I have a very naive view on politics. I mean VERY naive. I was raised to fear God, appreciate my family and love my country. (Yes. In that order.) The nuances of politics never came into my life. Irish=Oppressed, English=Oppressor. What else did I need to know? I was a girl in a Catholic-dominated country. Farmer's wife and mother to a half-dozen children would be a decent fate. I spent years being lulled into a false sense of security that such would be the case. But I was young. Misguided. I won't tell you the name of the book I read or the movie I saw that changed the course of my life. It's embarrassing and frankly, you're going to have to get me so drunk I'd be singing Fields of Athenry in a pub full of Rangers supporters before giving up that information.
I dodged said fate and have now lived half my life in the UK. It took me in, educated and gave me a job, and afforded me the luxury of pursuing dreams I never knew existed until I aged enough to know the kind of person I might want to be. I have a lot to thank this fair, fine land for. The least a lass can do is vote for something she believes in. That's the kind of education it gave me. It seems only right to honour its contribution by returning the favour.
Unfortunately, I don't have a hope in Lucifer's Loo of disseminating and understanding the complexities that have been wielded by Governments in power over many decades of pretending to clean up each other's mess, all the while adding to said mess. It makes me feel - to some extent - a failure. Makes me feel as though I have no right to have a say if I do not have the intelligence and wherewithal, in the words of Red, "...to crawl through that river of shit and come out clean on the other side."
So I'm keeping it simple. Cos I'm a simple creature at heart. Back to basics, choosing to vote for something I like about life and this world: Change. The insanity that goes hand in hand with doing the same thing (or voting for the same party) and expecting different results needs to end. Change is scary if you don't relish and revel in it. So look it in the eye, give it a big smile, a bear hug and tell it to get on with stuff. You'd be surprised how well things work out if you give change the time and space to do so.
So See You Next Thursday, Politicos. I shall wield my pen over your name knowing I have at least a hand in your fate, no matter how small. I just hope millions of other voters who choose not to vote because of that well worn and thoroughly unfounded reason "what difference does it make?" feel the same.