Thursday, 6 May 2010

Live-Blogging the 2010 General Election

21:14 Good evening. This, my friends, is it. Over the next 10 hours or so we'll be finding out who will be in charge of the United Kingdom for the next 4-5 years. Unless it all gets a bit complicated, and it's a hung Parliament, in which case we'll do all this shit again in about six months time.

I am, as always, Ewar Woowar, however tonight I am pleased to announce I have my friend Dan co live-blogging the drama with me throughout the night and some of the wee small hours. I say "some" as I have to be up at 8am to take a little brat to school. But I'll last as long as I can, comrades.

Tonight, to know who it is who has just blogged, we'll put our initial at the end of the entry - so when its me, I'll end with an E, for Dan's musings he'll end with a D. Much like our respective university grades. Let's now hear from him for the very first time tonight... (E)

21:30 Today as I stood in my old primary school about to cross a box with a small pencil I wondered what had got me to this position. Why was I voting when so many of my friends couldn't give a flying nun about politics? Why wasn't I out chatting up girls for the past two weeks instead of reading the Independent? And my mind wandered back to the time I put my hand up - the only one in a class of 30 - to join a politics club at school. Then it flitted to my time spent studying and miserably failing politics at college. And now I was here about to make possibly the most important decision in my young life.

And then a policeman walked in and asked me not to cause any trouble so I called him a c**t. (D)

21:32 Liz Hurley is a Tory. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Not too sure if you can be fit and a Tory though. (D)

21:39 Before the big night kicks off on BBC1, I'm watching the darts on Sky Sports. The two walk-on girls....WOW! Mind you, one of them looks a bit like Samantha Cameron and is wearing a bright blue dress....subliminal messaging? The other one has MASSIVE knockers. (E)

21:43 So, who did you guys vote for? I voted for Mat Cobb FYI: (E)

21:51 This is the calm before the storm... (E)


22:00 Britain's best known bloggers, eh ITV? Where was our invite, I ask you? In other news anyone for a game of backgammon on Alastair Stewart's tie? (D)

22:01 Dan and I have brokered a deal - I'm watching BBC, with Dimbleby, Brillopad, Paxman, Bruce, Vine, Maitlis, Robinson. Dan's drawn the short straw and is watching ITV, with Alastair Stewart, erm, erm, pass. (E)

22:03 BBC exit poll predicts a hung Parliament and Cameron falling short. If that is the case, Cameron has really fucking blown it, let's be honest. (E)

22:06 On my side I have Neil Kinnock, Paddy Ashdown and Eric Pickles. Those exit polls show the liberal's to have balked at the last minute. We'll wait and see for the actual figures. (D)

22:07 ITV is gimmick-tastic. And most of them are shit. (D)

22:15 "Passing the ballot boxes like in a barn fire." If we set the Tory winning seats' votes on fire we could... (D)

22:22 Eric Pickles has just realised what the figures mean. He has stopped slobbering at the mouth. He is now visibly sweating. Tories being interviewed are absolutely bricking their pants. As one tweet points out - Murdoch and the like will go 'apeshit.' (D)

22:27 Oh good - Piers Moron, Clive Anderson and Jane Moore. No, great, really. (E)

22:30 Oh, bloody hell -the man known only as "Arnie", mainly because I can't spell his surname, has tweeted this, no joke: "Just called @davidcameron to congratulate him on the victory. We know the Conservatives had a great day." Eeeek! (E)

22:33 Bruce Forsyth just embarrassed himself there. A shame, as apparently in "real life" he's a massive twat. (E)

22:34 First Fiona Bruce sighting! *sighs contentedly* (E)

22:36 ITV have literally just dumbed down politics to a whole new level. You know when you were a kid and you could buy those powerpodz footballers or whatever they were called? Yeah? Well ITV have done that. With politicians. (D)

22:40 If anyone looks knackered from this election it isn't Gordon Brown, Lucy Manning looks pretty rough. (I cannot guarantee that this will be the cruellest post of the night). (D)

22:42 This is very interesting - Harriet Harperson, our Dark Lord Mandelson and now Alan Johnson all rejecting FPTP in favour of electoral reform. Why? Or is that a desperate attempt at an olive-branch towards the Lib Dems to make them form a coalition with Labour? Intriguing. (E)

