Sunday, May 09, 2010

Everyone lost

I love that everyone lost the election. Labour lost its majority. The Conservatives failed to get one. And the Liberals lost seats. If there was a message that the electorate wanted to send out to the political class it was "We don't care for any of you that much".

I stayed up until 3.30am on election night, watching the BBC. I'd bought some Bolly champagne to toast goodbye to Labour and politics as we knew it. Somehow, several desserts found their way into my shopping basket, which were consumed throughout the night. I paid the price the next day.

The BBC's coverage was OK, although Jeremy Paxman managed to be more unpleasant than usual. I wish someone would just slap him. The BBC had hired a boat on the Thames and stuffed it full of celebrities to get their reactions about the election. It was mortifying. Bruce Forsyte tried to get everyone to join in with his "Nice to see you, to see you nice" shtick. Joan Collins announced that she was happy that the Tories were doing well, because they were pro-family (!) I often watch old election night repeats on the Parliament Channel. They would never have considered a celebrity ship in the 70s. And I hope that in 35 years time, the 2010 coverage looks equally bizarre.

Our local newspaper had reported that my own constituency, Lancaster and Fleetwood had decided not to even bother counting the votes until Friday morning. This seems typical of the relaxed-bordering-on-asleep attitude of folk round where I live. There was one seat that had to have a recount, and another which has postponed the vote until later in the month due to the death of a candidate. So, barring these two special cases, Lancaster and Fleetwood were the last constituency to declare - late on Friday afternoon.

It went Tory. So Eric Ollerenshaw (see below) is now my MP. As last time, there were only a few hundred votes between Tory and Labour. I'm sure Mr Ollerenshaw is grateful to the few thousand Green and Liberal Democrat voters, with their delicious ideals and disgust of tactical voting. Travellers (with a capital T) beware. He is on your case. You may as well pack up your caravans now.

Perhaps unexpectedly, Mr Ollerenshaw is gay. (He kept that rather quiet in his election pamphlets). He seems to have completely avoided any attention about his sexuality in the media - probably because he is rather elderly-looking.

I'm sure he can never be as hideous as Lancaster's most notorious Tory MP - Dame Elaine Kellet-Bowman (1970-1997). What a scary lady she was. I still remember her crazed letters that she sent me in response to me asking her to vote to equalise the age of consent for gay men. Legend has it that students at the university once burnt an effigy of her on bonfire night. What a glorious day it was when she finally retired.

I wonder what Mr Ollerenshaw's views on such matters are. I tend to find gay Torys rather odd and paradoxical - and keep expecting them to vanish out of existence in a puff of logic when I'm talking to them.

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