Election days are weird. Even if you're an activist, there's nothing to do except taking numbers - which doesn't require many people - or knocking up, and you can't really start that till people are home from work. If you're not a party activist - and I'm not - then it all feels fairly much like a day spent waiting for the exit polls at 10pm. It gives your mind plenty of time to wander and reflect.
Mrs. Charlie voted Labour, having wavered for a long time, pointing out, correctly, that both the Green and even, God help us,Lib-Dem manifestos are actually closer to what she believes in. But tribalism matters to her - and me.
Nonetheless, I voted Green. I'm in a very safe Labour seat, so you could call this self indulgent. Pending PR, I would probably still vote Labour elsewhere. But they have been so terrible, so craven and subservient to the forces of capital, that I'm not prepared to continue to hand them over large majorities where the hated Tories are no real threat. Somehow, somewhere the first faltering steps of a journey to create a better alternative have to be taken.
I'm not even a 'cultural' Green - I eat meat, drive a car and take far too many flights to claim that. I prefer cities to the countryside and don't care in the slightest about Animal Rights. The only reason I was in favour of the fox hunting ban was to annoy the Countryside Alliance. In an ideal world of course, I'd have the option of voting for a party that espoused strong public services, greater equality, co-operative enterprise, green technology, human rights, positive internationalism, an end to unnecessary foreign wars, no nuclear power and anti racism. A new and real social democratic party if you like. But Plaid Cymru steadfastly refuse to stand in Dulwich and West Norwood, and I can't bear the inanities of the ultra-left, so I'm left with the Greens.
I think I'm caught in a strange place - my former Labour tribe has rejected me, has moved on to other ways of looking at the world. I am clearly a stranger in the Green tribe. I feel like an old Chartist from 1848 looking at the rise of the Labour Movement in the 1880s and feeling half supportive and half uncomprehending. But I think my children will find a home in this new tribe.