I’ve been a bit slack in updating this place recently, though I have several bulging notepads of scrawly hieroglyphics written on trains, buses and within coffee-shops / pubs to type up. The reason why my devastating expose on Boots and their part in the creation of a Zombie Army, and my heartfelt appreciation of getting lost in the Ryland’s weird circular street system must for now remain solely inked and not digitised has been a nagging realisation that these are interesting times, especially in the political sense, but more pertinently, highly dangerous ones. Its a serious time, and thus, I couldn’t help letting my mind drift from its usual split between glib arrogance and fluffy whimsy. Its time to get serious. Sort of serious. Lets not go too far, I haven’t the face to do grave.
Last Thursday, on a swelteringly hot Thursday evening, when most right-thinking people are basking in beer gardens or exploiting Wetherspoon’s Curry Night, I find myself sitting with 200+ other Beestonians, in the assembly hall of Roundhill School.We are gathered with a mixture of motives, but a common interest: for tonight, while most MPs are hiding behind impassable moats or behind the securely bolted doors of second houses, our incumbant representative, Dr Nick Palmer, is putting himself up, in his own words, for a ‘Probable lynching’.
But Nick is, thankfully, not one to swig vintage Krug from a satin slipper, floating on a duck island in the depths of some moat, least not courtesy of the taxpayer. His chief crime is buying two lots of anti-viral software. By mistake. So far so clean, but whats this? An indignant sounding audience member stands up, and j’accuse. Nick is majority shareholder in a property company, this intrepid Beestonian Bob Woodward has discovered, could this be the ‘humble flat’ he claims in Westminster? Is he claiming for a property he already owns? Has Honest Nick being fooling us all along? 400 ears perk up. And Nick explains that the company in question was set up by his gran, and consists of, err, one house, in the deepest depths of the South West. Douglas Hogg, Anthony Steen, your scummy crowns are safe.
Thus follows two and a bit hours of debate about what can be done, with Nick proposing several major changes to the whole system, ranging from supporting PR to sticking all the MPs in purpose-built accomodation in County Hall, opposite Westminster. Bang in some cameras, a diary room and a hot-tub and really subvert Orwell, I very nearly add to the debate, but Im in a serious mood, so my tongue is bit.
Its an interesting thing, the public debate. I somehow, possibly through watching too many episodes of The Simpsons, always expect them to end in either a brawl or an angry mob taking up arms and fiery torches…yet instead they are pleasant, civilised affairs, a cross section of opinion coming together to knock out some sort of concensus. True democracy, if you can be arsed to participate. If not…don’t come complaining.
So anyhow, tomorrow you get the chance to have a shout in who gets to run you, locally and in Europe. Nottingham is a key battleground, the County Council looking very much like it may tip radically away from its already precarious incumbant’s position. Thus appearances in the district from national MPs of all hues are commonplace. You could almost trip over a Cabinet or Shadow Minister on our streets this week. I myself, as you will of course remember, loyal reader, am conducting an experiment in asking local politicians five questions regarding Beeston. Due to some inabilty to understand how many days are in a month (heatstroke, innit) I forgot the deadline for returned questionnaires actually falls after election day. Oops. Mind you, there might be a General Election any time soon, so perhaps I’m more prescient than I give myself credit for…I’ll publish the results soon, not just the replies but the non-replies. Of all the main parties, its nice to see the Tories showing their usual commitment to the more local side of things by sending me sod all. Cheers, chaps.
Get yourself out tomorrow. Im not going to tell you who to vote for. But Beeston has thrived without the Right. With their determination to stop the tram, their initial rejection of the Attenborough flood wall, and, well, the fact they are just plain crap, think before you cast that vote. The same goes for UKIP. Nigel Farage is the human embodiment of the Daily Mail. You can tell he sits at his breakfast table every morning, and only own-brand cornflakes (muesli being a bit wild) pass his taut lips, as he vocally reads the Fred Basset strip to his wife with unbridles joy, before a day avoiding anything a bit foreign…garlic, Italian suits, un-vanilla sexual practises… And if your vote is destined for those fine upstanding gentlemen of the BNP, rape a kitten instead. Its not quite as evil, but it will save you blooding your knuckles on the walk to the polling station.
Normal service will be resumed on friday…..