How your vote won't count today

OFF to the polling station today with a strong suspicion it won’t improve things in the slightest? Here’s why you are probably right to be cynical.

Total idiots will be voting

You’ve studied the issues. You’ve given it thought. You may even know the candidates’ names. But your next-door neighbour will instantly cancel out your vote by voting Tory because he’s imagined that the next James Bond will be gay.

Wasted votes

Most of the votes in England and Wales are first-past-the-post. So if you want to vote for a party or a candidate that isn’t one of the main contenders, save yourself some time by making your own pretend ballot paper and putting it straight in the bin.

They’re local elections, for f**k’s sake

People will vote on national issues, not what local government actually does, and Boris Johnson will not be losing sleep over Obscureby-on-the-Wold district council turning Lib Dem. It’s even unfair on hardworking Tory councillors battling dog mess and potholes who get booted out because of Carrie’s wallpaper choices.

The Brexit juggernaut

In the Hartlepool by-election it’s clear that Brexit is all that matters to many voters. While this state of affairs persists politics in general may as well be be put on hold, because they’d vote for Pol Pot or a potato if they promised to ‘get Brexit done’.

You might be able to vote for a pointless mayor 

‘I can’t wait to vote for our metropolitan mayor!’ is not a phrase you’re likely to have heard down the pub. Crime commissioners are another voting opportunity, although it’s hard not to think, ‘Maybe we should just have more police?’

The government doesn’t give a shit

Even quite important results, such as another huge victory for the SNP, will be ignored. There could be nightly riots across Scotland and Boris Johnson would just be doing his usual Mr Benn dressing-up as a lab technician or a fishmonger the next day.

Your parents' guide to being a pain in the arse while eating out

IS a meal out with your elderly parents now just a few weeks away? Here’s how they’ll take all the fun out of it:

Getting dressed up

You’ve told them it’s just a carvery on a retail estate, but nonetheless your dad willl don full suit and tie, mum will be in her best earrings and they’ll both be horrified that you’re wearing trainers. It’s a pub, not the Raffles Hotel in Singapore in 1935.

Constant inane questions

Once seated expect a barrage of pointless queries including: where the toilets are, what the toilets might be like, whether the manager is the owner, if this is the same place Don and Denise went to for their wedding anniversary in 2014, and a fretful conversation about how much the tip will be.

Expressing prejudice against food

As they peruse the menu, strange opinions will be expressed. Any duck dish will be rejected because it’s ‘just fat’. Cauliflower gives you wind, apparently. Heaven help you if you’ve gone for a Chinese dish because that will never fill you up.

Alcohol tension

Depending on your parents, they’ll either get surprisingly pissed on one drink, or not drink at all, making you feel as if you should get alcohol counselling for ordering a second glass of Merlot.

Menu choices that defeat the point of eating out

With a range of fancy gastropub things like lamb shanks or guineafowl, your parents will decide they want a plain omelette with chips. Don’t bother arguing – they’re still suspicious about getting a free basket of bread rolls.

Awkward interactions with staff

Your dad will consider himself a top comedian if an obliging waiter smiles at zingers like ‘Beats cooking for myself!’ Expect callbacks to this early hit throughout the evening.

Total ingratitude

You booked it. You drove them there. You put up with their bullshit, paid for it, and left a generous tip. On the way home your mother will take a call from your sister and describe the whole experience as ‘nothing to write home about’.