Friday, May 04, 2007

The Morning AfterForgive me Father for I have sinned.

Yep, just like a nun with a Nazi distributor under her cassock*, I have committed a necessary evil. I speak of the vote which dare not speak its name. But really I had no choice, as I don't believe in not voting, and the options being [at one level] Mr and Mrs Lib Dem, Tory 1, Tory 2 and Token Labour. Mr Lib Dem and Lib Dem 1 were the incumbents.

* Normally known as a habit, but apparently I'm not good on nuns.

Lib Dem 1 has a blog, one that makes mine look good (despite listing in his favourite activities "websites"). In it he demonstrates carelessness and aloofness while trying to appear to be concerned. One throwaway comment about height restrictions on a development threw away my vote (that and getting the name of the roads wrong, oh, and me suddenly remembering him as a rather officious bear of little brain, having met a very odd public meeting). And that's despite not actually saying what he thought, merely describing what he thought the situation was, apparently unaware of his bias. Mr Lib Dem has no net presence, but like the rest of the Lib Dem dominated council has not necessarily done things in the best way (look, I'm trying not to get in specifics here, but let's stick with rash and leave the Audit Commission to decide the rest).

So while it's not the first time I've voted for the untouchables (the previous instances being only on a local level and mostly because it was someone's mother or a ex-teacher's brother, or because they were the only party who contacted students while at uni, despite the university registering us all), there was no way in hell I was voting for anything connected to the current council (and, sweety darling, I simply don't do Labour - but neither does anyone else round here).

So I voted based solely on one building, and what it indicates about past and future thoughts (well, planning decisions last much longer than variations in parking, tax or rubbish collection, and to be honest, fortnightly's only a problem if one's away, and that's mostly because of what the council could but won't recycle). Basically I voted as there's a building that looks like Working (Googleproof?), and the council apparently want many, many more, and so indulge in seducing developers, despite the area providing London property prices, but no expensive London regulations and so not being quite the challenge for developers the council think it is.

Of course, when I did such a thing, I thought a few others might do the same in the town. Turns out it's not just this town where the borough/district/whatever they're called these days council appears to have alienated people. The Libdems before the election had 30 seats, to the Conservatives' 27.

Now there are 3 independents (one elected as a Libdem last time round), 3 Libdems, all from the same ward, where the party gained a seat from the Tories, and all the rest Tories. As the title of the bottom front page story of the local paper reads "Libdems Angry..." (before continuing Liberal Democrat councillors... what, all three of them?). Ok, so the story is about something else and the paper was printed while the count was on, so it predates the election, but it admirably illustrates the current situation.

I would use the 'decimated', except that implies 9 out of ten survive, rather than the inverse. 30 down to 3 isn't best electoral performance.

But in good news for the Libdems, they did take a seat from the Conservatives in one ward. Admittedly this ward provides the only Libdems left on the council, but still a win is a win, however Pyrrhic. One wonders what the Conservatives did to not only not win, but to lose against the tsunami in the rest of the borough.

I'm now rather worried, because, as one indiscreet council employee disparagingly put it, this place is full of liberal Conservatives and conservative Liberals, which has usually led to a nice even stalemating on every level. Having 90% of the council vote might be a bit too much power.

The astute amongst you may have noticed a complete absence of discussion of the town/parish council elections. This is because they're even more complicated and I can't find anything online about them (it was hard enough finding out who was already on the council). That and because then I'd get distracted by describing the joys of democracy that makes my vote equal to the rather slow man who was having problems with his form and had to be told where to put his crosses and how many of them to make (I know I asked which box was which, but whoever planned it hadn't thought to colour code and the only wording was the full length official version, rather than a handy 'Borough' or 'Town'). I wouldn't mind quite so much, but when I walked in with a couple of others, the people officiating said "oh, a queue - that's the first we've had", which doesn't do much for one's confidence in the problemed being drowned by high turnout (can't you just give people Chinese takeaway menus instead, and only hand out the ballot papers if they notice and complain?).

Yep, this whole post was just an excuse to post the before and after bar charts. Impressive, n'est-ce pas? Apparently the unspeakable is not the undoable.


PS. Happy Jediday. This week's been doing well for named days, hasn't it? Well, with Pan Pan coming one before May Day then a couple of days later Jediday and Jedieve, there's only the 2nd still without a name. Any suggestions?

That's quite a blue landslide you've got there. There was a far less marked Lib Dem to Conservative swing here in Bath (another Labour coldbed), and in fact the loss of two seats to the Lib Dems in the University ward cost the Conservatives overall control of B&NES. They would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids.

I sometimes wonder why we need party politics in local government. All the best councillors are Independents as it is.

On a not entirely different theme, it seems that Nick Griffin will be allowed to speak at Bath University next week, despite some fervent protests, having been invited by the leader of the newly reformed Hitler, sorry BNP Youth movement, who we are 'lucky' enough to have studying here.
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