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John's Jottings for May 2005

John Ward

Please note: these Jottings are purely personal comment, and do not necessarily or directly represent the policy of either the Conservative Party or the Conservative Group on Medway Council.

The Nation Decides

As I write this, in late April, the General Election is still more than a week away.

Polling Day will, as always, be an interesting time for me, as I help out on the streets of the Chatham and Aylesford parliamentary constituency, as indeed I have been doing for the last several weeks. Getting the voters out, where they are voting in person, or ensuring postal votes have gone in where that is the chosen method, is the primary goal of Polling Day. Even if postal votes haven't yet been sent in, they can be dropped into the Polling Station on the day.

Many (most?) councillors like to go to the count, which here will as usual be held at the Black Lion Centre in Gillingham. I prefer to stay at home so that I can watch the national picture and see the results come in from all over Britain. Like Peter Snow, I take great delight in using my powerful computer systems to show various data (though not as much as he does) even though I have to rapidly key in the results myself, as they are announced.

I shall also be ready to grab stills from the TV of when our three results are announced. One of these (the Gillingham result) will be declared by the Mayor, Councillor Susan Haydock, no less. I definitely want to capture that!

So, I shall be up all night after the Polling Stations close, just as I have done for many years. Indeed, back in 1993 I even wrote a simple poem about these events:

Election Night


Why do I stay up through Election Night?
Watching the T.V. in the quiet . . .
Studio-guest politicians fight . . .
The swings to the left, then to the right . . .
Then the results give me a fright . . .
   I must be mad!


Why dont I wait until the morn?
Ive studied the polls, I know all the form . . .
Candidates comment, reporters swarm . . .
My bed is so tempting now, soft and warm . . .
Most of the results will be known by dawn . . .
   Perhaps Im mad!


What is the fever that grips me so strong?
Watching this bandwaggon roll along . . .
Graphs and predictions, Kinnock in song . . .
Millions do likewise, we cant all be wrong . . .
Evry Town Hall filled with a huge throng . . .
   But Im definitely mad!


Next time: L.I.B.D.E.M.