Hello? Remember me? Yeah, Beestonia, remember? I’m that lad who did that stuff about the election, recall? Yeah, thats right, the ‘sexist’ bloke! Thought you’d forgot about me.
Its a bad week for the reds. Labour go into opposition, Forest get crushed by Blackpool and I give up the Vin Rouge. Its been a week of blue mondays.
Early indicators are that Anna Soubry is already being lined up for a top role should Clegg be romanced by CallMeDave. I think maybe prison reform is right up her street:
(shamelessly stolen from the ever-mighty LeftLion.com)
but watching this made me feel slightly ill, and I have a huge urge to play CRASS records at full volume:
The night is over, and the figures in, counted and heres the result:
(cheers to Rish for pointing mt to this)
Hello! I’ve stuck my vote in the box, despite getting lost on the way to the Polling station, a Portakabin by the side of the road. Two tellers. Lib Dem and and Labour, stood outside…no Tories though, again a conspicuous absence by Soubry and her electrifying campaign… I’ll be updating when I get news, keep this up on your browser and refresh to hear the latest news/ how drunk I can get over eight hours. So Im camped in front of the telly, day off tomorrow, and booze and chocolate to keep me through the night…tune in::
03.51: Broxtowe back on TV..Im going quiet here for a while.Anyone who needs to contact me, do so. I’ still awake,and watching telly, but now counts.
I bloody well am. While others have parties to celebrate Eurovision, Big Brother and X-Factor finals, I have always made Election Night an event.
I’ve rather desperately entered the world of employment, and unless I recieve an offer of Chief Political Writer on a major paper by 7am tomorrow, I shall be once again donning a suit fresh from Burton’s discount racks and a pair of shoes that actually stay on my perverted feet and weeping my way down the A52 on the Indigo,so forgive the slightness of this post.
David Watts writes, asking whats my take on the Evening Post’s research that shows Broxtowe is indeed a two-horse race, but between the Soubry and Himself. This comes at the same time I’m skimming the tabloids for nuggets, and see Broxtowe is flagged up on the front page of the Daily Mirror as a place to vote Labour over the Lib Dems to ensure the Tories are kept out while pro-Lab and pro-Lib Beestonians slug it out through the medium of Comments on this site.
Without access to my own polling, I find it difficult to ascertain the veracity of local litmus tests: I have also seen polls which suggest the race is red/blue, and friends who assure me that it is red/yellow….Mike Shore, the BNP PPC, even suggested it was a race between himself and Palmer…only Cobb (UKIP) and Mitchell (Green) have pragmatically admitted their chances are zero.
So my opinion? Drumroll please. Well, the winner is: I don’t know. I don’t have a clue. Thats hard-core political journalism for you.
This election is one of absolute uncertainty, where we could wake up on Friday with Cameron as our Uber-Lord and Soubry exiling me to Cuba; a hung parliament of horse-trading between the LibDems and Labour which will probably see Brown ousted, the much-neglected Cable installed in the Treasury or Brown scraping a tiny majority….its so close in all corners I wont be making my personal prediction until 10pm Thursday.
This is no bad thing, what galvanises an electorate more than any other factor is the margins, the fact that votes DO count. I’ve never known an election that has captured people’s imagination so much – I hear it on buses, in coffee shops and pubs-and whatever the result, thats a great thing.
Vote with your heart and head, vote who you truly feel would best be good for Broxtowe, with the facts available. Just don’t vote Soubry. Thats not partiality, thats just sense.
I just got Dr Palmer’s mailout email, and am happy to see the lack of response to any query posited to Ms Soubry has become a real issue, and not just me feeling a bit rejected (big up to all those who have emailed and chatted to me in person about their concerns, and to the Beeston Express for being accused of bias when they broached it)
Nick also links to the video here of Alan Duncan and Anna Soubry, to save you time scrolling down, Im reposting it. (Duncan is one of those MPs parties love as being a ‘character MP’: see Lembik Opek, Prescott and Boris Johnson); yet it always ends in disaster, and i’m surprised Duncan was wheeled out to help our Tory challenger…the link is here:
I must disclaim however, that I used to like Duncan. I admired his liberal views on gay rights, his un-uptight demeanour, his seemingly progressive attitude. Then I discovered he is the eighth-richest MPs in the country, yet still made huge claims during the expenses crisis, worked/works for Vittol, an oil company that openly traded with apartheid South Africa,and numerous other distasteful activities, and then its sigh, duped, and the realisation that the Bad Old Tories are still there, just masked better.
Oh, he also thinks the MPs salary is ‘rations’
As we go into the final working week of campaigning, I’d like to remind you that you can keep informed in many ways..but if you prefer the random gabblings of an unaligned, generally confused Beestonian then note the ‘subscribe’ button to your right. Click that. Go on. It will give you a lovely feeling. Im also available on Facebook: search ‘Beestonia’ and you’ll find my fan page.
Onwards, ever onwards….
My third hustings, and Im starting to feel like a professional attendee. I have, as people do in cinemas and buses, my own seat preference. I like to arrive a little earlier, to assess the demographic of the other audience members. I carry at least six pens and two notepads, have a glass of red before setting out and debrief myself at The Crown Inn afterwards. Alas, these idiosyncratic habits are now to be put to bed for five years, as election day looms towards us…
So to Bramcote, driven by my friend Dave, who later acts as my security detail : I subsequently nearly get him divorced. More on both later. First, I enter the church hall, and as I fail to fall to the floor, mouth frothing and speaking in tongues, I can confirm that previous rumours that my dad was a jackal and my mum a Satanic nun are unfounded, and the 666 birthmark under my fringe is just coincidence. The audience file in, the vast majority grey haired and significantly older than the audiences at Roundhill and College House. This is no longer a home crowd for Palmer, and Soubry looks a lot more at ease as she takes her seat. Rob Cleave chairs, and we’re off.
