the brilliantly leaping gazelle

My Election Notes 2019: E-Day (pt.4)

Unlike in 2017, I won’t be attempting to watch the election results come in, blog about them as they happen and drinking champagne whilst hurling abuse at the television, abusive which gets more abusive the more I drink at the television. Instead, I can hear a champagne cork pop, which means it’s time to stop writing and start getting ready for abject misery. But in the best traditions of ‘Blue Peter’, here’s one I prepared earlier….

One of the great moments of pleasure in any election night coverage is being up for a Portaloo moment. You know what these are, I mentioned them earlier. The chief Portaloo moment might come when the result of the Uxbridge constituency is called. Here, Boris’s Johnson is defending his seat with a majority of less than 5,000. There are plans afoot in Conservative Central Office that should he loose his seat, then a newly elected Conservative MP with a large majority will vacate their seat and thus trigger a bye-election

Chingford and South Woodford is the stomping ground everyone’s favourite politician, Ian Duncan’t Smith. He faces a challenge from young Labour candidate with impeccable credentials. She is young, was raised by a single mother in the constituency, graduated from Oxford, and has pledged that she won’t stand in any other constituency.   She also has an army of volunteers and other community activists supporting her. And he has a majority of less than 2,500. So that looks promising.

Then we have Anna Soubry’s Broxtowe count to look forward to, because with a majority of only 863, she better have kissed a lot of babies. With there parents consent, of course! Ah, dear Anna, who never uses one word when one hundred will do!

Another is the marginal seat of Fife. Where the majority is two! The result of this isn’t expected until late but its going to be hotly contested.

As does Hastings, where Amber Rudd is standing down. Everything is up for grabs here. Moving to the other end of the country we have Birkenhead, where Frank Field has been the Labour MP since 1979 and in 2017 election got 76% of the vote. He ‘s been remarkably effective as chair of the work and pensions select committee, so naturally he was expelled and is standing as an Independent

And poor old Chloe Smith in Norwich North. Wait you don’t know who she is? Maybe this’ll remind you!

This is the full horror. and her stuffing by Paxo starts at 6.19.


And last and hopefully very last is Chuka Umoaner. Hopefully his smug blend of playing to the gallery and opportunism will finally get the repeated kicking in the ballots it deserves. Cities of London and Westminster that one.

But there’s a chance that this’ll go the way of so many Glastonbury’s, you know, when you get there and they give you the full line of bands and work out who you’ll see, including acts in the theatre field and the green field. But the good intentions upon arrival are never what actually happens. You get totally shitfaced.

So to with tonight. Lets hope it’s not a re-run of election night 1992, when loads of us were expectantly hoping for the Labour win the polls had predicted – I was younger and more naieve – so my dissapointment was more acute. A combination of Aldi champagne, pickled onion Monster Munch, KP peanuts and chicken drumsticks will see to should prevent that. Hopefully.

My Election Notes 2019:E-Day! (pt.3)

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of election night coverage on the BBC – I mean come on, who watches shITV on election night – let me first say that their graphics department is always hi-jacked by someone armed with C.G.I skills and a large amount of acid.

That seems to me the only plausible explanation of the BBC’s coverage; namely that only a drug addled lunatic would think that we are incapable of processing any information if it isn’t presented in a way that resembles a collision involving Hieronymus Bosch, Jackson Pollack, a paint factory and a 1950’s science fiction film.

But before that we have to endure the farrago of lots of people talking earnestly about not very much at all. The first results trickle in between 11pm – 1am and until then we are treated to the spectacle of people discussing an insignificant amount of results yet imbuing them with a nationwide significance that they don’t deserve.

The bullshit-o-rama is in overdrive. There’ll be the old favourites; “It’s far too early to tell”, “we can’t read too much into this yet, but…”, “we never do well here, so it isn’t a surprise”, “ I would just like to pay tribute to X who has been a fine servant of the people and didn’t deserve this”, “I think the voters were not voting on local issues, I know the area well and that’s not the impression I got talking to people on the doorstep”, “I think we had difficulty getting our message across” And there’ll be lot of new bullshit for this one election only,  along the lines of, “The voters aren’t voting according to traditional tribal loyalties. Their lending their vote for this one time for parties that they hope can deliver the Brexit outcome they want”, “One thing is clear though, the real winner ultimately is democracy”  They’ll be loads more of this bollocks until 1am and then it goes fucking mad.(Actually, now I think about it,  this’d make a great drinking game.)

Results just pour in. Of course we’re all hoping for a Portaloo moment, however younger readers of this blog might not know what a Portaloo moment is. It was the incredibly life affirming moment in 1997 when Michael Portaloo, a Conservative cabinet minister, lost his supposedly safe seat and provided the abiding image of the impending momentous Labour landslide. Who can forget his incredibly smug face trying not to look crushed as people cheered loudly his defeat. That’s what we’ll all be hoping for, and when I write ‘we’ I mean me. Now its nearly 5pm so I’m sober – I’m not a hobo –  but I’ll be opening my first bottle of champagne at 10pm…

My Election Notes 2019: E-Day (pt.2)

One thing that bothered me when I voted earlier and is still bothering me now, is the fact that I didn’t need my present my polling card – or indeed any proof that I was who I claimed to be – to vote. I just gave my name and address, they checked I was on some list and crossed me off it, handed me a ballot paper and that was it.

It seems that all this talk of Russian interference in our election is missing the glaringly obvious flaw in the whole voting process, that the greatest threat to the validity of the vote is the ease with which a vote can be obtained. I live in a ‘safe’ seat – inasmuch as any seat can be called safe at this topsy-turvy election – but were I living in a marginal, then a well orchestrated manipulation could skew the result.

Take Richmond Park, where Zac Goldsmith’s majority is only 45, for example. What would happen if a small number of people, who knew this flaw and his tiny majority, got up really early and posed as other people at multiple polling stations to vote against him? And what if that scenario were to be replayed at every marginal seat with a majority of less than 300? Might there then be legal challenge concerning the legitimacy of the election result? Darwin knows Gina Miller isn’t shy of involving the courts.

I’m not suggesting there is any fraud, well perhaps in the case of claims made by Boris’s Johnson about his deal there most certainly is, just that there exists the potential for it to occur.




My Election Notes 2019: E-Day! E-Day!

I’ve just voted some minutes ago and it was with a bizare combination of reluctance and wishing to avoid feeling thoroughly ashamed. Reluctance because my MP has been the MP here since I moved here but is not someone I normally vote for. Thats because I live in a safe Labour seat, her majority being over 18,000 in 2017.

But then I thought what if enough Labour voters believed that as we live in a safe Labour seat they assumed enough Labour voters would vote Labour and didn’t bother to vote, resulting in a Conservative victory. Unlikely, yes, but this election has been dominated by one single issue, the like of which we’ll probably – hopefully – never see again. If it did happen and I’d spoiled my ballot paper as I did in the recent European elections, as a protest about the Supreme Court overturning the legitimate right of the PM, then I’d feel thoroughly ashamed.

Almost as resigned as I am to the fact we’ll never have a proper socialist government, because only fool or a charlatan would assert that any of Tony Blairs terms in office were socialist. Mind you, only a fool would believe it.

However, I’ve just done a massive technicolour yawn! I hope it isn’t my body telling me I shouldn’t have done it nor do I hope that is a bad omen. I did, after all sleep uneasily last night, a sense of foreboding keeping me awake. This is, after all the 12th day, of the 12th month and the full moon last night – the last one this decade – rose at 12.12am .

And tomorrow is Friday 13th, so…..