22:45 Paddy Ashdown just made a Freudian slip. He called the Tories pricks. And now Anne Widdecombe just to prove the point further. (D)

22:50 Harman goes to bang on about reform again and Alastair Stewart swiftly cuts her off. Hold onto your hats now, folks. (D)

22:53 Sunderland is the first result in, and a rather attractive young Labour female MP gets in. Played, love. 1 down... (E)

22:55 Coming up next Esther Rantzen live! Ah well, that's life. (D)

22:57 Looking at this seriously for a second Labour have a lot of young up and comers. I have been particularly impressed recently by Chuka Umunna. I hope he gets in. (D)

23:18 I like Jeremy Vine, but I do miss Peter Snow. In other news, shit all is happening. (E)

23:27 Wish this speaker bloke, Dave Smith from Sunderland, would stop building his part up. Just speak you eejit. Still, this winner isn't as fit as the last one. (D)

23:36 From Ben Goldacre's twitter BREAKING STORY: voters turned away at ranmoor polling station are refusing to let the ballot box out of the building. Police there. - If this is a Tory winning seat we could... (D)

23:54 George Osbourne looks pissed. He seems to like holding his head to the side under the weight of his own self importance. (D)

23:56 Not being funny, but polling stations were open from 7am-10pm. That's 15 HOURS. I have no sympathy for people who stroll up at 9:50pm and then complain about not being allowed to vote. If I have a deadline for an essay (like I did today) I have to respect it and get the essay in before the time. Stop your fucking moaning. End of rant. (E)

00:12 David Starkey, Simon Schama, Martin Amis. What a trifecta of cuntishness that is. (E)


00:17 Cameraman falls over in rush to get that all important shot of a photo. How about we all calm down, eh? (D)

00:21 Broon arrives in Kirkcaldy for the upcoming vote which he will definitely win! (E)

00:23 Alastair Stewart feels the need to make distinctions between the car on the right of the screen and Bill Neely on the left. Neely obviously has a face like the arse-end of a Fiat Cinquecento. (D)

00:25 Not a lot happening, although it turns out there are lots of problems going down in polling booths - not just people turning up late, but polling lists not being updated?! Not enough staff?! Insane stuff in 2010, that really is. I'll keep you informed. (E)

00:31 The Green Party and their leader Caroline Lucas projected to win Brighton Pavilion! What next in this election?! (E)

00:41 Oh good - a Sinn Fein hold. In other news, not much is happening. Except complaining in Manchester, but that's no fucking surprise. (E)

00:49 Desperation setting in - BBC pretending to care about Northern Ireland. Oh wait, it's Peter Robinson. And he's lost. Ha. (E)

00:52 Toby Young is a Tory. I would never, never have guessed that. Maureen Lipman, no idea what she's talking about. (D)

01:00 Starting to get a bit bored now! Come on counting people! (E)

01:03 Ah, not the result I wanted - a Conservative gain. Amusingly, in his speech their candidate just thanked u2. Okay, it was "you two" but at 1am let's not split hairs. (E)

01:09 What a fucking blouse that is. (D)

01:17 Justine Greening is a hideous woman who looks like a robot. However apparently she didn't shake hands with the BNP candidate, so fair play to her on that regard. (E)

01:27 Results coming through now, but mainly from Northern Ireland and Wales...up in Scotland, the count at Kirkcaldy, Broons seat, is due soon-ish. And now here's David Blunkett. (E)

01:30 Up in Fife, Sir Ming is back in. And now we move to Durham...wait, we dont, upto Kirkcaldy. There's a strange man with his arm in the air! (E)

01:33 And a man in a kilt! (E)

01:34 The cunt with his hand in the air represented the "Land is Power" party. What a twat. (E)

01:39 Labour have held Telford, that's a very good result for the Labour MP there. Well done David Wright MP. (E)

01:43 My constituency result has just come through - Conservative hold. Damn. (E)

01:44 I think Dan has fallen asleep, by the way. (E)

01:48 I'm alive! Some posts have been deleted :( (D)

01:55 Some good news -BNP current vote share just 1.6% and have now 9 lost deposits, saving only 4. (E)

