Tag Archives: ge2010

election report 19 April #ge2010

Well, I’ve been over to Witney this morning and guess who’s popular there? A lovely moment at a set of traffic lights which must be on the constinuency boundary: On one side, vote DC on a big sign. On the other side, vote for his Tory colleague next door on a, by comparison, tiny sign. Not able to stop and get a photo.

Still no sign of anyone else yesterday or today*, either out and about or in terms of posters. It’s all rather monotonous really. Maybe I’ll see some evidence of the others later in the week. Trips to London (again) and Corby coming up.

* As I got ready to press the Publish button the Labour party turned up on the doorstep (well one brave soul on their behalf). The Wokingham Wonder opened the door to him, and I’ve no idea what she said, but at least someone else has been sighted.

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election report 17 April #ge2010

Still not much sign of any posters beyond the sea of Tory and scattering of LibDem. This week’s travels have taken me over to Oxford way again, to London, Reading, Bracknell and Newbury and, today, the usual Cheltenham shopping trip. No sign of any other parties posters.

No-one else has called on chez nous here in East Swindon since the Tory posse last weekend, and their Cheltenham opposite numbers were spotted out banging on doors in Cheltenham this morning, so at least the blues are making an effort to meet their public face to face.

So where are the others all hiding? #labourdoorstep is just a myth in these parts

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Thoughts on Natural Disasters (or Acts of God?)

Reading that insurance companies might claim that the volcanic ash incident currently closing UK airspace was an act of God and thus not covered got me thinking of my own experience in trying to phone insurance company helplines.

I pictured something like:
Ring ring, “Welcome to the Acts of God customer service call centre. Your call is important to us, but our operator, whilst omnipotent and omnipresent, is busy right now. Please hold and your call will be answered shortly”
Cue music, then: “Your call is still in a queue. Your call is important to us, but right now we are experiencing a high demand. All calls are recorded on tablets of stone for training purposes”.
More music until just as you start to enjoy it “Your call is still in a queue. If your call is not urgent, you might try our web site at http://www.weknowwhoyouare.com”. Back to the music, but not where you left it.
Then “You may key in your 16 digit account number, followed by the hash key, on your telephone key pad, if you wish to, but we know who you are and what you want, so you don’t have to, but if it makes you feel better and helps pass the time feel free”, and, once again, the music cuts in.
Then a voice interrupts “Yes John, I know you are troubled about me”
Err, well, I’m a bit concerned that you’re not too happy up there? I mean I’ve been chugged down the high street for the victims of the earthquake and the cyclone and now this volcanic eruption has caused my holiday flight to be canceled and the insurance company won’t pay out for my car hire and hotel ‘cos they say it’s an act of God and, well, what can I do?
“John, these are not acts of God, they are a natural disasters, but your insurance company is right; natural disasters are covered in their exclusions. Did I not give you two good eyes to read the small print?”
Well, yes, but the eyes aren’t too good these days .
“And is not self abuse a contributing factor? And were you not warned about this and the consequences?”
Well, maybe you’re right.
“Of course I am right! Now, how may I help you?”
Well I was worried that you were angry or something with all of this trouble around the world, so are we going to have any more acts, I mean natural disasters? I mean what about the general election?
“John, the outcome of the election will not be a natural disaster. It may be a supreme act of folly, but you were not created perfect. I can only hope that you learn from your mistakes and, although you have shown little evidence of being able to do so, I above all must have faith in you to get it right one day. Now, is there anything else I can help you with today?”
Well, no. Thank you.
“You are welcome. You will receive an email within the next 24 hours to give feedback on your experience with our helpline. Goodbye”.

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election e-hype? Evening Standard article

Great article by Roy Greenslade in last night’s London Evening Standard (14 April 2010, page 35) on how doorstep campaigning is still the way to go. Completely ruined the post I had planned on the same subject though!

Not sure if you can find it on line, but well worth checking out. Just to quote one line; “There is, at present, no substitute for knocking on doors and speaking at the hustings”. I couldn’t agree more.

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is the 2010 election just libdems vs tories? part 2

I tweeted on this earlier today and have had some comments back.

The reason for the question is that I’ve seen the local Tories out knocking on doors and working the streets every day round these parts since Saturday. Earlier on Saturday we’d been in Cheltenham and had seen loads of Tory posters and signs as well as, in Cheltenham itself, a good smattering of LibDem posters. Sunday I wasn’t out much, but today I’ve been over to Oxford, Woodstock, Kidlington, East Oxford and back. Loads of Tory posters, but not one for anyone else either there or on the way to and from.

Comments on my tweet suggest that Tavistock and Quinton, well to the south west and north of me are also a sea of blue, so where are the others? Are they just going to run media campaigns and not bother to get out and face their public? Time will tell.

One of the things that kept me interested in my younger days, long before political correctness and “staying on message” got in the way of the truth, was to go and see the politicians of the day. Heckling was both witty and good sport and a decent dialogue could be had. Politicians had personalities and could actually talk English rather than the sound bite loaded nonsense we get these days.

You didn’t have to agree with them. In some ways it was more fun if you didn’t, but the likes of Dennis Healey, (a young) Neil Kinnock, Michael Foot, David Steele, Barbara Castle to name but a few were bloody good value out on the streets where you can’t hide. I miss them all.

Still, we have an election and I’m trying to get exited about it hence tweets and blogs that are begining to pour forth. I shall be a bit quiet for a couple of days as I’m at a conference in London tomorrow and Wednesday, but will tweet odd thoughts if anything comes up while I’m there.

Oh, and if you don’t agree, then comment here. Let’s have some debate. It’s what democracy should have in its foundations. But keep it to issues; nothing personal. (Is this the right room for an Argument? Yes, it is, in this case Abuse is somewhere else).

PS: the #sswindon hashtag is for the constituency that I live in. Check my tweets for a link to find yours (I re-tweeted someone’s original with the link a day or so ago).

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UK general election 2010

I’ve been very rude about our politicians in this blog and, to a degree, rightly so, but maybe this is time to stop the humour and get serious. Yes I have showed signs of apathy about the election in my attempts at being funny, but I am very serious about it in truth.

In my ward, South Swindon, apparently only about 60% of the electorate turned out to vote last time, so less than two thirds of those eligible. That is pathetic and we need to do better.

Yes I think that the televised debates are a complete waste of my time and I will not be watching any of them, but if they make a few people get of their backsides and vote then they will be a good thing.

To a degree I don’t care if the candidate that I vote for doesn’t get in as long as they are beaten in a decent fight. Saddling us with a complete waste of space that less than half the electorate voted for is not good, so come on people of the UK, and especially of South Swindon, get down to your polling stations and cast a vote.

Democracy is about the majority vote. Sorry if that is unpopular in some quarters, but it is a fact; we are governed by the lot who win the most seats and that should be the ones who most of those who can vote have gone for. It would be good if the next government were formed by a party that more than half of the voting public wanted in power.

I shall be trying hard to promote the right to your vote. Yes I would like you to vote for the lot that I favour, but most of all I want you to vote. People died to get you that right and allow you to keep it, so get out there and use it.

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