And so it proves, the questions more in the style of the Daily Maill than the previous two debates. When Soubry states her opinion that Ken Clarke was the Messiah of the Exchequer, there are ‘hear hear’ grunts rather than the snorts of hysterical laughter in Beeston.
Next to me are a group of elderly men, who annoyingly ‘hearrrrr hearrr’ EVERTHING Soubry says, or make weird ‘yaaaaarrr’ noises at points, then grunt disapprovingly at everything else. They evidently think this is the House Of Lords, and this is how you should act. They have the appearance of men who spend their days on golf courses and in golf club bars, muttering about political correctness going crazy, standards dropping and how you can’t even call a black person a darkie these days without some do-gooder getting angry. These are the true tories, the nasty, gin-blossomed faces with a disdain of anything they fail to understand or can’t control. For every rolled-up shirt sleeve, green-issue spouting, middle of the road walking tory, there are ten of these antiquated beasts in tow.
The issues are broadly the same as other debates, so I won’t dwell on detail. The differences make it interesting The fate of Bramwell Care Home is discussed with a real passion, Soubry admitting she cant persuade Nottingham City Council’s Thatcherite Ideologue Kay Cutts to drop plans to sell it off, leading Watts to remark ‘Cutts is Labour’s best chance of winning Broxtowe’.
The Brown/Bigot scandal, or as a Tory friend of mine remarked earlier ‘the biggest shit to hit the smallest fan’ is of course raised, and its heartening to hear Soubry say how awful it is to disdainfully accuse your electorate of bigotry. Cheers Anna, I know you would never make an accusation of say, sexism, to a member of the public who dared to disapprove of elements of your campaign? Oh hold on…perhaps she’ll send an apology to Beestonia. My breath is unheld.
A question on the Tobin and Robin Hood taxes are raised, but despite the fact both ideas have been thrown around the media and the political playing-fields of late, and huge campaigns set up to endorse them ( http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/ ), Soubry is not aware and insteads tells the audience member who asked the question to ’email me with the details’. As even the Quakers didn’t get a response when they asked Soubry’s take on relevant policy in a recent email, I felt like telling the fellow to not waste his typing time. Palmer and Watts both expressed support for the Tobin/ Robin Hood tax, Watts going as far to issue a pledge to vote for it if elected, which ever way his whips suggested.
A more light-hearted, last-question-on-Question- Time was asked: What book most inspired and influenced you? This is actually a clever bit of pop-psychology, as the choices reveal the image the respondent wishes to convey. By this totem and the answers given, Palmer would be Barack Obama, Soubry the feminist writer Marilyn French, Mitchell would be Gandhi and Watts, well Watts would be God. Could he wrestle that crown off Clegg?
A real surprise of the night, and a heartening one, was the way David Mitchell came across. I’ve previously noted his nervous, over-mannered style, and while he still looked out of his depth compared to the the bombastic Watts, the careful precision of Palmer and the Thatcher-esque outrage of Soubry, he has blossomed into a more impassioned,coherant candidate. He put across points well, cut back on the verbal tic of saying ‘y’know’, shows passion on the issues the Greens really should be cleaning up on and even gets a few laughs. I think we will be seeing a lot more of him over the years, and I hope so. He also revealed that he was 50. He looks about 35. I have more grey than him, and how come my face looks like a topographical map of the Cairngorms while his could be a L’Oreal ad?
I will miss these little scraps I’ve been attending. Now its all over for the next five years, unless a hung parliament leads to another set of Hustings. I hope so, as I am presently lobbying organisers to make some changes next time; these generally involve a bar, free to correspondants.
I would like to also ask the bloke sitting in front of me, if he should be reading this, why he seemed so intent to read my notes and then thrust his iPhones camera into my face and try and take my picture. As he was also making ‘hear-hear’ noises throughout at anything Soubry said, I do have my suspicions about who it was, but hes quite litigious so I shall keep my accusations to myself for now. Bloody i-Phone too. A Blackberry, yes, but an iPhone? Tsk.
The most accurate ‘Who Should I Vote For?’ website yet: http://whoshouldgetmyvote.co.uk/
I have been asked to also issue a statement for the benefit ofmy friend Dave and his other half, Sharon. He drove me to and from the hustings and somewhere along the way, while rifling through my fetching man-bag, I dropped a tub of Wilko’s Cocoa Body Butter into the footwell of his car. Now, I use this stuff to counter the dryness of my skin over the winter months, but this excuse wouldn’t wash with Sharon who suspected Dave’s frequent disappearances on a Thursday night were less about hustings and more about something far more nefarious. I am happy to make this clear to Sharon, and also any scratch marks on Dave’s back were caused by the uncomfortable seating arrangement in the church hall.
I’ve had an interesting email from self-confessed anorak Ross Bofinger who has provided me with some figures on what he sees as the swings needed to get Watts in power, and they are worth a look. Unfortunately, I’m a Luddite and can’t port the info onto this site without buggering up the formatting, so they will have to wait. If you want to have a look however, email me and I’ll forward them on
Best political moment of the last few days was after a chance meeting with a friend on the Nottingham-London train last night. I was only on for a short hop, but Dan, for that was his name, was on right the way to Berkshire and sent me this following piece of insightful reportage after seeing Ed Miliband in the same carriage:
“He was sitting in economy of all places. I think he walked past to use the bog and it was probably a number 2 as he took his time”