To be printed 06/05/10.
Happy election day everybody! I’m not sure what the mood will be by the time you read this – perhaps Gillian Duffy will have crept in as an outside contender, heading up the Monster Raving Loony party with Eddie from Love Thy Neighbour as second in command – but from where I’m standing on Monday morning everything is looking decidedly uncertain. If this were X-Factor, Peter Dickson would be booming “ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN” while Brown, Cameron and Clegg tried to pout in front of a wind machine.
From a purely entertaining point of view, it’s been an exciting few months. It’s also been an educational one, and as we all stock up on Red Bull and Haribo for the final stretch tonight, I’d like to look at all the Things I Have Learned in This Election:
1. The British Public Can’t Vote Properly.
There is a veritable wealth of examples from talent show television that I could draw on here, but I would like to focus on the one that is still raw – Stephanie being voted off Over the Rainbow on Sunday. When the nation can’t even recognise a fantastic rendition of Mr Bojangles (not to mention other potential evictee Steph’s flawless performance), it worries me that they can be allowed to pick who runs the country. Though as a side thought, if they could somehow arrange for the losing candidates to ride an enormous crescent moon back to their stately homes, weeping, I think it would add a little extra razz to the proceedings.
2. Elections Can Be Fun.
My mother can usually be trusted to find an interesting diversion in any bleak situation (stemming from years of playing the numberplate game on vomitous car journeys), and she’s come up trumps for the election with ‘Find your Tory name’. Take your Grandmother’s/Grandfather’s first name, then double barrel the name of the street you grew up in with the name of your old headteacher. My variations are the deliciously alliterative Blanche Beaufort-Bugden and the altogether snootier Pamela Haynes-Wallis. Put me down for the moat cleaning.
3. Frankly, I’d Like a Prime Minister Who Knows a Bigot When He Sees One.
Whether Gordon got a little too exuberant with his bigot-spotting is, I suppose, a matter of opinion. But the whole affair has made me think I’d prefer it if the entire election was staged like a game of bigot whack-a-rat, with members of the public in a line up spouting opinions and the candidates with a big foam mallet, running up and down spotting the bigots and bopping them on the head. But maybe that’s just me.
4. Everybody has a Slightly Different Idea of What a Hung Parliament Actually Means, and Nobody has Bothered to Google it.
“The Queen picks the Prime Minister,” says my flatmate. “Or no, maybe it means the Queen makes the decisions when they can’t decide. Anyway, it’s something to do with the Queen.” Which is exciting, isn’t it? The Queen! We’d all forgotten about her.