View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
6 May 2015

Obviously I’d rather boil my own head than vote Tory. Maybe I’ll just stand as an indie again . . .

“What are you going to do about drugs?” asked a man in the street.

By Suzanne Moore

It’s not true to say I have long been disillusioned with party politics, because that would mean I had been “illusioned” in the first place. Obviously I would rather boil my own head than vote Tory, but Labour drives me quite mad. And the Lib Dems are simply mad. This was how I felt at the last election, which is why on the spur of the moment I decided to stand as an indie. Which was possibly the maddest thing of all.

It is unlikely that you will get elected when you campaign for only three weeks, have no money and no staff, and actually dread the idea of meetings, point-scoring debates and feigning interest in loads of boring stuff that actual MPs have to do.

This is how I found myself in my local high street with a balloon, some badges, my kids and friends with my leaflets, designed by my mate Spike.

I stood next to the canvassers on the Green stall, who were very friendly, whereas the Labour people – who assume this seat is theirs – were rude. They’d arrive in a minibus, bustle about shouting, and be gone in five minutes.

The local freesheet said it would have endorsed me but it was too late as it had already photographed the Monster Raving Looney – or Nigel, as I came to know him.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

All sorts of people promised to vote for me, though most of them did not live in the area or seem to grasp that this mattered. Everyone had their own issues.

“What are you going to do about drugs?” asked a man in the street.

“Legalise them.”

“What, all of them? How about acid?”

“Oh, acid for sure.”

I also became authoritative about parking even though I haven’t really a clue. Parking was certainly a bigger issue than Afghanistan – but I was campaigning outside the health-food shop and saying I’d pull out all the troops.

You see, if you set yourself up as “a real person”, one unlike other would-be MPs, you nonetheless soon find yourself aping the politicians you so despise, pretending to know everything and promising things you have no way of delivering even if you were to be elected.

Most of the issues people were concerned about were the job of the council and not that of an MP at all. Could I get their repairs done? Could I get a fiver knocked off their rent?

Often I had to explain that there was an election at all. They had no idea. A film crew from Belgium came and kept referring to everyone I chatted to as being “from the ghetto”.

Still, on polling day, as I put an X next to my own name, I remembered I’d promised a man in the park assisted suicide because my friend texted to tell me that was what’d make him vote for me. “I love assisted suicide,” I texted back.

One vote in the bag!

All power corrupts, and I’d not even got any yet . . .

Content from our partners
Labour's health reforms can put patients first
Data science can help developers design future-proof infrastructure
How to tackle the UK's plastic pollution problem – with Coca-Cola

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU