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Politics - Page 3

  • The Day I Went to Manchester..

    It all started a few days ago when an impromptue meeting with Margaret McDonnagh (Sister of my MP Godmother and Baroness in her own right) led to me and my mum filling out a couple forms so that we could go to the Labour Party conference for the Prime Ministers speach. And it was as simple as that despite the fact you are meant to apply months in advance for the priviledge but as I have said before it is not what you know but who you know.


    So on Tuesday morning I had to awake at the rediculous time of 6:30 in order to get a train up to Manchester from Euston. A nice shiny virgin train, very nice it was but still took bloody two and a half hours but there we go. What was worse was that half way through the journey we get a phone call telling us that there were complications with our passes, so at Manchester station we had to go and get some photos done. On the plus side we did see Jamie from Corronation Street on the train. after getting off the train we taxied off to a building where we were to collect our passes.. lots of waiting around ensued untilmedium_pass.JPG that beautiful image you can see before you, clearly a rush job as my head is clearly falling out of the bottom and the only information on it is my name whereas everyone else got where they were from aswell but then I am not really that fussed about that, I was allowed to get in.


    When in the G-Mex center we were ushered into a little office area where we found Margaret who then led us off with the VIPs.. not only were we late entrants, we were made VIPs, brilliant. This meant that we got to sit down the front. Unfortunately though despite being down the front it was away from the TV cameras so unfortunately no publicity for me. The Speach went very well as I am sure most of you will have seen from the news papers, leaving the whole of the conference asking the question is it really a good idea to get rid of him but it looks like it is too late for that. Then we waited around in some lobby for a while and had a drink and then we were taken up to a suite in the Midland hotel (very posh I am told) for a photo-shoot which we were to find out would contain Tony Blair. It was a bit strange seeing people I know well just talking to the PM. After the photos we scooted off to a room where we scavenged the cakes that were left by Tony and his 'Cronies'.


    And so too the part of the day that I wasn't really expecting, the virtual 'pub crawl' of an evening, going from one reception to another eating nibbles and drinking free alcohol all night, brilliant. Who said politics is boring. It started off with the Irish Embassy where of course they served Guiness which despite me not liking I had a glass of. We then moved onto the CWU party where we saw all that is good about the Labour party, a chubby northern man made a speach about how a family who was on the dole in the 80s how now sent their children to University because of Labour and then he went on to state that 'we can't let those posh boys get back into power' the icing on the cake though was their nibbles. They served lager and pork pies.. i mean can you get more brilliant than that. Unfortunately though we did get to see the otherside of the new Labour party at the News International reception where Champagne was served amongst posh people from the press including half of the news presenters who have ever existed and for some reason mick hucknall. I felt quite uncomfortable there and when they brought out the next days pressings of the Sun and the Times you know that they weren't good socialist people in that room. There were a few other receptions that we went to which I cant remember and I managed to squeeze in the watching of the last 20 minutes or so of the football before we went to bed at about 1:30. On the way home we were regretting that we hadn't been able to stay for the speaches of Bill Clinton or Bob Geldoff but luckily we saw the latter at the train station so I was happy. We took the train home and here we are now.



  • the 23 hour day

    If im honest it wasn't quite 23 hours but it was close enough and im sure u will not begrudge me a few minutes when i tell you about the tiring day I had on election day, Thursday 4th May 2006.


    I am not actually going to start my story on Thursday I will start with the events on Wednesday afternoon where I attended a small conference type thingamyjig where i met the prime minister. Yes I Ant D have now met Tony Blair, the current, even if not for very long, Prime Minister. Also I again met the chancellor and Tessa Jowell but as I have already met them its not quite as big. Unfortunately I dont have a picture of this but if you happened to purchase a copy of the national guardian on Thursday you may have seen me.


    So on to Thursday and what a horrible start. 5:45 am and i had to wake up to get to the "election centre" for 6am so I could deliver some ealry morning leaflets to people persuading them to come out and vote. This I did for 2 and a half hours before coming back for a nice full english at the local cafe courtesy of my Godmother. Then I went out to do my duty for the first time. Ahh what fun can be had from putting a little cross in a few boxes. After that I again reported back to the election centre to get some more jobs, I did a bit more leafletting before my first ever canvassing session. On this occasion I merely watched as others did i, just so i could get a feel for the occasion before my first official job of the day.