01:59 Back to the boat with Brillopad, and Kirstie Allsop is so rat-arsed it's untrue, the fat Tory bint. (E)

02:02 Oh wow, that was excellent - a pissed up Kirstie and Chris Addison ranting at each other, Brillopad just walked away from them. Splendid stuff! (E)

02:03 Well done and many thanks to the person who's just found my blog after googling "conservatives are cunts". Good effort sir. (E)

02:10 Hiya. I'm just waiting for my seat now. Tara a bit. (D)

02:18 Right, I'm starting to get tired now as well. Not much news, except the Lib Dems are getting completely shafted, although to be fair my Dad predicted that over dinner tonight. He's a wise one, my old man. (E)

02:23 Unbelievable news - the Tories have gained Montgomeryshire, I honestly thought Lembit Opik had that one sewn up beyond any doubt. Wow.

And that's a pretty huge win for the Tories, so, fuck this. Live-blogging for 4 and a half hours, that's more than enough. Thanks for reading folks! Catch you all soon.

Ewar and Dan

Sunday, 2 May 2010

This Is The One

This will probably be my last blog post before the 2010 General Election, so let's make it a biggie eh? A few days ago the campaign literature for all the parties standing in my constituency all arrived through the letterbox in a nice little bundle. I don't know whether this is a massive, massive coincidence or whether they have to post them all out at the same time on the same day. Whatever. The five parties standing here in my particular part of The Shire are: Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, BNP, UKIP. With nothing better to do tonight, let's analyse these fuckers.

*I have just taken photos of all of them on my phone, to break this blog entry up a bit. Sat down at my desk to discover that I can't find the USB cable that connects my phone to my laptop ANYWHERE. So, apologies. I'd even graffitied the UKIP one and everything*

I shall be analysing them in alphabetical order, which means we jump into the deep (incredibly shallow, surely? Ed.) end straight away...

British National Party (BNP)

We start with the BNP, who have sent out a rather garish, double sided and slightly aggressive flyer. Let's take a look at the content.

"Bring Our Troops Home - The British National Party supports our soldiers. We'll bring them home and stop Labour's criminal waste of young lives."

Pretty much the first sentence in and already we're infected with stupid nonsense. Also, I particularly like the contradiction there - we support our troops, that's why we want them home with absolutely nothing to do!

"Put a Stop to Immigration - We are being swamped and being made foreigners in our own country. Together we can shut the floodgates for good."

Swamped, I verily tell you! I tried to walk down to my local shop yesterday, but I couldn't go because all the foreign immigrants were blocking my way :(

"Raise the Weekly Pension to £150 - The £18 billion Lab-Lib-Con give China and India to 'adapt' to non-existent Climate Change should go to our pensioners."

Climate Change = non-existent.

All of this is followed by my favourite phrase of all time:

"We're NOT Second Class Citizens!"

I've still no idea what that means.

"GET EVEN - Vote British National Party"

Nor that.

At the bottom there's a picture of Nick Griffin and Winston Churchill next to each other - two (un)lovable racist rogues. And on the back is more guff about our troops. Let's be honest though, laughing at the stupidity of the BNP is like taking candy from a baby, or like kicking a puppy - both things I've done numerous times, but ultimately nothing to write home about. Let's move swiftly on.

Conservatives (Tory)

First impressions - this is very well put together. It unfolds out like one of those city maps you buy when you go on holiday, has lots of stuff in it and is brightly coloured but in a nice way - light blue, a splash of green and white, compared to the garish purple and yellow of the aforementioned. Can't help thinking that this professional look has come straight from Lord Ashcroft's pocket, mind you.

On the front is my local MP, gurning like a good'un in his light blue tie. Once opened up, the flyer is pretty standard fare - picture of my MP standing outside the local hospital, and with troops. A picture of an elderly couple, another of children holding hands, etc. What I particularly like about the flyer however is that when it's outlining the Tory policies, they've mixed together national stuff with local issues. Admittedly, I'm impressed by little things, but I've seen far too many election literature down the years that has focused on one and not the other.

On the back is a little section dedicated to how to contact my local MP - via post, phone, e-mail or website. Complete with the same gurning photo. I may be influenced by the vulgar nonsense of the last flyer, but this is the best one of the lot, in my humble opinion.

