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Thursday, 13 May 2010

A note from the wilderness

I have just discovered that the hotel provides complimentary wifi.  This does translate to "very slow wifi" but there again you can't get much cheaper than free.  Unless you are an MP (don't go there. Ed.)

Today is Thursday, and tonight I shall be braving the uncertainties of the British railway system to get myself from here to home.  To be precise, I shall be braving the uncertainties of the Southern railway system, which is even worse.  I hear tales from colleagues who travel on the trains to the north of our capital, and they are tales of power sockets and wifi, and even seats, available on trains.  They seem to have this thing called a timetable that tells them when the train will leave and arrive, and sometimes their train does leave and arrive when the timetable says it should.  

My old gran, god bless her soul, was a bit of a character, and she did not always get things right, but she was one for a pithy comment.  Such gems as "black as Newgate's knocker", "it's grey over Lil's way" and "you like like a bag of sh!t tied up" were just some of her more frequent musings, as was "it's grim up North".  Having always thought my gran had a natty turn of phrase, if not a little bit on the "has she been on the sherry" side of sane, I do feel I need to take her to task, in spirit if not in body, over her views on the North.  It is self evident that those little matchstick women and matchstick men, with their flat caps and whippets, have got it sussed, and just act dumb to keep us soft Southerners guessing, and more importantly to keep us from going up North and seeing how good life can really be.  I did go up North once to Guildford and was not a little surprised at how normal it seemed.  Not at all like Open All Hours, that groundbreaking documentary on life in the North done by David Dimbleby or Ronnie Sullivan or someone.

One final comment on the state of our government.  First thing to say is obviously that we now have one.  After the election results, the nation was bracing itself for a long wait while the chaps in suits decided who was getting the expenses-paid trip to visit all the heads of state, and who gets to sit in the big chair.  In the end it all happened rather quickly, and was certainly pleasing on the eye.  My favourite bit was the morning after the night before, and there was a constant Cam cam on the front door of our newly appointed leader.  I can only assume the door had just been painted, and we were therefore watching it dry.  At one stage, the camera person thought they saw a twitch of the curtains, and zoomed in with the kind of dizzying camera work that could, frankly, put a chap off his cornflakes, but it came to nothing.  So the camera zoomed out back to watching the door, and I swear it had dried significantly since we last saw it.

One final final comment on Clegg.  I have been rather swept along with Cleggmania, and think he seems like a pretty decent sort of chap, even if he did go to some posh school.  I felt he gave a very good account of himself in the first leaders' debate, fairly good in the second and even-stevens in the third.
 Now that he is deputy Prime Minister, he does seem a little bit star struck.  If I compare the body language of Clegg and Cameron, then Cameron does seem to be statesman-like, whereas Clegg seems a bit "bloody hell, I am actually here" like some star-struck tourist who gets on camera whilst a famous person is being interviewed.  The only bit missing was Clegg getting on his phone to ring his mates.  "You'll never guess who I am standing next to...."

I wish them well, since there will be trouble ahead.  I hope that there are changes to the voting system, so that votes can count again.  Golfy sent me a link where you can see how effective your vote can be in your postcode, and mine was 0.04% of a vote, on account of the fact that one party gets 60% of the vote every time.  With some kind of PR, at least my vote will count in the total, and that may urge me, and many others who obviously retreated back to basics of voting either A or B, to vote for who we really like, not just for the one that is "most effective but not the one I like least."

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