May 5, 2005 · 5 minute read
Firstly, apropos of nothing, an article on Oasis by Paul Morley. I can’t say that I agree with all of it, but it’s amusing in places.
So, exit polls are suggesting that the Tories are going to do better than expecting, getting 209 seats in the new Parliament. Which should keep Howard in a job. Boo.
Dr. Liam Fox! Most punchable member of Parliament! Natalie Imbruglia?
Despite everything, I still can't stand the sight of gleeful Tories…grrr…
A point where I get to wear my political hat once more - will this bring the West Lothian Question back into play?
Peter Snow has his toys out! He's playing Command & Conquer with Parilament. AWESOME.
Hmm. A couple of fairly safe Labour seats look to be wobbly. Dartford and one in Birmingham. GO SUNDERLAND! FASTEST COUNTERS IN THE WEST!
And the first result isssss…Sunderland South…Labour win with 17,982…which supposedly means that the exit polls are in fact too high…
Never let it be said that the BBC do dumb things with their money - they're painting a huge election picture in Gateshead! Eschewing all that CGI nonsense…they're going to paint a map. GENIUS.
Aww, it's Lizo from Newsround! He's all grown up!
Special attention must be lavished on Peter Snow's orange shirt. Simply wonderful!
BBC Election Party! Shoot Jon Culshaw. Please. Jeremy Paxman still with the withering sarcastic putdown.
Tap-tap-tap. Boring bit of election night, waiting for things to actually happen…but Ian Hislop is always entertaining.
Meanwhile, the Scottish correspondent is telling us that she knows very little. But is stretching it. A lot. And now it's the turn of the Welsh…
Sunderland North! Labour with 15,719. Change of 5% to Con. Eeek. 7% is into Hung Parliament areas…
7th safest Labour seat coming up - Houghton & Washington East. Again Labour vote falls, but still hold. Does it strike anybody as weird that Tony Blair might tonight become the most successful Labour leader ever, and yet still be branded as a failure?
Aww, Boris. So amusing. Amazingly, he manages to concede defeat in his first few sentences! And there's going to be a fight there if they're not careful!
Now looking at the Liberal Democrats' 'Decapitation Strategy'. It would be so funny if they managed to pull off some of these strikes (including David Davis, Oliver Letwin, and even Michael Howard himself).
Another Labour Hold, this time in Scotland. Swing of 4% to Lib Dem. The Lib Dems are looking to be doing quite well indeed…
"Steady on! It's Ken Clarke!"
Ooh, Kilroy-Silk will hopefully be smacked down hard…
Did David Dimbleby just say "ding-dong"?
KILL JON CULSHAW. WITH PILEDRIVERS.
And I'm going to be very annoyed at Galloway's victory. Yes, let's vote in a guy who visited Saddam Hussein, praised him, and flattered him. Piece of worthless scum…
Barnsley: Lab hold - swing of 4% to Conservative…Hull West & Hessle another Labour hold, 5% swing to Lib Dem. Although I don't think the swing really counts until we get into marginal seats really, and everything is a little topsy-turvy at the moment
Conservatives win Putney - gain from Labour. Swing of 6%. Uh oh.
Labour is going to get a big kicking…
Brown gets in, "we will listen and learn" And Jack Straw is back too...
Um, what if Tony Blair's threat about the Lib Dems was…actually right? Although they seem to be having a few problems.
The theme for tonight: NOBODY HAS A CLUE.
David Dimbleby has been on the rum. I think the election coverage would be much improved if all the pundits were drinking along with the results…another Lib Dem gain from Labour.
Peter Snow is going out on a limb! LD 59, C 201, L 357. Labour majority of 68. More Labour seats fall to the Lib Dems.
The first of the main LD strikes against the Tory leadership fails as Teresa May is re-elected.
Leader of BNP got 9% of vote…Labour's 5th safest seat falls to an independent. Nye Bevin's old seat, no less.
Perhaps it's the old Thatcher heartlands returning home. Seats are coming in thick and fast, but it's looking likely for a Labour majority slashed in half. Which is probably a good thing.
Sedgefield: Mr. Tony Blair, rather downcast, is re-elected. The Tories continue to pick off London seats…Blair looks old, tired, and grey. The greatest Labour leader in history. Battered and broken. The Lib Dems are overturning quite large Labour majorities, but aren't having any real success against the Tories. For instance - Manchester Withington - the Dems overturned a 33% Labour majority!
Iain Duncan-Smith: "We've made a start on returning" - nice one, maybe you'll be back in power in 2020. Plus a fantastic endorsement of Michael Howard - "I don't mind who's leader"
Looks like Galloway has won. *shoots self* Yes: THIS MAN:
is going to be a Member of Parliament. GRR.
Lib Dems strike out again - David Davis is re-elected. Stephen Twigg loses the old Portillo seat back to the Tories.
Labour needs 71 seats for a majority right now. The South-East is turning Blue again. However, it looks like the Tories are still not welcome in Scotland. And we're only blessed with one member of the Johnson family in Parliament, thank goodness, as Boris's dad fails in his election bid.
A 49% swing in Blaenau Gwent…wow. Don't annoy the Welsh.
So, does this mean that the Labour rebels are now rubbing their hands together? They're now strong enough to defeat the Government over ID Cards and Terrorism laws.
Charles Kennedy is back, baby! Letwin holds Dorset. Yes, Oliver, because the Government is going to have a majority of roughly 70, and has to worry about its own, rather than you lot across the floor. That's a stunning victory for the Tories.
Oh, is that a Scottish seat for the Tories? 25 seats to go.
