And so to the election, which we have thus far avoided speaking of, but which will have to be faced up to this week, and upon which we should therefore decide.
The is the most interesting election for many years, they tell us. Essentially this is because there is no good or bad outcome; regardless of who we choose, we're still in debt, we're still governed by a bunch of rogues, we're still, in other words, basically fecked.
So the choice comes down to this: not who will do a good job, but who will leave us alone to get on with it. It's hard to say, because at the moment they all like to say a lot of things about doing a lot of things, and though experience teaches us that, once elected, they will do none of these things, the tendency is to believe them a little bit and live in dread.
The current encumbent, of course, seems to have the least chance of winning, mainly due to an impressive campaign of idiocy, and also to being the one who got us into this mess in the first place (which, of course, he didn't, he just happened to be at the helm when it all went arse-about-face). And also, we've never really got over the fact that we didn't get to elect him; we wanted Tony Blair (our reasons for which are lost to history, which is probably a good thing, because the gist of it is that we're all insane) and suddenly we get Gordon, and although it wasn't like it could get much worse, we at least liked it better when we felt we'd had our say. We're fickle like that.
Then we have David Cameron, who tries a little bit too hard to make us all like him, like the kid in school who has nothing going for him and kind of knows it, but tries to buy off the weak ones with sweeties Essentially the main obstacle to his election is, of course, that the last time we went for the Conservatives, we ended up with Margaret Thatcher (apart from that other time when we got John Major, but I think that episode can safely be forgotten about, although there is a possibility he still has fond memories of the occasion).
And then there is Nick Clegg, who seems to be winning on the basis that he can't be any worse than the other two, and a change is as good as a rest.
Not that it makes any difference to those of us in Northern Ireland, where we get to choose from an assorted selection of crooks, nutters and general creeps, none of whom do anything much except go to England and make us look like lunatics. Apart from Alliance, who I quite like.
Also, they seem to keep changing the rules. One election, you're putting an X in a box. Then next time, you're doing 1,2,3 in as many boxes as you like. Then you're back to the X. Unless you get to the polling station and someone has stolen your vote, which happens a lot in Belfast. And then they also change the prize. Sometimes you're voting to get people in Westminster; sometimes Stormont; sometimes on the local Council; and from time to time, you get to send someone to Europe. It's hard to keep up.
Anyway, the important thing is to vote, because of the Suffragettes and so on.