Part of Me blog

Elena Croft

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Earlier this week I was siting in a little coffee shop and listening to a haggle of teenage girls discuss the latest you-tube viral that is the Paxman/Brand debate*. After 10 minutes in of being a nosey mare, I couldn’t help but think that I may have to replace my drafted “I love animals” blog with something a little more substantial (I love animals to follow next week).

 

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I have sat back and read 100’s of tweets, blogs and general comments on the matter. My Facebook feed has been inundated with status-wars and the occasional hero-worship of Russ “sticking it to the man”. I had hoped to distance myself from my generation’s tendency to only have an opinion on a topic if has 100,000+ you-tube views, but on this occasion I really couldn’t help myself.

You may ask what gives me the right to comment on this matter? I could follow suit with the majority of the blogs out there and bash out my credentials, spend hours trying to find ways to substantiate my opinions, or just plain out deny the existence of any truth but my own.
Actually, the fact I have a MA in Politics genuinely means very little…!

If you don’t understand a voting system, need to get to grips with Watergate, or would love to know what happened in the Middle East from 1952 onwards, then I’m your gal. However, 4 years of study only touches the tip of the iceberg here. Politics is 80% the study of society and I’m a long way off understanding my own actions, let alone the actions of others.
What I do know is that everyone has a right to an opinion on the matter. Politics, in its loosest form, is about PEOPLE, their interaction and how we all attempt to mediate our overriding instinct of self-preservation at any cost – we can all get involved with that conversation!
Thus, my first annoyance is Jeremy asking what gave Russ the right to comment? OH GOD JEREMEY, pig-heads are so 16th century.

 

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It is probably apparent that I’m not the biggest fan of ol’ Jeremy and you wouldn’t be wrong. I could go on a rant about Paxman’s past, or the details of their heated exchange, but what probably hit me the most was something Brand said:

He has never voted.

Now, before we proceed, I must admit that I approach this topic as quite a big fan of ol’ Russ. He seems to posses a genuine compassion for our planet/those who share it with him, and that really can’t be knocked.
I can also relate to his apathy towards, and disillusion with, our domestic and geo-political systems. I myself went from being an aspiring diplomat, to leaving university unable to read a newspaper. But, most importantly, Russell is the rumoured reason that Katy Perry wrote “Part of Me”, which is an absolute TUNE and, in my eyes, it makes him the modern day “Dark Lady”.

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However though, not a single vote… ever?!

You might think that this dismays me because, like Paxman, I believe that voting in our local and general elections promotes change. On the contrary, I completely sympathise with the idea of a protest vote. What is the point in purchasing a jumper in Primark if they only have it in size 6 or 20? It’s not going to fit me. And yes, if I didn’t buy it maybe I would get cold, but at least my friends would see that I didn’t settle for the mediocre. But then would my friends even notice? Or care?  As we can see I’m getting bogged down in analogy, but without trivialising our domestic affairs by comparing them to Primark’s buying patterns, I would like to remind everyone of a referendum that occurred on 5thMay 2011: The Electoral Reform.

How many of those out there who now call for change actually voted? This was your chance. A small once yes, but a chance nonetheless. Russell’s protest vote doesn’t sit well with me on this one.

If I could leave you with any point, it would be to not let watching the latest episode of your favourite series on Netflix stand in the way of the next chance for real (albeit small) change.
I implore those who let the referendum slip by them to read up on it. Heck, encourage your friends to. (See Charter 88 for inspiration).

Thanks for reading.

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*I use debate in it’s loosest form as at no point did Paxman digest any point made by Brand due to his sensationalist obsession with branding Russ (see what I did there) with the emotionally packed term of being a “revolutionist”.