If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Election Fever

This election has been bad for me. As a self-confessed current affairs junkie, I have been spending far too much time watching TV and reading online commentary over the last few weeks. It is as though the impending election has developed from a mild itch into raging urticaria that I have to scratch constantly. If I'm not watching the news on TV, I am reading all my subscribed blogs, and then if I run out of things to read there, I am scanning the websites of the newspapers. And, as JuliaM correctly observes, there is for more information, variety and informed comment in the blogosphere than in all the dead-tree media combined.

The election has also been bad for this blog. I have a lot of things I would like to say, but they have already been said better (and first) by those with far more knowledge and experience of these things than I have, so my blogging of the election has ended up being a bit of soul-searching and a lot of "hey, look at this" while linking to better things. Bike stuff has certainly taken a back seat, which is not how I planned it.

Soon, the fever of the election will be over, and the hard work of getting this country back on its feet will begin. (You will note that I assume a Tory victory here: the alternative is too awful to contemplate.) And I will be back to blogging about the garden, and a joke I heard, and a bit of music that inspired me, and bike trips and the usual nonsense that seems to emerge when I put fingertips to keyboard. In a way, I am looking forward to that.

How will I be spending tomorrow? I will be voting, of course, probably earlier rather than later, and then I will be intermittently watching the news for any developments. If the last few days are anything to go by, Gordon Brown will probably slip on a dog turd, fall and break his hip, Cameron will roll his sleeves up again, and Clegg will mention 'the two old Parties', conveniently forgetting that the Liberal Party is one of the country's oldest.

I might try to have a nap in the afternoon, as I want to watch as much of the hot party-on-party action in the small hours as I can. At about 9 pm, I will line up the beers and the bottle of Balvenie Signature that I have been keeping for this very occasion. I bought this back in October last year, and I said then that I would be keeping it until election night. It's funny to think that, when I wrote that, I assumed that the Conservatives would be romping home with a safe majority, and the whisky was in anticipation of a celebration. That was how it looked at the time. Tomorrow, it could be drowning my sorrows. How things change.

I will provision my area with a few crisps and nuts (beer and whisky on their own can require nibbles, I find) and then settle down to watch the events unfold. Once (probably one of the 1974 elections - I was younger then) I watched it right through to about 6 am, but usually I stay with it until about two or three o'clock. I'm hoping to do better this time, but I get tired more easily now, so I'll go when I am either tired, bored or demoralised.

A final prayer: whatever the overall result, please, Lord, please - make Ed Balls lose.

And, whoever you vote for tomorrow, vote.


  1. May the force be with you....


    Tormented electorate : time to take revenge,
    tomorrow’s the day we can finally avenge
    many years of wrong-doing and being ignored.
    What’s at stake ? Dracula can be fatally gored,
    slowly to sink to his knees, keel over at last,
    his time of vampire-like blood-sucking now passed.
    Dismiss dour thoughts, our lives are about to un-bend,
    carry on with life, Count’s power is at an end.
    He’ll be defeated, by the power of the count
    as we the people with new courage will surmount
    thirteen years of – bad luck ? – no, deliberate aim,
    while we, with a true stake in our great home won’t claim
    “moral compass”, his myopic vision of truth,
    but an eye for an eye AND a tooth for a tooth !
    Alan McAlpine Douglas

  3. Nice poem, but too many o's in 'count', I think.


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