Saturday, April 30, 2005

Nose pegs

I have already voted in the UK general election. Having been a Labour Party member for 15 years, having represented the party as a councillor and as Constituency chairman in the past it should be a no brainer.

And as Crawley is a marginal Labour seat, all the more reason not to think twice. So I didn't.

But voting for Laura Moffat wasn't easy. Well, it was technically easy, I put a cross against her name, put the ballot paper into an envelope, put that envelope into a second and dropped it into a postbox on the way into town.

It's not that I have anything against Laura. She's a decent person, a great constituency MP and we get on well. And I don't blame her for the problems over Crawley Hospital. It's just that she has been incredibly loyal to Tony Blair. And my main problem with the Party is its leader.

Yes, he won the 97 election, but a monkey in a suit and a 'Not a Tory' badge could have done that. Yes he won the 01 election (as would the same monkey). But he isn't presiding over a Labour government, it's a Tory-lite government. We've finally got to the point where Labour has proved that it can run a Conservative regime better than the Tories.

Oh, I could go on for hours about this, but you get the general gist.

By the way - Brown is no better. Neither is Prescott.

Rodney McArce?

Rodney McAree is a legend. As the song goes, 'He scored that goal in the Carlisle game'.

For the confused reader, I'm talking about football (soccer to yanks). And specifically Fulham FC, who Rodders helped on the road to promotion to the third tier of the League in 1997, which may have given them enough publicity to attract Mohammed Al Fayed. 'Big Mo' bought the club, saving them from years of near fatal financial and ownership problems. They now play in the Premiership and today managed to guarantee another season.

And Rodney? I'm sure he was a competent player, but I don't recall him ever playing at a higher level than with Fulham. A few years ago he surfaced at Crawley Town, where he stayed for a while and was immortalised in the Crawley News as 'Rodney McArce'. I bet he doesn't have that cutting up on his wall. Still, it's over 90% accurate, which is pretty good for the Crawley News.

Right, so having read all that, what does it have to do with me?

Well, I'm a Fulham supporter, and I was privileged to watch Rodney play, although not in the aforementioned game against Carlisle. I live in Crawley, pretty close to their stadium (yes, I said stadium). I was born in Crawley, and after escaping to Manchester for five years, I was drawn back like a struggling fish on a line. The magnetic pull of this town is so great I even managed to persuade my girlfriend to move here from Birmingham. And she hates Crawley.

Rodney will probably have little more part in this blog (although if I hear any more about him, I'll be sure to slide it into a post). What will is Fulham, Crawley, and my other passions, politics and books.

[update: YouTube have a clip from the Carlisle-Fulham game in 1997 here - enjoy!]