.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Forever Peelie

If, like me, you're still missing the great man John Peel, a new blog is making available old programmes, from fairly recent all the way back to the late 60's, each free for a limited time (owing to copyright).

Go to johnpeeltapes.blogspot.com

Friday, May 06, 2005

Post election selection

As a sister to 'Notapathetic.com', we now have 'I Voted For You Because', where if you voted for a victorious candidate, you can tell them what their mandate is.

I was counting votes for the Liverpool Riverside constituency last night and, thanks to a very low turnout of 41.6% (the lowest in Merseyside, and probably one of the lowest in the country - bad for democracy, good for my eyelids), I was done by 01:45.

Stayed to watch the declaration for that and the Garston constituencies (all 5 Liverpool seats were being done at Picton Tennis Centre), before toddling off home to watch the action until 04:00.

Could have been very different as after we'd finished the Green candidate revealed they were touch and go on keeping their deposit and would be asking for a recount if they lost it by 10 or 20 votes. Wearily, I shouted to him as he walked off to see the returning officer, "I'll give you the £500". Thankfully, they polled 5.5%.

So I accepted my renumeration and scooted after watching a couple of declarations (I was mainly there due to my interest in the workings of democracy, but the bunce does sugar the pill of endless counting in the face of growing tiredness).

Fair play to all the counters who had to go through a recount, particularly those returning today at 12 noon over the water in Wirral West (where GMTV's Esther McVey is standing for the Tories) for another crack at it.

Not too much controversy in terms of spoilt ballot papers in my count, but a giant smiley face, several 'Brewster's Millions' homages and the odd essay on the democratic unfairness of the first past the post system made for a break in the endless crosses, ticks and, err, devil faces (well, one of those, but a clear mark against a candidate so it counts).

So we retain Labour as our leaders with a reduced majority. Probably the best kind of result for me generally and in terms of self-interest, which I like to think is only a small factor in determining how I vote, but I can't deny that it's there.

Still I liked the self interest shown by Catherine Taylor-Dawson in the Cardiff North constituency who did poll only her own vote. Mind you she was standing under a 'Vote For Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket'. As she was standing in all the other Cardiff consitituences at the same time though, she did manage to get 167 votes in Cardiff West, 79 in Cardiff South & Penarth and 37 in Cardiff Central, which of course misses the point and must count as a catastrophic failure after the heady celebrations that would likely have met the Cardiff North result.

As a final pleasing thing, after my previous post regarding the candidates standing in my 'home' constituency of Havant, is that the Green Party finished in 4th place, ahead of UKIP, Veritas and the BNP, polling more than the latter 2 combined. Good good.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Magic world is a small one

Many congratulations to Leon, whose band Autons have scored the support slot with the mighty Magic Band at the Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms.

My favourite venue, one of me all-time favourite bands, and me best mate on stage. Fantastic. Devestating therefore I can't be there, as including Dave and Tony, the Autons are made up of three gentleman who have effected my life fairly significantly to differing degrees. Sadly I am already booked up.

The distance alone would not have been a factor.

Autons can rest assured that my spirit will be in the Wedge that night.