From the election results declared so far, it looks like change is a comin'...
There'll be more windfarms and less wild land, I'll wager.
It's got a sinister ring to it, no?
Here's the would-be gaffer:
Looks familiar, no?
For 23 years we've had the same MP, and in all that time we've never actually seen him. Hardly surprising, really, as he lives 140 miles away in Billingshurst, which is even further away than Westminster. He's tried to claim expenses for astrology software and for an intimate relationships course, and was guilty of accepting cash-for-questions. He's never responded directly to any of the questions that I've put to him, preferring to "sub out" the job to somebody else. We had high hopes that he'd be ousted, but he's back for another term.
I didn't much care which party ended up in government, but I really did want to see the back of this fool. Actually, seeing ANY part of this fool is unlikely. He's like the absentee landlord, happy to accept the rent-money but never there when you need him to fix the property. It's not what's expected of a public servant, and certainly not what I expect of my representative in Parliament.
Approaching the Polling Station the way ahead was clear and following close behind was a gaggle of retired folk. I went through the outer door and made for the entrance to the inner sanctum, where the officials reside. Mid-stride, I was accosted by an "unidentified, suited and clip-boarded older man" strategically positioned in the foyer.
"What's your number?" he asked, sharply and without any semblance of manners.
"Are you talking to me?" I retorted.
"Yes. I need your number. The number on your polling card."
"Can I see your official ID?"
"Er, no, I don't have one."
"A name-badge, perhaps?"
"So what is your official responsibility here?"
"I record the numbers of the voters."
"Are you a proper election official?"
"Er, well, not quite."
"Well, you're not recording my number. I don't know who you are or what you'll do with my number. For all I know, you could peddle the data to the highest bidder regardless of the consequences, and judging by the way you haven't concealed the information taken from your previous victims, you appear to have no regard to the confidentiality of such information. I'll disclose my details to the properly-registered and approved officials in the other room - you have no right to ascertain my number, and I have no obligation to disclose it to you, so please stop harassing me. Oh, and next time, try using some manners... you know, those things that you older folk complain that "the youth of today" don't have. "
The gaggle of retired folk was by then in a state of confusion. It appeared that none of them had ever wondered what the "unidentified, suited and clip-boarded older man" did with the numbers. Quite a few of them had never realised that he wasn't even an official. Not many of them disclosed their numbers to him.
After voting, I walked back past the rude "unidentified, suited and clip-boarded older man" and went outside. A couple from the "gaggle" were waiting for me. I was expecting trouble, but instead got thanks and a handshake.
Knowledge, not politics, is power.