Election 2017: The sequel no-one asked for

❉ Comedian Sam Michael’s take on the upcoming General Election.

“Having already seen political dick-swinging outside Westminster from those that represent us and my Facebook feed turn in to the house of commons, General Election fever is certainly upon us. With that in mind, here are some things to remember over the next two months as we approach polling day on the 8th of June…”

Vote Sam Michael.

It was 11:06am on Tuesday the 18th of April, just another normal day in the office when suddenly “Have you heard the news?!” cried Carly, who spends all day on Daily Mail Online when she should be working. The whole room froze, had Trump declared war on North Korea? Had Putin declared war on the West? Or even worse, had Kris Marshall been officially confirmed as the 13th Doctor Who?!

None of that, instead our Prime Minister, Theresa May decided that it was time to let the left play their ‘third time lucky’ card and hold a nation-wide vote for the third year in a row. Yay, just what a divided country needs; a summer of vicious debates, childish insults between political leaders and poor David Dimbleby (Dimbledogs to his colleagues) having to pull an all-nighter for the third year in a row at the grand old age of 162.

You can just imagine the reaction of every MP across the country hearing the news that they have 8 weeks to defend their constituency:

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Sure, a general election is what is needed to keep up the tradition of the beginning of June marking the end of May, however a general election which is usually fought around the principles of the NHS, education and tackling poverty will instead be cast aside for a subtle re-run of last year’s EU debate. Within minutes of the announcement, LibDem leader Tim-Farron was tweeting about Article 50 alternatives, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was tweeting about Article 50 alternatives and UKIP leader Paul Nuttal was tweeting about black British passports and pint glasses, or something? Yes, ultimately this General Election has become the Brexit sequel that nobody asked for, a bit like that new Jumanji movie with The Rock in it, or Fast and Furious 8, or The Mummy; The Scorpion King…  I know it sounds like I’m picking on the Rock for no reason, but Rocky really did suck following his face-turn in 1999. Anyway…

Having already seen political dick-swinging outside Westminster from those that represent us and my Facebook feed turn in to the house of commons, General Election fever is certainly upon us. With that in mind, here are some things to remember over the next two months as we approach polling day on the 8th of June…

Social Media ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ don’t count as votes

If you’re a remoaner (formerly a remainer) like me, the result of the referendum came as a shock. Was it the fact that people voted against the promise of war, recession and bendy bananas?! No, it was because everybody on your Facebook timeline said they were voting remain wasn’t it. The fact is, 9 times out of 10 you share political opinions with your buddies and thus it’s easy for your Facebook account to become a bit of an echo-chamber (tick echo-chamber off your political word bingo!).

Having said that, those that don’t share your political opinions won’t change their mind because you shared a quote from Emma Thompson, a Guardian Article or an Adam Hill rant from The Last Leg. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t voice your opinion on social media, in fact those who on the day of election results take the time to write a status complaining about political related posts (we all know it’s because they’re too thick to understand the importance of it all) get on my tits. Of course debate via social media, but reframe from name-calling, blocking people who don’t agree with you or being an out-right prick by thinking you’re right just because you took a Politics A-Level. Oh, and if the vote doesn’t go your way… Try not calling everybody a racist the next morning. Likes and comments mean nothing in the grand-scheme of things, so make sure that if you’re passionate about your political arguments then get out there and vote, campaign or even work to support the local candidate of the party you support.

Celebrity revolution has no resolution

Celebrities have a vote, and if they really believe in something whether it be politics, religious beliefs or who they think should win Bake-Off; they will use their status to get their opinion across. Heck, even I’m doing it now as a We Are Cult regular to write this. Having said that, take everything they say with a pinch of salt, otherwise you’ll end up with a reality TV star as a world-leader or something! Ha ha! Oh wait…

If you judged voters opinion purely on the opinions of celebrities (Americans not included) that would mean that in the EU Referendum, the UK voted against the opinions of Stephen Fry, Professor Brian Cox and Professor Steven Hawkins and took political advice from Jim Davidson and Keith Chegwin. The latter two I’m pretty sure Leavers took no notice of either!

