Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Local Elections

You hardly need to have been following the news over the last few weeks to be feeling slightly jaded about the state of British politics. In fact, it’s hard to come up with the name of an MP who doesn’t look as though he’s had his (or her) hand in the till – whether it’s for an ornamental moat or a jar of Branston Pickle (although I still can’t quite understand how some people still seem to be able to argue it’s right for the great British public to be stumping up for salad condiments. Why Mrs Mitchell can’t pack her husband off to London with a jar of home-made chutney in his suitcase is beyond me. But would she still have charged us for a couple of pounds of shallots and a jar of pickling spice?).

But I still feel passionately about the importance of exercising one’s right to vote. After all, it’s not even a hundred years that women have had the right to vote – the mere blink of an eye in historical terms. People lost their lives so we could vote. To think, save the odd historical blips of rulers like Boudicca and Queen Elizabeth the First, the world as we know it was almost entirely run by men until 1918 – mind you, I suppose it might have saved us from Hazel Blears (who has, today, I notice, done the decent thing and finally resigned).

Anyway, I’ve been doing my homework and reading up about our local candidates and what they stand for (I don’t think we have to worry too much about the MEPs – it’s all done on proportional representation there, I believe, so you just plump for the party you like best). Locally, the Tories tell us they believe in “local democracy, efficient services at the lowest possible cost”, while Labour believes that “local people and communities possess the ingenuity and common sense to run their own affairs,” and the Lib Dems would like to see “a freer Britain, where people and communities are able to exercise real political power on their own behalf”.

Which sounds a lot like the others to me.

Or maybe I’m missing something…

Anyway, I will be going to the polling station tomorrow, and I know who I’ll be voting for (however that’s between me and my ballot paper, which is just as it should be).

See you there.

This week, I’ve been watching…
The Unsellables – another TV property programme, as if we needed one – with our family friend, John Rennie and Kirstie Alsopp’s younger sister, Sofie. Once you get over being mesmerised by John’s particularly mobile eyebrows and wondered idly whether in fact it's Nigella Lawson Sofie's related to, rather than Kirstie, it is actually quite entertaining, and Sofie is considerably more charming (in my opinion) and smiley than her bossy older sister. The formula is this: they visit a house that the owner can’t sell, Sofie wrinkles her delicate ski-slope nose at their d├ęcor and the number of stuffed toys in the bedroom, does a bit of tidying and gets the decorators in while John gets a feel for the neighbourhood and put the estate agent right on one or two things…
11am weekdays on BBC1, if you’re interested.

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