Anarchist Communist Federation
The Day No One Went To Vote
Unelection Day 1997
What a strange and wonderful day that was, when no none went to vote. The police were bored, the polling stations closed early and all over the country, mounds of party food went uneaten except by dogs and the homeless who found the dustbins outside party offices overflowing. Pundits babbled, television blared and the newspapers predicted chaos, then fell silent. Ex-MPs turned up at Parliament and carried on talking, pausing only to chase curious mocking people off the benches. No one paid attention.
John Tweedledee gave up and got a job as an accountant just as people stopped using money, then vanished into obscurity. Tony Tweedleum declared New Labour was now the Church of Nice. The stock market closed and was turned into a Cybercafe by enterprising youngsters from Camden who came across it while out exploring.
Ex-Ministers tried to think of laws to pass and things to do, then gave up. Whitehall went up in flames as the last civil servant left and forgot to lock the doors. Realising teachers wouldn’t work if they weren’t being paid, the children poured out of their prisons and went home. Industry ground to a halt as people of all ages got to know each other again.
Farming went organic as chemical plants closed and diggers and dreamers invaded the land. Thousands headed west and north to build wind farms and wavepower stations. The National Exhibition Centre was turned into the biggest car recycling plant in the islands — in they went and buses, bikes and trains came out. The last car was kept in a glass box for children top throw stones at. The first Cycle marathon around the newly grasses over M25 was held and won by a team from Critical Mass who, after all, had had lots of practice.
Marriages and parenting claims dissolved as the housing problem was finally solved. Now everyone could live where and how they wanted. Millions of neighbourhood gardens planted in the Autumn began to grow and previously feared towns and estates came back to life. Everyone could live where they wanted. Soon hundreds of thousands of people were on the move, welcomed everywhere, and people talked for years about the friendships they’d made on the Great Road Home.
The Church of Nice finally gave up trying to convert people. Religion previously feared was now just laughed at. Tweedledum got a job as linkman on Vatican TV. People from the Sharan Gardens, reclaimed the previous year, visited the Islands and proposed a joint effort to reclaim the Midwest Dustbowl, blowing since the Native Americans took back their water rights and turned the taps off.
AIDS was final conquered and transmission rates plummeted. As stress, authority and fear receded and food became available everywhere mental illness and malnutrition started to go into history’s dustbin. The pharmaceutical companies sued for protective bankruptcy and workers tired of poisoning themselves and the rest of the world didn’t turn for work.
The Moral Minutemen surrendered the last ICBM stolen in 1998 and went home, piling guns in vast mounds that soon found their way to the smelting plants. Millions of Mexican Americans were reunited as the border dissolved as did America itself. There was an attempt to reintroduce money and markets but the sight of people trying to buy and sell things you could get for free made so many people laugh that the ‘Merchant Princes’ gave up and handed back apartments stuffed with goods they didn’t need.
The next century arrived, just as the last government closed down and the last policeman hung up his gun. In any case, losing the uniforms the year before made policing seem less attractive somehow. The biggest Internet conference in history linked 4 billion people and satellite lasers were used for a fireworks display that moved around the globe.
The rest of your life
It was suddenly realised that there weren’t too many problems left so people stopped trying — things would work out. The people who liked sorting things out could go on working at them, while the rest of the people did the things that they liked. Pretty soon people stooped fighting over the past and worrying about the future and started enjoying the now. The rest, as they say, was the end of history.