I just went for my flu jab. As I left the nurse the following conversation ensued:
‘Don’t forget to vote tomorrow,’ said I.
‘Is it tomorrow?’ said she.
‘It is,’ said I. ‘Don’t forget to vote for looking after the NHS.’
She paused before asking the next question. ‘So which one is it that looks after the NHS?’ she asked. ‘Is that the one with Boris?’
I closed the door, moved back to my chair and sat down.
‘So which one is it with Boris?’ said she.
‘That’s the Conservative Party,’ said I. ‘Those are absolutely not the ones who will look after the NHS.’
‘So which one is it that looks after the NHS then?’
I hesitated for a moment, unsure how much to push, wondering just what would be ethical when influencing a complete stranger. (It strikes me as ironic that not all sides of the political spectrum consider ethical issues.)
‘Well, many people would say that the Labour Party would be the best to protect the NHS,’ I suggested.
‘The Labour Party?’ she asked. It was apparent that she was unfamilliar with any of the parties. ‘Is that the one with, John…’
I could tell she was struggling. ‘You mean Jeremy? That’s Jeremy Corbyn. Don’t believe everything you hear said about him. He is, perhaps, the most slandered politician of recent times.’
‘So how will I know which one is which?’ asked she.
‘Labour have a rose for their logo,’ said I. ‘That’s the one you want. The Conservatives have a tree, you don’t want that one.’
‘And it’s tomorrow?’ asked she.
‘It is, said I.’
As I walked away I wondered about the health of our democracy.