election campaign which started with such promise, descends into chaos and dismal failure.  

For the first time since I started voting in 1987, I really have no clue what to do on Thursday. I may well stand in the polling booth, pencil in hand, looking blankly into space for inspiration.  

I know who I CAN'T vote for. And that's the chap who will, with 100% certainty, get elected in leafy, affluent South West Hertfordshire. But after that, it's a mystery. My default vote is for the Greens because if we don't have a planet then all politics is meaningless. 

I would never tell anyone how to vote. All I know is that it's important that we do. As many of us as possible. For democracy to truly function.  

The conclusion to 'The Absence of War' sees Jones, broken, surrounded by his closest advisors, coming to the realisation that's there's only one thing left to do. "I know what we'll do. Let's all join the Tory Party. And then let's fuck it up........"