Have you noticed how colourful this month is? First there were the little buds of colour; the orange and red hues were the first. Then, seemingly overnight, the blues and yellows seemed to blossom forth. It’s a miracle.
I am talking, of course, not about spring flowers, but of the election posters – these pieces of card emblazoned with imaginative phrases like: “Vote blah blah” and “Vote yadayada”. Inspiring stuff.
One night you go to bed and there’s nothing to be seen. You awaken the following morning, and the whole county is festooned with these things. Every lamppost and railing has some piece of Day-Glo card hanging on it. It really is amazing.
I’ve never actually seen these posters being put up. Is it done by an army of little pixies – like oompah loompahs, but dressed in the colours of their selected political party, I wonder? Hundreds of them, all chattering in high pitched voices and climbing on each others shoulders to reach halfway up the lamppost where they secure the poster before moving on to the next one.
Is that how such a rash of party posters appear so quickly and in such a short space of time? I’d like to think so.
But (you knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you?) what about when the election is over? What happens when the winning candidate is off to Westminster to work out some new way to fiddle their expenses? What happens once the losing candidates have gone home and closed their doors on a world that didn’t understand how their policies would be so different from every other party’s policies?
The rosettes lie abandoned on the floor. The ballot slips are sent off for recycling. The news teams head to the nearest pub. What happens then?
I’ll tell you. Nothing, that’s what.
The little party political pixies are not so fast at returning to take down the posters. Instead, hundreds of cardboard signs hang there for days – sometimes weeks – often until the rain and the wind has left them limp, ripped and jaded before they come loose and lie sodden in puddles.
And I think that’s very revealing about how much a particular political party actually cares about the area. If they really cared, then the party activists (or pixies) would be heading out the minute the votes were counted and they would remove the posters – a blight on our county.
But, no. So often they are left there for ages, sometimes until they work themselves loose. And in my mind, the political party that leaves its posters up the longest is the one that cares the least. If they can’t be bothered going back to take their stuff away, and just leave it there for weeks, then I think that says a lot about them.
And whichever party’s poster is still hanging there in the middle of June is the party who WON’T be getting my vote next time.
So, let’s just watch and see who it is, shall we?