I am remembering the heady days of 1997. I was one of the idealistic 20-year-old student types who stayed up all night to watch the results came in. I was one of those who saw more women than ever being elected. I saw the back of the Tories who had been seemingly inevitable, in power for almost my whole life, hated by everyone I knew yet voted back in, time and time and time and time again: the sleaze, the stinking self-interest, the cesspool of complacency and corruption and – ohdoweallremember? – the simple sword of truth.

I was one of those who wept to hear Tony Blair in his first hours as Prime Minister. I cried to hear him speak. Education, education, education: I remember it all. It was like having hope, it was like seeing the people in charge and believing that they were on your side, believing that they would be honest and true and fair and that Things Could Only Get Better.

Not so idealistic now, not quite so easily manipulated, I have still found myself a bit of a sucker for “vote for us because even though we’re crap, it’s better than letting the other lot in” politics. Time and again I’ve turned up to support the least bad of the two unappealing options. Remember Thatcher, remember sleaze, remember the Tory years, the 18 years of hurt – and never let it happen again.

No more. My vote means, in the grand scheme of things, very little. I am just one person with one ballot paper and one little X to give. If my little X makes all the difference between maintaining the barely-sane status quo and switching over to all-out-attack-on-everything-I-believe-in, then so be it. Don’t blame me, blame the barely-sane politicians whose manifesto is so unpalatable – OK?

But I’m not a great believer in voter apathy as a means of “sending a message” to the people in charge. You’ll send a message to someone by – er – keeping entirely silent and abandoning even the very small amount of say you do have over what they do? Seriously. If you really think it’s all a load of crap you should turn up and spoil your paper. Write “This is all a stupid con and politicians are a waste of space” if it makes you feel better. But staying at home is just – lazy. Staying at home is just two fingers up the nose of all those people in all those countries that are literally dying for democracy.

Gordon Brown has just cut housing benefit and abolished the 10p tax rate for low-paid workers, while giving the comfortable middle classes a well-timed – or not-so-well-timed in view of the local election results – tax cut. David Cameron thinks abortion should be even less freely available. And I didn’t even know until today that That Old Bloke is no longer in charge of the Lib Dems… who is this Nick Clegg chap anyway? I really can’t be bothered to read up on him, but the picture they have on Wikipedia suggests that he has a certain public schoolboy charm about him. Something like a cross between Hugh Grant and the dim one from The Vicar of Dibley.

So which of this crew needs a boost from me?

Well – I’m giving my unwanted tax cut to Refuge – I’ll try to remember Nick Clegg’s name – and, yes, I promise that the very next time I get pregnant by David Cameron, I will absolutely not have an abortion later than 21 weeks (not unless I really need one, anyway). I hope that cheers them all up while I offer my vote to the useless Greens.

I heart the useless Greens: like apathy, only ethically superior.

Advertisements