When I eventually went to bed this morning, fuzzily disappointed, I read a bit more of Charlie Brooker's The Hell Of It All. Including this column, from just under two years ago:
You're a passenger in a car that someone else is driving, and your hands are tied, and up ahead is a container lorry full of hot liquid manure that you're definitely going to run into the back of, but your driver's deaf and blind and not slowing down, so there's nothing you can do except writhe in your seat and brace yourself for the impact.
That's roughly how I feel following the Crewe and Nantwich byelection. Thanks to a 900% swing to the right (or thereabouts), a Cameron-fronted Tory government now looks like not just an alarming possibility, but an awful, grinding, inescapable certainty - yet another preordained slice of doomsday, like climate change or the War Against the Machines. The countdown has already begun.
This is what EVERYONE THOUGHT. The fact that the Conservatives don't have an outright majority, even with the UUP and taking into consideration the fact that Sinn Fein don't attend parliament, is pretty amazing. It feels like a huge let-down because of the inexplicable collapse of the alleged Lib Dem vote, but what's really happened is that even with a global financial collapse, riots in Greece, strikes all over the UK, virulently pro-Tory media and a hugely unpopular Prime Minister and Labour government, we still didn't vote in the Conservatives. Take heart, fellow lefties!
Other positive things to take from the night were:
- The first ever Green Party MP was elected - Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion. And she could end up with a disproportionate amount of influence.
- The BNP was absolutely pwned. Got nowhere in Barking or Dagenham in the national elections, and has apparently lost all its council seats there too.
- It seems pretty much certain that we'll end up with some form of PR - or at least a referendum for PR - out of this.
- I doubt the Lib Dem backbenchers and members will let the leadership get into a coalition with the Conservatives.
- "Gay-curing" evangelical loon Philippa Stroud didn't get in. Peter Robinson got kicked out, as did Jacqui Smith, and Charles Clarke.
- Scotland still only has one Conservative MP. *shakes fist at Dumfriesshire*
- ID cards? Gone. So gone.
- The BBC is fucking awesome, and Dimbleby, Paxman and Vine should be knighted. And sent for a long holiday.
- And best of all, the BBC enlightened us to the fact that "the Queen is only activated under certain circumstances."
And it's possible if PR is agreed by the parties or in a referendum, we could do it all again in six months or a year. Hurrah!