Dirty talk, politics and Radio 4

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[It’s been a while.  Sorry. Still, never complain, never explain as Katherine Hepburn or Benjamin Disraeji apparently said.]

It is Czechman who reminds me that there is soon to be a general election back in Blighty.   The conversation goes something like this:

Czechman: You know there’s going to be an election in England soon don’t you?

Me: (barely suppressed yawn) Is there?

Czechman: (incredulous) You are going to vote, aren’t you?

Me: (sigh) No.  Why should I?  What difference does it make anyway?

Czechman: (irritated, contemptuous) I cannot believe that someone like you, with your education, who spends so much time listening to BBC 4 –

Me: – it’s Radio 4 actually –

Czechman: –  can’t be bothered to vote!  You will sort this out, won’t you?

Me:  Umm, probably. [Which of course means no].

I have only ever voted once. Excited at having the chance to play a very small part in helping to oust the Tories, I put my cross in the box for Labour.  What did Mr Blair’s government go and do?  Finish off the job the Conservatives had started by getting rid of student grants and replacing them with loans –  just as I was about to go to university.  This is my excuse for being disillusioned with elections and politics (or should I say, poli-tricks).

It is just an excuse though. The main reason I don’t vote is apathy and Czechman knows it. The fairly transparent subtext of his part in the above exchange can be paraphrased roughly as follows. I grew up under Communism and so I know more about the value of democracy than you, spoilt Westerner. Throwing away your right to vote because of laziness – and therefore letting others decide for you – is negligence of the worst kind.

I know he’s right.  It’s just so hard to get excited about Messrs Brown and Cameron and so much easier just to ignore all the petty Punch and Judy exchanges now I’ve left the country.  And yet.  It’s not exactly that the suffragettes had in mind but I will probably succumb to Czechman pressure and apply for an expat post vote just to keep the peace. 

Who will be getting my cross in their box?  I’m not telling.  You see, that’s democracy, comrade.

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‘What about the dirty talk?’ those of you who’ve actually read this far may be wondering.  

Ah.  I’m thinking of changing the name of the blog to ‘Girl in Czechland With A One Track Mind’.  It will please those who end up here after typing ‘Hot Czech teen nymphos’ into Google.

12 Comments

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12 Responses to Dirty talk, politics and Radio 4

  1. Hi GIC,
    Good to see you blogging again. I face the same dilemma – do I apply for an expat vote for the forthcoming UK election?

    Unlike you, I have always voted in every UK national election for which I’ve been eligible to vote in. But I am also very disillusioned because of Britain’s totally undemocratic electoral system. The current Labour government only got just over 35% of the vote in 2005 but has a majority in parliament!

    If I apply to go on the Register of Voters I will be registered to vote in the constituency where I last lived as will you if you also apply. In that constituency, even if the Conservative Party put up a blue monkey as the candidate, s/he would be elected! The 2010 election will be decided in only about 100 of the 600+ constituencies – those that are marginal.

    Unfortunately, neither the Labour nor Conservative Parties want this to change because they believe in ‘Buggins’ turn’. Hence I share your disillusion with current British politics even though I am a firm believer in democracy.

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Chaplain,

      I am, like yourself, rather disallusioned with the choice on offer at the next election back in Blighty. One of the problems is, as always, that the first past the post system means that it’s just a two horse race and so even if you vote for one of the smaller parties, there is little hope of them having much real power in Westminister. Still, I guess if there’s a hung parliment this time that could all change.

      I’ve found out that the best way of casting my vote is to do so by proxy. I really like the word ‘proxy’ and am glad, if nothing else that the election is giving me the chance to use it in relation to myself. 🙂

      GIC

  2. Hi ‘Girl in Czechland With A One Track Mind’,
    I love the picture, the topic and surprisling I also post something related to the ‘democracy’.
    After watching this short documentary: http://www.whydemocracy.net/film/37
    I had almost the same discussion, with my czechfriend.
    She trusts in this system, I’m 36 and NEVER voted, in italy.
    Democracy is the freedom to not partecipate to something I consider a fake democracy.

    • girlinczechland

      Hi Pedro,

      While I haven’t been the biggest participant in the process during my life so far, I wouldn’t say democracy is all a big con.

      What is interesting though is that the Czechs I talk seem to feel much more strongly about the importance of exercising your democratic rights than most Westerns do because they obviously didn’t have any under Communism.

      Is that a fair comment Czech readers?

  3. Adela

    Actually I was always thinking that Czechs are the laziest voters ever. 🙂 People are usually fed up with politicians and apathetic to vote. For example my parents are (age 49 and 44) like that. I tried so much to make them go vote but I was unsuccessful.

    I think this middle generation is rather apathetic but maybe my generation (age 25) is more constious or something like that. You are right, it seems to be because of historical reasons. Our parents didn’t have any possibility to choose their way in life. Marriage and family was almost the only future after school, no traveling, no personal views or dreams, not even education they wanted.