Labour and Co-operative

This is the smallest flyer of the five, and is in the form of a page-turning booklet, which is pretty well done. When it comes to the colours - no mucking about, traditional red and white all the way. On the front we again have a shit-eating grin, and three pledges which sound awfully shallow and don't really say a lot:

"I will stand up for The Wrekin, listen to you and vote in Parliament for what is right."

"I will work hard in the local community, making myself available to all."

"I will campaign to save the Princess Royal Hospital by promoting public membership of the Foundation Trust."

See what I mean? Opening it up we have a splendid picture of the candidate out and about, meeting people etc. alongside a testimony by a local resident. This particular statement caught my eye however:

"I will strive for international security and peace, to combat climate change and make sure its costs do not fall on the poorest people."

No need mate - the BNP tells me it's non-existent, so there's no need to worry about that shit.

On the back, like the Conservative one is a section dedicated to contact details - again, I like that, and interesting to note that none of the other three bother with that bit. Also like the Tory one is the fact that this isn't bad - it's a bit "paint by numbers" but it works. Let's see if the Lib Dem one can step up to the plate...

Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dems in this area are represented by a lady called Ali Daw. Except she isn't. When she was first put forward I was sure she had a double-barrelled surname, and her website proves that her real name is Alyson Cameron-Daw. Why the change, Alyson? If you ever read this - get in touch, would love to find out your thinking there.

The front cover has a picture of Ali, and also Nick Clegg. This is particularly interesting in that it's only this flyer and the BNP one that features their respective leaders on their front covers - and the Labour one does not have a picture or a reference to Gordon Brown at all! On the front cover is this statement:

"Nick Clegg's tax plan means that you will pay no tax on the first £10,000 you earn - cutting most tax bills by £700."

Which sounds very splendid, until you ponder for a moment about the impact that will have at this time of economic rubbishness (sorry folks, there is a reason tax exists, and is necessary) and you'll realise that this idea is a bit mental. Much like the Lib Dems as a whole, mind.

We open up the leaflet to find another picture of Clegg, this time with the man, the myth, the legend, Vince Cable. The colour scheme is all over the place I'm afraid here - red, orange, white, three shades of green, blue....bit of a disaster all round. There's a big piece about Ali (once again conveniently ignoring her real name) about her background and so on - teacher, London Stock Exchange, Reuters, The FT...not a shabby CV by any means. Underneath that is a section dedicated to her pledges towards the constituents. We turn to the back page...and another picture of Clegg! A rather shameless attempt at riding on the back of Clegg's impressive TV debate showings, but fully understandable I suppose.

Right, 4 down, 1 to go. Come on, we can do this together people. We finish with....

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

VOTE UKIP the front cover screams at me in big white letters, which certainly stands out over the purple background (with yellow on the borders). Amusingly, that's pretty much all it says, apart from the hilariously bad "Straight talking. Vote UKIP" slogan at the bottom. Turn it over...and we have that same slogan again, this time at the top, and a profile of the UKIP candidate. This profile consists of, quite literally, 8 words.

What follows is a few lame sentences about local issues and...well...that's it. It's almost like they don't expect to win! Sorry I can't say more than that but...actually, I'm not sorry, they're bloody mad anyway.

So, what are my voting intentions at this moment in time, with only 3 (three!) days to go? Well, I'm discounting three parties pretty much straight away, leaving me with the Conservatives and Labour. My present MP is a Tory, and I've got to be honest he's done a perfectly capable job - he wasn't caught up in the expenses scandal, and he's worked hard on local issues that concern me such as the future of the local hospital, the future of RAF Cosford and others. Yet, I really don't want a Tory Government and have never voted for them. Which swings me to Labour - but why should I vote for the Labour candidate when the Tory one is doing a fine job here? I suppose that's the problem with our current electoral system, and I suppose that illustrates why with only 3 (three!) days to go I'm still undecided. May the best man win!

I'll leave you with some numbers from these flyers which I found interesting:

0 - The number of references to Gordon Brown in the Labour flyer.
5 - The number of references to Gordon Brown in the Conservative flyer.