    The job of an election teller is a dull and.. no just dull one. The objective is to obtain the polling number (the number that you are given to prove you are a vote carrying citizen) so that I can give it to my colleagues at the election centre so they can know who has voted. I had this job for 2 long hours.. although it wasnt all that bad, I started talking to the guy who was doing the job for the Green party (the main evil in this election campaign) and he turned out to be the dad of someone i used to go to school with or something. Nice guy he was despite working for the enemy.

    After my 2 hours were up I went again back to the election centre and again out to canvass. This time I actually did go knocking on peoples doors reminding them to vote and it was on occasion strangely satisfying especially when knocking on the 2 peoples doors who said that they had forgotten it was election day and that they were thankful for me reminding them. (just to clarify I was only knocking on doors of known Labour party supporters)

    The rest of the day was split up between more leafletting and canvassing untill 10pm when the polling stations closed, it was then time to go to the count...


    The count was by far the most fun part of the day/night as it didnt involve walking up and down streets and although quite intense a job was greeted with good humour amongst most people on the winning side. First there was the process of splitting the votes into straight party voting (3 for the same party) and the split votes. During this process, the official watching people of whom I was one get to look at the ballot papers and if they think it is unclear who the person is voting for put it into the doubtful pile. Now to most this may sound quite dull but it was actually quite fun as I myself got a few out but the more experienced at the job put papers in the doubtful pile even though they were quite clearly valid and watching how the opposition get uptight was hilarious.

    After this the numbers of straight votes are counted up, and already by this stage we were pretty confident of the win having 1400 compared to the 800 for the Greens and despite knowing that the Greens would do slightly better from the split votes it was never likely that they would catch up. And when the official adjudicators came round, your usually mild mannered author couldn't help but join in a slagging match against the opposition to get votes disqualified. I even made him show me the rule book at one point even though i knew it was a legitimate vote. I just got caught up in the emotion of the evening.

    Of course we went on to win quite comprehensively, my dad who was one of the candidates got the highest with 1,700+ votes and the other two Labour candidates got 1,500+ and 1,300+ respectively. Leaving the Greens lagging behind with their best candidate getting into the low 1100s. This result for my dad i later found out was the highest in Colliers Wood since Siobhain McDonagh was councillor and as we all know she is now the MP, but I dont see my dad going on to that level.. well in fact i know he wouldnt. Unfortunately not all other wards in the borough had the same success and Labour ended up losing overall control of the London Borough of Merton but the fact that the tories did not actually gain the overall control meant that Merton bucked the inevitable trend and so did better than expected.

    The count was finally finished at approximately quater to 4 and i was home by ten past or something and went straight to sleep, so as i said at the beginning not quite 23 hours but bloody long enough.



    p.s. no apologies to anyone who is apathetic about politics, it is an important part of life and you SHOULD be interested


  • 4am, what is the point

    Indeed I have not written much for a while, but this is mainly because there has been very little to talk about. I unlike PNB find it very hard to ramble on for a good few paragraphs on absolute nonsense, my posts have to mean sommat.

    Last night as we all know was the marvellous election results, as predicted the Labour party won a historic third term. Like the nerdy politics student that i am, i managed to work at Mitcham & Morden Labour party HQ from 7pm till 9pm, then went off to watch as much of the election as was feesably possible. The slow nature of events made it worse, only 4 seats declared in the 1st 2 hours. At 2:10am mitcham and morden was declared safe again losing only 4% which went straight to the Lib Dems, so hoorah my godmother, Miss Siobhain McDonagh retained her seat. Unfortunately neighbouring wimbledon went to the scum party (conservatives) but it was expected. Anyway I carried on watching until 4am before i collapsed into a state of slumber, TV still on. 3 Hours later i had to get up for school and now i am Knackered.

    I did also buy a shiny new mp3 player this week, capacity of aboot 300 songs, radio, microphone and some other snazzy features all for just £79.99 from amazon. The Libertines, Babyshambles and alike have been constantly in my ear for the last 3 days, woooooo