Oooh, Erewash is about to declare. The Church of Militant Elvis Party! AWESOME! Robert Kilroy-Silk - 2,957 votes. Only just saving his deposit. Faith in Britain is partially restored. May he now disappear down a sewer…
Right, it looks like Folkestone is about to declare for Michael Howard, so it looks like he'll be staying. And I'll be going to bed, 14 short of a Labour majority, but another Labour Government guaranteed…
May 3, 2005 · 2 minute read
One of the reasons why I haven’t been writing so much about the UK General Election is that I can’t seem to get a handle on it (those of you at the back who point out that I didn’t have much of one on the US election and it didn’t seem to stop me — hohoho. The men with blunt metal poles will meet you out back). I can’t help but feel that Labour are going to win, again. And I want them to. I want the Thatcherism-with-a-Dalek-face-controlled-by-John-Howard-as-Davros version of the Conservative Party stopped in its tracks. On the other hand, I want Labour humbled, so that they have to listen to their backbenchers for once. And, seeing as how the Lib Dems are still not in a position to be the Opposition, it leaves me conflicted.
Anyway, the story today is how the national polls are overshadowing the key marginal races. Across the country, Labour is slaughtering all-comers, but in the hotly-contested seats, things are much closer. The Guardian is reporting that the Labour majority may be slashed to double figures on May 5th
, and that all sides will probably face losses in marginal seats. Michael Howard is looking reasonably secure, leading the Lib Dem challenger by 45% to 38% (but how funny would that be?), as is David Davis. There probably won’t be too many surprises on the night, it seems.
So what can we expect from Thursday? Don’t ask me! You know my track record! (Labour win, majority down to 60. Or thereabouts. ID cards to be handed out the next day…)
May 2, 2005 · 2 minute read
You spend so long without British sci-fi being around, then it all comes at once! This weekend saw the transmission of the most-anticipated episode of Doctor Who so far, Dalek, and the release of the film version of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Madness! Insanity! The Conservative Manifesto! (ahahaha. Ha. Dies)
was mostly awesome. A few clunky lines, but worth it to see the Doctor completely losing his head over the Last Enemy. "YOU-WOULD-MAKE-A-GOOD-DALEK!" and "I-AM-ALONE!" Choice Dalek dialogue! Okay, so yes, The Power of Love saved the day, but still, a great episode, and I'm loving the Damaged Doctor approach this series is taking…
is surprising both very faithful to the source material and completely contradictory, a rather Adams-like quality. Many of the jokes from the book are transferred straight to the screen, although some ended up being a little mangled in the translation. In an attempt to give the story a plot, there's a dodgy kidnap-and-rescue plot inserted with the subtlety of a Vogon invasion fleet, but it does give rise to the swat jokes, which are probably one of the best visual gags of the film. Oh, and Love Conquers All again — it's definitely not as cynical as the books.
The Guide itself is underused. Stephen Fry's voiceovers, coupled with Flash-like animations for the Guide entries are easily the highlight of the film, even if they haven't changed very much from the book/radio versions. There's something wrong with the rest of the cast, though. Martin Freeman's Arthur Dent is inconsistent and bland, Bill Nighy puts on a Bill Nighy performance, that, with the addition of a few bad jokes, appears to be identical to the one in Love, Actually
, and I'm still trying to work out why John Malkovich is even in the film. Mos Def mumbles quite a bit, but him, Alan Rickman, and Zooey Deschanel (Almost Famous!
that's where she's from!) give the best performances in a very messy film that ambles around aimlessly. Like the book, it has little plot, but unfortunately, it doesn't quite have the charm and playfulness of Adams' earlier version.
Oh, except for one scene involving the Infinite Improbability Drive…
Apr 28, 2005 · 3 minute read
It’s one week until Election Day! Woo-hoo! I have been greatly impressed by Michael Howard’s attempt to try and make people vote against Tony Blair because…well, he smells or something. Oh and he lied. Not that Howard was ever against the War at any point, and of course, the Conservatives were very critical of the Government for not rushing in before fighting broke out.
You have to feel sorry for them, really. They’re desperately trying to show that they’d spend at least as much money on hospitals and education, turning their backs on eighteen years of Thatcherism, and their once-great trump card of “Labour will run the country into the ground and there will be dead bodies overflowing onto the streets” doesn’t work after eight fairly decent years under Labour. Their only hope, it appears, is to runs as far to the right as possible, trying hard not to be racist, but giving enough leeway to make them seem attractive to those who would consider voting BNP/NF/UKIP. I’m trying to feel a little sorry for them. On the other hand, I would really like a Lib Dem opposition…
We’ve had a few leaflets delivered for our non-event of an election next week (if Tony Baldry isn’t re-elected, there will be lots of hats eaten). Firstly - the Lib Dems need to hire a graphic designer. I know, I know, substance-over-style and all that, but come on: about four different fonts, images in a layout that looked as if it had been ‘helped’ by MS Word, and obvious “INSERT LOCAL BITS HERE” text. Just horrible.
I do love reading leaflets from the far-right parties. It makes me smile to spot all the spelling and grammatical errors they’ve made while calling for the expulsion of foreigners from our lands. Also! Fun policies! UKIP will pull us out of the EU immediately and station the army outside the Channel Tunnel - JUST IN CASE! The National Front will kick out ‘left-wing subversion in our schools, trade-unions, and mass-media”, as well as banning all imports. That’ll work out well when we run out of petrol. But I’m sure they have a plan. The prize, though, goes to the BNP, who, obviously saw the fox-hunting fight as a challenge. If elected, the BNP will outlaw opinion polls. A round of applause, please, for making the concept of yogic flying sound sensible.
Also, a leaflet from Your Party
, whose raison d’etre
is “tell us what you want us to do. We have no policies.” I mean, you have to admire the idea of representing the people, but come on, you have to stand for something!
You might as well be an Auton…
But! I shall leave you with a picture for my sister, who has learnt to love the thought of this man dancing in a dress during the past few days…