Tuesday, May 17, 2005

on the bench

For the past 3 months I've been working in Northampton. To anyone from Crawley who thinks that they live in a bad place, I suggest they spend some time in this armpit in the East Midlands.

But now I'm back. And now I've recovered from the Election, I'm ready for a period of what my employer calls 'the bench'. Which means waiting for them to find me work to do. Last time I did this was in January, so it's better now that there's a chance of sun. My gf wants me to do stuff in the garden though. Including building a bench.

Maybe I'll think about that.

Anyway, I watched the last game of the season on Sunday, when Fulham cruelly beat Norwich 6-0 to send them down. I didn't really want any of the bottom four to be relegated, but sadly only West Brom could survive. Our win propelled us into a closing position of 13th, above Newcastle Utd, which is far better than it looked like being a few weeks ago.

Friday, May 06, 2005


After a third recount, with the majority hovering around the mid-30s each time, Crawley has finally been called.

Laura Moffatt (Labour) 16,411 votes
39.1 percentage of vote -10.2 change in percentage since 2001
Henry Smith (Conservative) 16,374
39.0 +6.8
Rupert Sheard (Liberal Democrat) 6,503
15.5 +2.8
Richard Trower (British National Party) 1,277
3.0 +3.0
Ronald Walters (UK Independence Party) 935
2.2 -0.7
Robin Burnham (Democratic Socialist Alliance - People Before Profit) 263
0.6 +0.6
Arshad Khan (Justice Party) 210
0.5 -0.2

An 8.5% swing, resulting in Laura's majority falling from 6770 to 37. This must now be one of the closest seats in the country.

Good to see Arshad Khan at the bottom of the list, it was embarrasing for the left-wing groups last time to have lost to him. Shame that there are over 1000 people who are prepared to vote fascist.

second recount

Apparently the counting was suspended at 4:30am to restart with refreshed counters at midday. We might announce later than Northern Ireland.

The rumours are that after the first counts, Laura was slightly ahead. Whatever the final result, it seems that Crawley has seen a massive swing to the Tories, given that the national average is around 3% and London was about 5%. To win, Henry would need more than 8.5%!

Until the final figures are available, we won't have a clue whether this is a result of votes going to the Tories, the Lib Dems or just not being cast. But I think this is going to provoke a lot of thought in the Party. If the results are that bad, it probably means a few losses in the concurrent County Council election.

We do have a Labour government though, which is the main thing.

count faster!!!

Why is Crawley so slow at counting the vote? It always takes a while longer, and now we have (at least one) recount. Which worries me a lot.

I've been walking all over Southgate, delivering and knocking on doors, I've got blisters and backache and I still don't know if it's been worth it. Will Laura hold on, or will be get the grinning Henry Smith as our MP?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Mathematically Safe?

Today I went out to deliver leaflets for the election. While I may not like Blair, there's no way I want Howard running the country, so not only do I vote but I put in a bit of effort too.

Walking around Southgate gives me time to think about things. On Saturday, Fulham beat Everton 2-0 to ensure that they cannot be relegated from the Premiership. Which is good timing because the teams below are all very close to each other and will all trying to grab as many points as possible. This means that Fulham gets another year of top-flight football. Guaranteed by 38 points.

On Thursday, I am hoping that Labour will win the election. 38% of the vote would be enough to secure another four years. And getting that will be tough. The marginals look tighter (in other words Liberals are less likely to vote tactically), the Tories are trying to pull out their core vote with a mixture of xenophobia and false humilty.

We can't afford to mess about - a General Election isn't just an excuse to act out frustrations, or for trying to engineer a 'bloody nose' for Blair. In any election the favourite can lose. And the electorate gets what it voted for.

So thats why I was out delivering letters to Labour supporters - because if they stay at home or tranfer their vote in a fit of pique, they could end up with a Tory MP and no Labour government. If there were a genuine democratic socialist alternative to New Labour, I'd support that (and I do - inside the Party). But as there isn't, a vote for anyone other than Laura is a vote for Michael Howard.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


A while ago a friend of mine, Andrew of Life in Broadfield was talking to me about music and stuff, and how he knew SpizzEnergi, well, he built a website on the bloke. I didn't know who he was talking about until I followed a link on Andy's site and discovered that he was the genius behind the song Where's Captain Kirk?. Well, I was only 5 when it came out, so I can be forgiven for not knowing who did it, but I love that tune. Skuds didn't mention it though, just described Spizz as post-punk, political and funny.

Oh, happy International Workers' Day everybody.