I'm old enough to remember the general elections of the last century - I was painting and decorating home and offices in Worcester even then! In 1997, with the rise of Blair (I'll pause to go and rinse my mouth out!) . . . a term was coined by pollsters: Worcester Woman was the stereotype demographic that New Labour set out to win over from the Conservatives. The voter was an important target segment that was believed to be key to the gurning gargoyle's eventual victory.
But with the EU Referendum in full swing, and with just over two weeks before polling day, are the people of Worcester held in the same regard by pollsters now? Are we, in other words, representative of the nation as a whole?
I listen to the radio a lot. That's a decorator's bonus when at work. I've been bombarded on all fronts by both remain and leave arguments. And I go to the pub (occasionally). And here too, I've heard the debate in full swing. And I am yet to make up my mind which way to go.
As a small business owner, distant elites with no real skills of their own do attract my ire. In politics as a whole, we have a class of people who have too much public sector experience with an educational background in the arts or PPE. At the last election, there were apparently only 26 MPs out of 650 who had a scientific background as a degree - and this in a technology driven world! It seems to me that the lawyers and PR people have taken over - professions where the 'truth' is what is varied in the nuances of language and statistics, a 'truth' that is based on subjective perception. A scientist doesn't have that luxury: for them the truth matches the data after repeated experimentation. It is objective and unbiased.
All my adult life, I have been subjected to politics driven by subjectivity, not objectivity. I think, at the core of much of today's disillusionment, brought about by big business and globalisation, it is the constant point-scoring of Ya-Boo politics between Left and Right that annoys people. It is a side show, whilst things continue on as they are, with no real improvement.
Personally, I am as yet undecided on how I will cast my vote. I think that if Britain votes to leave then the EU will either collapse or race toward full integration and collapse anyway. The chance that it can reform itself in time is slim - there are too many pressures on it for a looser pact that, in my view, is necessary to allow damaged economies to recover. As for us, the uncertainty created by an out vote depends almost entirely on the current government's stance on the 24th June. If, as David Cameron has suggested, he would trigger Article 50 the very morning after the vote is taken and is handed a leave mandate, then that would be the height of folly.
We need maturity, consideration, and a bit more respect for the electorate on all sides. If we do vote to leave, and call Junker's and Merkel's bluff, and the EU does try to punish us wayward islanders, then their contempt for democracy will be revealed and the good sense of those who voted out will be proven correct.
But even so, after I've vented my spleen somewhat, it is still a sad state of affairs when a humble painter and decorator from Worcester has got so fed up with the damn lot of them that I have to write this. (Shakes fist at screen!).