I fully subscribe to the notion that it is not possible to have too much Stephen Fry or Colin Firth in your life. I have been successful in passing this philosophy onto my daughter who has long adored the former and is now getting quite into the latter.
I’m pleased to see that Stephen and Colin head up a list of celebs who are backing the Yes to Fairer Votes Campaign. Martin Bell, Joanna Lumley, Firth’s King’s Speech co-star Helena Bonham-Carter, Art Malik, Eddie Izzard, Billy Bragg, John Cleese and Tony Robinson.
Colin Firth said:
“The referendum is a once in a generation opportunity to change our clapped out politics for good. I’ll be voting Yes.“
I liked Stephen Fry’s comment, too:
“The last couple of years have been faintly depressing for anyone who cares about the health of our political system. Yes, Westminster has made a start putting its house in order, but we still have a voting system in place that is not up to the job.”
But it’s not really about celebs, is it? Ordinary people up and down the country explain why they will be voting yes in the referendum in a new campaign video. Their reasons include wanting to make their MP sweat, being fed up of having to vote tactically and negatively to keep someone out rather than put someone in and wanting to ensure that people’s votes are heard and that they count.
One contributor is 16 year old Niamh Francis from Edinburgh. She isn’t old enough to vote in May, but knows what she wants for the future:
“I’ll be too young to cast my vote in this referendum, but it’s my voice at stake just the same. I’m joining this campaign because when I vote for the first time I want it to mean something. I don’t want to have to vote tactically. I want to vote for something not against something.“
Here’s the video in full.
Oh, and if you hear the No lot talking about having to spend a fortune on counting machines, it’s nonsense. They count the votes by hand in Australia and in fact in the US, their electronic voting system was considered a barrier to implementing AV. It’s interesting to note that the No Campaign, made up primarily of those with power protecting their vested interests, spends its time scaremongering, while the yes campaign has ordinary people telling a positive story.