"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
For more information about the books of Nicholas Murray
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Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Literature and the Election

Yesterday in the park I walked past the Labour MP who will be expecting me to vote for him on 6th May and he beamed at all passers-by with a universal, impersonal smirk.  Why am I so indifferent to this election?  Why does my heart sink at the preparations for "the TV debate" – a stage-managed process which I will certainly not be watching?  And will there be more features in the Guardian Review embodying novel ways of rounding up the usual suspects (Pullman etc) to offer their valuable contribution as "writers" to the understanding of a process which Dickens (see picture) dealt with more appropriately in The Pickwick Papers? 

I am not 'cynical about politics' or trying to dodge my civic duty.  I shall 'exercise my vote'.  But the spectacle of the issues that matter being daily evaded by all sides does not help the digestion.


Kathleen Jones said...

I'm also approaching this election with a very heavy heart. As a committed socialist all my life I have no enthusiasm for the current line-up and feel totally disillusioned with what has been achieved. Yet there is no one else offering anything that would give me any hope at all.

Andrew said...

Huxley in After Many A Summer put the farce of modern 'democracy' quite well, I thought:

"'Privilege is dead; long live privilege.' Government must always be by Tyrants or Oligarchs. My opinion of the Peerage and the landed gentry is exceedingly low; but their own opinion of themselves must be even lower than mine. They believe that the Ballot will rob them of their Power and Privileges, whereas I am sure that, by the exercise of even such little Prudence and Cunning as parsimonious Nature has endowed them with, they can at ease maintain themselves in their present pre-eminence. This being so, let the Rabble amuse itself by voting. An Election is no more than a gratuitous Punch and Judy show, offered by the Rulers in order to distract the attention of the Ruled."

Andrew said...

The archaic style as the extract the writings of a late 18th century earl or some such.