It’s been quite a week here in sleepy ol’ England, what with an inconclusive General Election, the Premier League title resolved and this blog registering colossal numbers of visitors as it closes in on 20,000 hits.
On Thursday, three generations of this family were glued to the Election results in one way or another. My Dad, an archetypal working-class-turned-middle-class Tory was up all night watching the map turn Tory blue; not bad for an 85-year old. The Princess was up in Manchester, having blagged her way into the Town Hall count as the alleged girlfriend of some Labour councillor. Not a great night for her because although Manchester stayed largely a Labour stronghold, she had been working hard -and unsuccessfully as it turned out – in the Withington constituency as the Labour candidate Lucy Powell attempted to unseat the running dog lackey Lib Dem incumbent. Oh well.
My involvement was a bit more direct as I was working on the count for this constituency (Birmingham Hall Green) and for the Kings Heath & Moseley ward in the simultaneous council election. The counts for 7 or 8 Birmingham seats took place at the National Indoor Arena, a total barn of a place where I’d last been in attendance to see Robert Plant and Alison Krauss about 18 months ago. That was more fun, frankly.
We were seated at one of a long row of trestle tables under the benevolent eye of a young solicitor who was our Table Supervisor and then grouped into fours. First we got some postal votes to count just to warm us up before the real ballot boxes started arriving. We ended up having to recount that first batch twice as we couldn’t get a tally with what was supposed to be there. Not really a problem though as the KH/Moseley ballot boxes were taking an eternity to arrive, probably due to the chaos that ensued when the world and his wife turned up at about 9:45 pm expecting to vote, only to be turned away when the polls closed at 10:00 pm. Oh dear. Then it somehow took 90 minutes for said boxes to crawl the 4 miles to the NIA and reach us. It was shaping up to be a late night.
Across from us groups of scrutineers from all the parties prowled up and down marking the ballot papers as we processed them. The Tories stood out like sore thumbs in this process; all suited and booted, young boys who looked like they had barely started shaving setting their first foot on the political ladder, most of them looking like proto-Wiliam Hagues with carefully sculpted hairdos and suits that were clearly fresh from Burton’s.
There was some drama, of course, as Labour managed to hang on to Edgbaston with the popular Gisela Stewart getting back in, whilst here in Hall Green the dubious Labour incumbent, Roger Godsiff, who was severely mired in the Expenses Scandal, managed to hold off strong challenges from both Respect and the Lib Dems. At council level, the Lib Dem incumbent also managed to cling on though only by about 200 votes. On the whole though, it was clearly a night where no-one really got a clear mandate which I would see as being a real slap in the face for the Tories as New Labour have been doing their best to hand the Election to them on a plate. Seems that people are (rightly) no more impressed with Cameron than they are with Brown and now both of them are trying to play footsy with the Lib Dems to form a coalition. I have a feeling that we could be doing it all again within a few months.
‘He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not……’
Matters in the Premier League reached a far more predictable conclusion as Chelsea hammered hapless Wigan by 8-0 to secure their first title for 4 years. Cue much gloating from the loathsome John Terry and his wretched crew , the Cole Sisters; Joe and Ashley, the Teutonic Temper Tantrum, Michael Ballack and sulky Didier Drogba who didn’t want to play any more when they wouldn’t let him take a first half penalty. The Dad of the Year and his sidekicks; not since the Scouse Spice Boys of the late 90’s has there been such a nasty bunch. Fair play to Ancelotti and Wilkins, though and also to Malouda and Anelka who have all contributed to a deserved victory for Abramovich’s playthings.
The Cole Sisters…..the kind of girls my Dad told me to avoid…
And finally, I just have to pass comment on the absolute blizzard of hits this site has been getting, most seemingly targetted at my tale of online Hawaiian TV and the saga of the Tsunami that wasn’t (see Feb 28th). It would be nice to think that the blog readers of the world are simply entranced by my tale of Honolulu bracing itself for a mega-wave that would sweep everything away into the Pacific. Unfortunately, I think the truth is that most people have been logging on to check out the hot photo of ‘Avatar’ actress Michelle Rodriguez that I jokingly inserted as a spurious aside to my tale.
Such are the vagaries of the Net…type ‘Michelle Rodriguez’ into Google images and this blog and that photo are the first in line. Oh well, if only one visitor in 10 bothered to read the article or maybe trawl through the other stuff on here then I guess it will have served some purpose. Anyway, the end result is that I’m fast closing on 20,000 hits, which is something I didn’t expect to achieve until late summer. And it’s all thanks to Michelle…..maybe she’ll let me return the favour one day….well, I live in hope….