You can tell it’s election time because you can’t really escape it, whether it’s radio, television, newspapers or social media.
Next week people across the UK will be going to the polls — if they can drag themselves away from their Christmas shopping.
In the meantime, politicians are vying to get their voices heard on all of the aforementioned channels, but only so they can tear their opponents to shreds rather than try to convince us that they are worthy of our votes. Then it’s the predictable promises of lower taxes and better services for all.
It’s tiring to hear them bang on. And don’t get me started on the exit from Europe. I’m a Remain supporter, although I never got to vote as I was still living in Dubai at the time. I’m one of those poor souls who are simply struggling to muster the energy to oppose it anymore. They’ve worn me down. And now this December election.
Aren’t voters stressed enough on the cusp of Christmas without such political turmoil rolling around their screens and figures of all political hues egging them on to choose a side as well as gifts for their loved ones? It’s too much, says I, what if I get lumbered with a bobble-head Boris or a Corbyn beard trimmer? It’s carnage.
I’m guessing the time of year will greatly affect the number of people who would be bothered to go to the polling station and cast their vote. They’d much rather be flailing about in the shoppers’ scrum wrenching their last-ditch attempts at gifts from thinning shelves while equally desperate customer service workers watch in bemused horror. Actually, that sounds like a lot more fun than voting for another career politician who has probably never been in a shopping scrum before, nor would even dare to enter the high street shopping area strewn with normal people.
I hope the entire festive season isn’t drowned out by politics. We’ve had enough of the dreary conversations and endless debates about what will happen to the UK, to Ireland and now, to Scotland.
As we continue to look inward at our own borders and worry over the ‘control’ we have, the globe is slipping from our grasp and a future of uncertainty faces us. Have you ever wondered what visitors from outer space would think of us if they simply looked down on us from afar; the rushing around at this time of year, the yells of politicians and the scaremongering from all angles? They’d think we’re as mad as a box of frogs, bonkers as a bag of cats, and they’d be right. I’d be the first to beg them to take me with them — or at least take the politicians.
As we enter the Christmas season, and the election milieu, it falls on all of us to try and break free of the propagandist chatter and to really research our options, as it will be one of the most important decisions we’ll make this year — turkey or beef for Christmas dinner?
I’d like a politics-free Christmas, if possible, one in which all that matters are the people you’re with, and the sense of wonder and excitement that emanates from those around you. Add to that a few bottles of something delicious and the wafts of Christmas smells and all will be well.
Whatever comes in the New Year we will all face it together, but only after a heady mix of holiday frolics, a wonderland of complete and utter festive-fuelled escapism and as stress free as possible. I’ll vote for that.
— Christina Curran is freelance journalist based in Northern Ireland.