'Are you going to vote?' James asked over lunch (tortilla, in case you're interested).
'Yes,' I said.
When I was young, I used to wear a badge saying, 'Don't vote; it only encourages them'. I thought myself an anarchist, falling in love with the drama and sheer naughtiness of it. But actually, as I've grown older and less wise, I find myself pondering more and more about anarchy as the ultimate aim. It's a misunderstood term, by and large. The word comes from the Greek - anarkhos - meaning, simply, without a chief/ruler. In a political sense it denotes the absence of government, absolute freedom of the individual - a stateless society.
Anarchy asks that we are utterly, totally moral within ourselves. That we hold ultimate responsibility.
Anarchy holds the state to be immoral. Can you argue with that?
Who was it that said, 'The most dangerous people in the world are those who know what is best for others'?
Whoever it was, they have a point.
I'm a dreamer, huh? But, see, I don't trust politics. I don't trust politicians. They all say they know what is best for others. It takes a certain kind of person, I feel, to become a politician. The bossy, know best, sort. It's another truism that the people who probably should be in politics, wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. While those who probably shouldn't, fight tooth and nail for power. Power. That's the key, huh?
Meanwhile, back in our kitchen, Adrian got up from the table. A little too noisily, the chair scraping a little too violently. 'I suppose you'll be voting Green again,' he said, nearly spitting out the word. 'Green', that is, not 'again'.
'Most likely,' I said.
'And what do you think would happen to the economy?' he said, turning rather red, or was it green?
'What economy? There won't be an economy if we don't have a functioning planet,' I said with a smile.
He marched off. And that was our first (and probably last) political debate of the election. :-)
It made me smile because it put me in mind of my parents. My father was staunchly Labour; my mother firmly Tory (possibly the only Tory-voting Guardian reader?). Come elections they would have poster wars - ripping down one another's posters from our front window. It got very heated. Politics usually has that effect. So, here we are again - Adrian true Blue, me a bit water melonish?
Of course, going back to the Greens, they're not as squeaky clean as you might think when it comes to environmental issues - but they're a darn sight better than the rest. Quite seriously, the finer political points do rather become meaningless if we don't have a home planet, don't you think? And a lot of the things that get us hot under the collar fade away if we start to think of our 'state' as the whole planet, not just places with boundaries determined by random historical and geographical decisions; if we think of our 'people' as the human race in general, rather than our 'class', our 'type', our 'race', our 'sort'.
Maybe I just want to shuffle things up a bit. A lot. Because, heaven knows, we're in a right pickle the way we are, aren't we?
Is it a wasted vote? I don't think so. Everything has to start somewhere. Remember, not so very long ago, there wasn't a Labour party. And the 'real' work, the real change, doesn't come from outside, from the dictats of any political party or government - it comes about within each and every one of us. It comes when we change ourselves.