the brilliantly leaping gazelle

My election notes. E-Day – 35



As if to neatly underline how much general election coverage has dominated the news agenda these past few days, on the day on which there are local elections and by convention no reporting of political news, there is the shocking news that a 95 year old man will stop doing something.

Never mind that that something often consisted of him making some very ill advised comments, which at the time the press castigated him for.  But now that he’s to stop making them, those very same newspapers can publish them again as a sort of something.

And I don’t mind that. I wouldn’t expect anything else. In the same way I wasn’t surprised by Teresa Mays toadying sycophancy in response to this. The Conservative love the royal family. What I was taken aback by was this:

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “I would like to pay tribute to Prince Philip following his decision to retire from public service. He has dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and our country with a clear sense of public duty.

“His Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has inspired young people for more than 60 years in over 140 nations. We thank Prince Philip for his service to the country and wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement.”

Because in what way exactly is his retirement well earned? I mean, a teacher earns their retirement. They’ve put the hours in, performed thankless tasks, for poor pay and frequent abuse from politician’s. Same as social workers and countless millions of others who just soldier on from day to day. These are the people for whom whose retirement is well earned. His isn’t.

What hard work has he ever done?  And what is he retiring from? And this public duty that he has such a clear sense of? What in the name of sanity is that? Living off the taxpayer and being a benefit scrounger? If anyone can shed any light whatsoever on anything he’s done that means his retirement is well earned, please leave a comment.

Unless Corbyn meant ‘ I would like to pay tribute to Prince Phillip but sadly I can’t. Whilst he will enjoy a retirement that many can only dream of, the reality is that for some people retirement is a living nightmare.’


My election notes. E-Day – 35



Today voters go to the polls in the local elections, with councils and some newly created mayoralties – not even sure if that’s a word – up for grabs. But there won’t be a competitive count, where various constituencies race to be the first to call the result. Like it matters.

Anyway, what’s interesting about these local elections, taking place in the midst of a general election campaign, is exactly how much they do and don’t tells us about the electorates voting intention on June 8th. But thankfully, politicians will be on hand  to interpret the same result in different ways.

For example, if the party with previously the highest number of councilors does badly, we might hear something like ‘These results, whilst disappointing in themselves, and lets not pretend that they’re not, are not indicative of voter intention at the general election.’

Whereas if a party, which had previously fared badly does well, we might hear something like this ‘It’s been a wonderful night, not for us, but for the millions of hard-working people who’ve put their trust in us to deliver quality local services.’

And if it’s a party who’ve always struggled in local elections, and have done so again, we might get a variation on this ‘It’s clear that our message, which is proving to be very popular indeed on the doorstep, hasn’t as yet managed to turn itself into votes.’

Or if it’s one of the smaller parties, who have no realistic chance of doing anything but lose the candidates deposit, expect ‘It wasn’t about winning for us, it was about offering the people a real choice, one that is free of tired political dogma and cliché.’

Welcome to the world of elections where no-one ever loses, because if you spin you win!