Diary of a first-time non-voter

'For anybody thinking of voting, the question of how you are going to get to the polling station should be number one on your list of woes.'

A message to anybody busy trying to decide which party to vote for at the election - all three of you. With risks around every corner, the question of how you are going to get to the polling station should be number one on your list of woes.

It’s not just people living in foot-and-mouth areas who need to think seriously about getting a postal vote. Anybody who relies on the London Underground or the UK railways to travel should consider stocking up on stamps, now that the entire system has been declared a safety risk.

The Times (London) informs us of the ‘Double whammy of sun and smoking’ (1), which apparently makes you develop a face like a used tea bag. So if you do like a fag and think the election might fall on a sunny day - get a postal vote, don’t risk it.

Even if you always wear sun block, leaving your home unguarded could have drastic consequences. The ‘Cracking Crime Through Design’ report, backed by UK Home Office minister Charles Clarke, details novel ways to prevent you having to go through the ordeal of victim support counselling.

TVs with plugs that only work in one home, and trick handbags which look like they open at the front but actually open at the back, are just a couple of the suggestions for crime prevention. Buildings, apparently, should also be designed with safety from crime as paramount, so that young children and women can’t be seen from the outside. (What I want to know is, which lucky man gets the job of safety inspector?) If you are unlucky enough to live in a house with windows just ask yourself, is it right to leave your wife and kids at home to go and vote?

It’s a dangerous world out there. So, if you live near a pylon, if you own a mobile phone, if you go to the pub and don’t use the handbag clips under the tables, if your answer machine message says ‘sorry I’m not home right now’, if your polling station is in a school (where yob culture is bound to be rife), or if you eat meat, you obviously aren’t fully aware of the risks involved in just being alive.

Save yourself! Don’t go out on the streets - get a postal vote instead. Or better still don’t vote at all. Don’t you know that muggers frequent the post office, waiting for helpless grannies to collect their pensions?

(1) The Times (London), 24 March 2001

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