I'd leave the country if only I lived there

I sat up all the whole night, suffering, unable to stop although I knew it was wrong

Share
Related Topics

What a poxy, miserable night. At least each time Thatcher was elected you could stomp round the house pledging to leave the country, but that doesn't work when the election is in America, as a) I'm not
in the country and b) wherever you go they still run the place. I'm thinking of mounting my own legal challenge, insisting that, as Bush clearly runs Britain, we should have had a vote as well.

What a poxy, miserable night. At least each time Thatcher was elected you could stomp round the house pledging to leave the country, but that doesn't work when the election is in America, as a) I'm not in the country and b) wherever you go they still run the place. I'm thinking of mounting my own legal challenge, insisting that, as Bush clearly runs Britain, we should have had a vote as well.

At one point, in a drowsy moment at about 5am I looked up to see Bush and his family sat together smirking. Surely that breached every ITC regulation on bad taste. At least there should have been an announcement that "Some viewers might find the following scenes distressing" or "The images you're about to see could cause epilepsy."

On Sky News a pundit showed us a pad on which were two lists, headed "Bush" and "Kerry", with the states they'd won under each name. "That's how it looks at the moment," he said, "but look how it would change if Kerry wins Florida," and he wrote "Florida" under Kerry's name. The camera lingered on the newly written word for a moment, then he said "Now back to the studio."

Then Peter Snow danced around on a huge map of America before a fake White House lawn. "If all the states go the same way as last time," he said, "this is what we can expect to happen." Some numbers twiddled around and he said, "And that will mean a victory for George Bush." Well of course it would. Just as if all the states went the same way as they did in 1860 it would mean a victory for Abraham Lincoln.

Yet for some reason I sat on the settee the whole night, suffering, unable to stop though I knew it was wrong, gripped by the same drive to self-harm that can compel you to eat a whole box of Jaffa Cakes. And none of it was helped by the sterile nature of the Democrats. Every time another bad result came through, one of their Osmond-featured spokesmen would nod earnestly that "the crucial swing states have yet to be decided" etc. Why can't they be human and shout "Oh for God's sake. We've been turned over in Florida again, what's the matter with the decrepit old bastards, do you know Mr Dimbleby?"

John Edwards' speech came up with a sickly grin and some nonsense about waiting one more day. It would have been healthier to go, "Fellow Americans, it's not fair. He's caused a whole bloody war that's wiped out 100,000 civilians on a premise proven to be entirely bogus, he should be awaiting the verdict of a war crimes tribunal, not an election and anyway on our side there's Eminem and Public Enemy and Springsteen and Willie Nelson and they've got Frasier and that's it, so bollocks."

The result suggests there was little to be gained by Kerry trying to appear acceptable to the "middle ground". According to one poll, 90 per cent of those who voted Democrat opposed the war, while an even greater percentage of those who voted Republican supported it. So to try and convince supporters of the war that he would conduct it better than Bush was a lost cause, especially his promise to "conduct the war properly by getting together with our friends". Because the obvious question is "and then what?" To which he might as well answer, "Then we could all sit down and have a nice cup of tea. I've never known a problem that doesn't look easier after a decent brew."

Instead, his best hope must have been to persuade some supporters of the war to become opponents of it. He could have shown footage of Rumsfeld greeting Saddam, or appeared with Iraqi civilians who've witnessed the carnage, or with the growing number of US soldiers and their families opposed to the occupation. He might still have lost, but it would have been more hopeful than chasing a middle ground that didn't exist.

Bush's great trick has been to get re-elected as the man to deal with the mess he's caused. He's like an electrician who says, "Oo, sorry mate, I've blown your house up. I tell you the only person who can sort that out - me."

So while we have to accept the result, that doesn't mean accepting all the consequences of the result. For example, if Bush launches an all-out attack on Fallujah, it would be harsh to say to a family there: "I appreciate your concerns. But we have had an election, so to oppose the obliteration of your street would be to undermine the democratic process. So try and dodge the cruise missiles for four years, and if any of you are still alive, hope it turns out different next time."

None the less, you couldn't blame Bush if his speech at the Republican headquarters began: "Wahey, I can get away with anything. Right, let's play 'Improvised Presidency'. You shout out somewhere and I'll invade it."

He certainly seems to have stuck with his attitude to elections of "Oh don't bother with the counting, that just holds everything up."

And even if Kerry had won every single state he still wouldn't be President. Because Bush would have appeared on Fox News and said, "New rule - Best of three."

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai  

China has exposed the fatal flaws in our liberal economic order

Ann Pettifor
Jeremy Corbyn addresses over a thousand supporters at Middlesbrough Town Hall on August 18, 2015  

Thank God we have the right-wing press to tell us what a disaster Jeremy Corbyn as PM would be

Mark Steel
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future