One name that sticks out is TV presenter (2001 – 2006), comedian (2006-2009), movie-star (2010-2012), anti-voter (2014-May 2015) and Labour supporter (May 2015 – Late May 2015) Russell Brand. In the lead up to the 2015 general election Russell Brand was all over the television discussing politics and how he thought the system was corrupt (good point) and how people shouldn’t vote (BAD POINT RUSSELL, BAD!).

Sadly, with the amount of campaigning and anti-voting tripe he tweeted and published in his book Revolution, before long he had individuals on twitter tweeting him images of them ripping up their polling cards, something Brand urged his followers to do. This was of course until a half-arsed meeting with Ed Miliband, who won-over Brand’s political heart with a few “ain’t” and “gonna”s in the voice of Dick Van Dyke.

Regardless of whether he’s right or wrong about “the system” it currently isn’t going to change and Brand alienating young people to vote was dangerous and what did he do on his series Trews News after all this? He laughed about it.

Many believe Brand was coming from a good place and that he genuinely cares about working-class Britain and those in poverty. I however question the moral ethics of a man who did a whole arena show entitled ‘Scandalous’ in where he explains to the 02 how all he wants is the world to revolve around him and enjoyed his media expose following his sacking from the BBC. Let’s hope that if he does try and influence voters this time, he at least stays politically consistent.

The TV Coverage of the General Election results are funnier than any political satire

As mentioned earlier, each General Election or nation-wide vote results in ITV, Sky and Auntry Beeb broadcasting results long in to the night and in to the following morning. Is it worth staying up for? In my mind, yes. Although it can be depressing as the vote doesn’t go your way (which is every time for me) it’s great to watch them fill hours of space with inane chat about nothing or what may or may not happen. The best time to watch is around 6am the next morning when everybody has been up all night and tempers are short and all professionalism goes out the window. Just like this gem from Sky News…

On the whole however, it’s a night of Swingometers and long, drawn-out election results much like this…

A message to the yoof…

If you’re between 18 and 25, the politicians are wanting you to vote more than ever. BBC Question Time lures you hip young tweeters in to joining the conversation with #BBCQT whilst the likes of Nigel Farage are trying to speak to you via Snapchat, yes, Nigel Farage is on Snapchat.

The fact is youngsters, like the EU Referendum a General Election is something that shapes the future of the country and it is you who will have to live with it for longest.

With that in mind – GET OFF YOUR ARSE AND VOTE! Turn-out in the previous two elections has been pretty poor and with those aged 65+ reaching up to a 90% turnout in the 2016 referendum (including those with disability scooters and walking sticks!).

I know politics isn’t very “lit” and voting for middle-aged men in suits isn’t as appealing as voting for Calum Best to win Celebrity Big Brother 754, and I know those of you who do vote are raging with anger as generalise a whole age-group in this sentence (triggered!) but this is a chance to make a difference which won’t come along again for a rather long time. Plus, the less you vote, the more these politicians will embarrass themselves by trying to appeal to you, give ‘em a break!

And finally, you’re not technically voting for May, Farron or Corbyn!

The way the media goes on, they make you feel that you’re voting for the names above rather than Conservatives, Labour, LibDems, UKIP or Greens. In actual fact, with the way the political voting system works you may have to vote for somebody else to get a certain results. I for one, am not a fan of the way the voting system works – I don’t have a solution but it’s just… meh.

Essentially you’re voting for which party takes your local seat and who becomes your local MP. Ignore the TV debates and the media’s crucifixion of party leaders and concentrate on who’s running as an MP in your local area. They will be the ones making local designs and representing you in parliament. Take the time to find out who’s running in your local constituency, they may just surprise you. I decided to take this approach in 2015, and after hours of research I found out my local MP was a cunt, and thus I based my vote around that factor.

So here we go, another summer of vicious campaigning and childish political dick-swinging in an already divided country. YAY!

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