.....is looming large. You can tell by the excruciatingly awful party election broadcasts appearing on television each night. And we`ve had the polling cards shoved through the door and the party leaflets are beginning to appear in our letter box. Do these people really expect me to display their posters in my window? If so, I fear they are going to be disappointed.
Now in a former life I had quite a bit to do with elections of all kinds - Parish, District, County, Parliamentary, European - in various capacities ranging from humble Poll Clerk to humble Acting Returning Officer, so I`ve seen it all from the `other side` of polling day and it wasn`t always a pretty sight. It always reminded me of when I was in my teens and I used to help out in my parents` pub when things got busy. I was given tasks such as ensuring that the bottles of assorted beverages behind the bar were always stocked up for the voracious consumption by assorted patrons and experiences such as these had the effect of making the delights of bars and pubs less and less agreeable until it reached the point whereby I stopped drinking any sort of alcohol and haven`t touched a drop since. Seeing the `other side` of things wasn`t always a pretty sight and just turned me off it all.
And so it is with the paraphernalia of elections - the canvassing, the red tape and sealing wax, the utter superficiality of party election literature and broadcasts but also - and perhaps most of all - the dubious qualities and doubtful motives of most of the candidates. It all reminds me of the late, great Dennis Potter and his timeless observation of `democracy at work` in his play Vote Vote Vote for Nigel Barton. Nigel was someone who had stood unsuccessfully as a Conservative candidate and so became a Labour one in the following election. Ring any bells, Mrs. Grant?
Now here in Dibley we only have an election for the European Parliament - it seems that the Parish, District and County Councillors are safely tucked away from exposure to the electorate for another year - but it seems we are going to be faced with a choice of the Usual Suspects - Tory, Labour, LibDem, UKIP, BNP, English Democrats - the list goes on but what seems to be missing is any cause worth voting for - most of them seem to be causes to vote against which is probably why UKIP will do rather well.
I`m surprised there isn`t a Football Party candidate as it seems to me that football is the single most important issue that concerns the voting public in modern day Britain, what with the Premier League, all the other leagues and this year`s World Cup, the news is dominated by the game and the comings and goings of players and managers. Oh, and in other news, over 200 miners have died in Turkey and Chilcot still hasn`t published his report about the fiasco of Iraq.
Mad Thursday is looming large......but maybe it won`t be much different to any other day?