‘Aye right’ is one of my favourite Scottish turns of phrase. It means ‘Is that so?’ with one eyebrow raised…
Bluntly, it means, ‘I think you’re talking ballcocks’
Back in 2010, there were 45,597,461 registered voters on the UK Parliamentary register for the general election.
Since I can’t find the 2015 figures, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for relying on those figures for the purposes of…
That said, we know that this election has seen the greatest turnout of voters since 1997.
67%, or two thirds, of folk who were eligible put their cross on a ballot sheet, ensuring their place in history for austerity, whoops, my bad, posterity….
The stats show that, much to everyone’s surprise, the Conservatives crashed through the 300 odd seats required to give them the 51% majority in the Commons.
Fabulous – this is democracy in action.
That said, they got 37% of the votes…which is only a little more than a third…
No matter, we bought into this first past the post system – that’s the way it works…it just is…
No matter – just over 10 million people voted to ensure that Mr Cameron wouldn’t have to get the movers in.
10 million – that’s loads of folk – surely that gives the conservatives a mandate to do what the fuck they like over the next 5 years?
Ah, well, you’d think that…but here’s the section I’d like to call FUN WITH MATHS!
No, you’re probably right, but bear with me.
So, 10 million, I think we’re agreed is a great big number.
However, if we look at the We Didn’t Vote because *insert your own reason here* Party, we find they make up a third of people who were eligible to vote…
Which, according to my maths, accounts for 15 million people…
Hold on a second! So, the party that has the balance of power in the House of Commons got 5 million fewer (none) votes than those who didn’t…vote, that is.
It’s more than a little weird that a country that flogs democracy anywhere in the world they can wave a flag, can’t sell it to a third of their own folk.
Sure, blame the none voters – dangle the fate of the Tollpuddle Martyrs and the Suffragets over them…I mean, how could they?
In parliament, MP’s don’t have to take any one side in a debate – their right to abstain means they don’t have to affiliate with the Ayes or Noes without fear of derision. Their action – or inaction – is seen as equally valid.
So why can’t we indulge our none voters in the same way?
To my mind, this screams there’s a fucking huge vacuum in British politics. A rich vein of folk – every bit as valuable as you and I who, for whatever reason – disenfranchisement – the inability of those who’d call themselves leaders to connect with them – who knows, didn’t vote.
The reason we don’t know is because we haven’t asked them – and, as ever, if we don’t know, our minds will happily fill that gap with what?
15 million people!
The next time someone tells you the Tories have an unequivocal mandate…
Or that the 2015 election is a great example of democracy in action…
Or that we shouldn’t bother, there’s no hope…
Just tell them, “The Aye Right’s have it”
Walk a mile