Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Another conversation with a taxi driver

Taxi driver: So, are you going to be over here for long, then?

Me (with some pride): Until Tuesday - I'm doing commentary on the elections for the BBC.

Taxi driver (with greater pride): I was the second person to vote in my polling station, at seven this morning. Did you exercise your democratic right today?

Me: No, I live in Belgium and we don't have elections today. And voting is compulsory there anyway so it's not really the same question of exercising your rights.

Taxi driver (suspiciously): But can you still spoil your vote?

Me: Yes, you can.

Taxi driver: That's all right then. That's what I did this morning, I spoiled all three of my votes. I'm an anarchist and I have to be true to my principles.

Me (incredulously): You spoiled all three of your ballot papers?

Taxi driver (taking advantage of the fact that we have stopped at traffic lights, showing me a picture on his mobile phone): There. See?

(On the phone's screen is a picture of three ballot papers, each of which bears the handwritten message "ANARCHY + FREEDOM". Each also appears to have a paragraph of printed text pasted to it.)

Me (even more incredulously): Did you actually glue your manifesto to each ballot paper???

Taxi-driver (with even greater pride): Not mine, but a quote from Pierre Joseph Proudhon; he was the first of the great anarchist thinkers. It's too long to write out by hand, so I have a stack of copies printed out, and I make sure I always have them with me. And a tube of Pritt-stick of course.

Me: Do you mind if I write a blog entry about this?

Taxi-driver: Fire away, just as long as you don't use my real name.
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