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Editor’s Words – April

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With a General Election called for next month… will readers of Bent be bothered to vote?

According to the two main parties the choice is clear – us or them! Both Labour and Conservative hate the fact that an election should be more than a two horse race, just listen to them talking down the minor parties to see what I mean. “It is just a wasted vote” they chorus because no one but they (substitute either of the main parties) can govern this sceptred isle. In that case, why vote if we are going to get what we don’t want all over again? With less and less people turning up at the polling stations to administer their ‘cross’ of approval the main parties are happy because it means they will retain the power. If you are not happy with the way things are…the only way you can change things here in the UK is to vote. Now, you may feel that, perhaps as a gay man or woman that this past Labour government has done quite a good job on defending our ‘gay rights’ and to a certain extent they have. Meanwhile, leader of the Tories David Cameron says he wants change and is actively courting the ‘gay’ voter by saying all the right things but his own history, when it comes to gay rights, is pretty woeful. However, who’s to say that he has not seen the light and all things will change should he be the next leader. The Lib-Dems I always thought were the ideal party for the gay vote. A large proportion of their front bench (if rumours are true) appear to be of our persuasion but… do they have the bottle to see things through. At the last election, when members of that party were the targets of a bit of media gay bashing, they slid away and licked their wounds instead of coming out fighting. Not in the least impressive! Thankfully now they have a new young leader in Nick Clegg and a financial wizard in Vince Cable, so who knows. Here’s something else to consider. Are we only going to vote for a party that puts gay rights at the top of the agenda? What about the Greens, they must have had the right idea because every other party seems keen to adopt green issues. The Independents seem to be a wasted vote but, locally an MP dealing with local issues and not aligned to any party whips (don’t get me started on that) has to be a positive. Sadly, the BNP success in Europe has shown that if you can’t be arsed to vote… some things happen that you might have wished otherwise.

Getting anyone out to vote this time will be a problem and the reason for that is quite simple, we just don’t trust the buggers! If they aren’t spinning the ‘truth’ to suit a political agenda they have their greasy hands in the till ripping off the rest of us. This last 12 months or so has proved one thing very clear… politicians are the most loathed people in the UK. To get our respect (oops that’s another party altogether) they have to get rid of the deadwood (which they always seem keen to do in other public areas), clean up their act, tell the truth and not just more often… tell us the bloody truth… (I’m sure we can handle it) and stop pretending they know better. By letting a small group of moneymen take the world to the cleaners the current worldwide downturn shows that politicians have no better grasp on economics than you or I

We are living in 2010 and not some sixteenth century feudal system where we are lorded over by our ‘betters’ and put our cross where we are told to be the squire. Parliament should be for the people… alas recently it has been found out and turned (as I think someone famous once said) into a den of thieves. So, if you want change… vote… a protest vote is still a vote and it sends a message that you are not happy with the way things are.

Don’t be afraid to take a stand or make a difference.