    Their children (like us) can do anything, go anywhere, vote anybody. It just gives me a feeling of a big responsibility. I am also fed up with political situation in my country and politics is not really exciting for me but I can’t just allow communists or other stupid parties to win the elections. My family was persecuted during old regime and I can’t just let it happen any more. 🙂 It sounds naive, I know but if young people won’t vote then old generation will and they’ll vote probably communists. Even if it’s just one vote, it matters for me. 🙂

  4. girlinczechland

    Really interesting comment Adela, particularly what you said about feeling a big sense of responsibility. I’ve noticed that the really young Czechs I know (19 or 20ish) seem to have lots of confidence and this sense of entitlement, like the world is their proverbial oyster, which is no bad thing I guess. 🙂

    GIC

  5. Marek

    Hi GIC! some serious issues you brought us to discuss!! 😀
    As for “Czechs … seem to feel much more strongly about the importance of exercising your democratic rights than most Westerns do because they obviously didn’t have any under Communism.” I thought so too but the novelty seems to be wearing off quickly, I am afraid.

    Since I have not commented in some time, I allow myself some more invaluable observations 😀

    I like your optimism about the `young ones` but I am afraid they don`t give a rat`s ass about elections.
    Plus, the choice here is really pathetic. Your guys, such as sir Boris here, are, at least, hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trE_bkWUFsE I just love him 🙂
    After having spent some time over in Britland I started to rather like the Torries. The Conservatives are the new (New) Labour! 🙂 Honestly, they seem to have learned to listen better since the Iron Lady. Also, I was somewhat horrified by how far the Labour goes in pampering the citizens and really thinking for (or instead?) of them rather then on their behalf. It may have been PC-talk interference, but sometimes, listening to Labour guys, I just felt they were doing better job being socialist than the comrades we had here in the 80s.

    To Chaplain: do you think a more proportional electoral system would really make the difference? Look at how things are here. Several small players have seats in the House also which means no-one ever has a decisive majority to actually go forth with any policy. The result is a weak government, constant parliamentary stalemate and opaque alliances.

    To Pedro: Democracy is a pretty flawed system of government, but it`s the best one tried so far. Certainly better than a regime in which a political joke told in a pub could put you out of your job or worse. Girl could never have met Czechman and moved to Prague until 20 years ago. From how The dreams of ideal and true “people`s government” have so far ended up a bloody disaster. Sorry, if you feel

  6. Marek

    oops 🙂 submitted too early …
    … Sorry if you feel betrayed by the the political system in Italy. But since you seem to be a person who likes to think differently than the “masses”, I am quite certain, you would not like it a day under the peoples` rule we had in Czechland or the one you guys had in the 30s.

    To conclude my little political tirade (sorry Girl, you started it 🙂 ) I recommend a book I read recently `The will of the people: Winston Churchill and parliamentary democracy`. I was surprised by the strength of his thoughts and convictions and do not think the guy was a populist.

    A good-bye quote for today:
    Reflecting on the importance of the Second World War as a means of restoring democracy, Churchill told the House of Commons: “At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper – no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point.”

    Go vote little woman!! 🙂

    • girlinczechland

      Hello Marek,

      Nice to see you’re back.

      Just a few thoughts in response to your detailed comment 🙂

      Boris may be amusing but that really shouldn’t be enough to get you elected. He also represents a public school coterie which if Cameron is successful on May 6th will end up running the country. I don’t think any of that lot could give a monkey’s about the little man walking into the little booth you mention.

      You’re right to be cynical about Labour I think but I’m not sure whether the Conservatives can be anything but the same old Tories.

      Anyway, enough politics – I have essays to mark 🙁

      Will be posting again soon…

      GIC

  7. In reply to Marek when he wrote;

    “To Chaplain: do you think a more proportional electoral system would really make the difference? Look at how things are here. Several small players have seats in the House also which means no-one ever has a decisive majority to actually go forth with any policy. The result is a weak government, constant parliamentary stalemate and opaque alliances”.

    Yes I do think that a system of proportional representation would be a major improvement on the UK’s antiquated and totally undemocratic ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system. You would have a government made up of parties who between them gained more than 50% of the votes cast rather than the current British government for whom nearly 65% of those voting didn’t vote for!

    Of course there is a danger of instability if you have a plethora of small parties but being required to gain at least 5% of the vote would limit the problem. The excuse used by both Labour & Conservative parties in the UK for maintaining ‘first-past-the-post’ is that it provides ‘strong government’. However, it is also minority government which leads to increased disillusionment with politics.

    There are plenty of countries using a system of proportional representation, which in turn produces a coalition government that works perfectly well. Neighbouring Germany is a particularly good example that illustrates the point I am making.

  8. girlinczechland

    Ooo, I’m loving all this heated political debate! Which reminds me, I must post off those voting by proxy forms soon or else apathy will win the day…

    GIC

  9. Mike

    You’re not excited by Clegg?

    With the economy as it is I believe in loans as oppossed to grants for students…but I’m a conservative wank.

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