BY SIMON FALKENER
I confess. I am one of them. Not only am I a Remoaner as the common parlance would define me, I also voted Labour for the first time in my life last week at the General Election.
It was pre-meditated. I knew that my wife was voting Conservative. I knew our local constituency is a bit of a swing seat. I knew my daughters would be voting Conservative. I knew my mother had already voted Conservative by post. I just thought that I would lodge my protest and vote for Corbyn.
Why? Well, I didn’t think he stood a chance. I wanted to throw my stone at the Tory Brexiteer tanks heading relentlessly for a Brexit that I didn’t vote for. “Not in my name,” I thought as my cross landed in the Labour portion of my ballot paper. “Screw you, Theresa May and Boris Johnson and Michael Gove and bloody David Cameron – especially David Cameron for calling the damn referendum in the first place.”
I have still not told my wife. My brother was a soldier in Northern Ireland and if he ever found out that I voted for IRA-apologist Corbyn I would never be forgiven.
Yes, we have a Labour MP for the first time in ages. Before I voted for her I had no idea who she was or what she stood for or what reasons aside from pure spite I could ever excuse myself for voting for her. I just saw red, literally. Maybe I should have spoiled my ballot but instead I thought it would make more sense to have my vote counted and express my anger in numbers rather than in some pointless scribble.
When the results came tumbling in on Thursday night last week, I admit that I felt bad. My wife was almost in tears at two when she went to bed, expecting to wake up to Diane Abbott as Home Secretary. I stayed wide awake all night and drank a lot of whisky. By breakfast I confess I felt bad but there was part of me enjoying the look of horror on Conservative faces. Seeing Theresa May at her local vote made me feel simultaneously ashamed and buoyant – a bit like pinching a Penthouse from the top shelf of the corner shop when I was thirteen.
It was only when I saw Corbyn’s smiling mug, that it really hit me. That was when I realised that my vote had been interpreted by these Labour oiks as a vote for their socialist aspirations, when I hate socialism as much as I detest paedophilia. And I felt robbed. Molested. Misunderstood.
Best I own up. I have felt sick most of the last week watching the likes of Owen Jones and Paul Mason declaring a revolution in Britain. I was genuinely ill when Len McCluskey came on television and started referencing Clement Attlee. The sniping from Juncker and Verhofstadt made me feel even worse. I daren’t look at Twitter or Facebook. I have been avoiding the eyes on the photo of my late Tory-voting father which sits on my desk.
No doubt there are many more like me in Britain. Maybe some of the others have less conscience than me and feel fine. But I confess I voted Labour out of nothing more than spite and I helped bring about this awful state of affairs where a decent woman like Theresa May has had to go handbag open to the likes of the DUP just to get her business through parliament.
There must be many more thousands like me.
I am told 75 votes placed differently here and there would have resulted in a May majority. This makes me feel even worse. I am in search of a commensurate penance. How can I possibly make amends? I feel like the people in books who go back in time and tread on a bug only to return to the present to find that humans only have one eye … my chagrin and guilt are beyond tempering.
Of course, I will vote Tory for the rest of my life.
Decent people, I am so very sorry.
Brexiteers, please have your Brexit and win a landslide on the back of it.
I shall be in the corner self-flagellating for the next five years while May struggles with minority government. Knowing that every vote counts. Knowing I helped screw things up out of sheer spitefulness and vindictiveness. Knowing that I have behaved like an incorrigible prat and deserve whatever is coming to me in spades.
Simon Falkener is a guest writer who has changed his last name so his wife doesn’t find out. Simon is a bank manager from somewhere north of Watford.