Wednesday, 27 April 2011


It feels like Thursday today, which isn't good since I only started my working week yesterday! Too many things going on and not enough sunshine! After a week of heat, I'm starting to feel entitled (although the colder weather is proving a popular topic for conversations with strangers in Waitrose, for some reason. I'll put it down to making friends!). 

As a result, all I want to do right now is go to bed and not get up until half past ten! (My laziness standards have been radically scaled back since this getting-up-early-every-day thing started.) In the spirit of semiconscious blogging (rarer than you'd think!), I'll have a brief ramble about an inescapable topic at work this month: AV (no more free publicity for the royal wedding from me! (Oh, bother))

We get heaps of letters and emails (if emails can be heaped) about the AV referendum, most of them either vitriolic or confused. Last week, a man got so upset that we hadn't published his letter (despite it being right and everyone else's being wrong) that he phoned up for a rant, and when I told him I was afraid he couldn't demand we publish anything, he told me I was 'wholly unsatisfactory' and hung up. I wasn't upset - insults from readers are something of a badge of honour. 

The respective campaigns are rather bizarre, too - the NO campaign is apparently basing its strategy on the idea that voters are basically idiots who will do whatever you tell them as long as you make emotionally charged but unsupported statements while showing them pictures of babies (or, indeed, you tell them that labelling preferences 1-3 is complicated, unnecessary and Just Not Cricket (better journalists than me have already pointed out that unfavourably comparing AV to a sport which expresses scores in terms like 24 for 6 (or whatever - I don't claim to have ever wasted a second of my life trying to understand cricket) is more than a little preposterous), preferably using an advert that could quite easily be mistaken for a sketch from Mitchell and Webb). 

The YES campaign, by contrast, seemed to be appealing to people's better judgement by not really doing very much (possibly a riskier approach, but definitely cheaper). Even the web address is pathetic - vs, anyone? Then there was the Ralph's Story video, in which a veteran shows how excited he is at the chance of a more democratic Britain by staring out of a rain-spattered window while moody piano music plays in the background. I quite liked Ralph, actually (at the very least, it's good to know there's one pensioner out there not foaming at the mouth at the prospect of voting reform), but his suggestion that he might as well have died in a war rather than live with the FPTP system sounded like something the NO campaign might have come up with. 

I wish there was a YOU'RE ALL IDIOTS campaign. I'm tempted to start one... 

Right, off to bed.


P.S. In case you were wondering which side of the debate I fall on (if I've somehow managed to be vague about my raving liberal tendencies), I support AV, but only as a step towards a proper voting system (such as one where only responsible, balanced people like me are allowed to vote (ha ha etc, but it'd get rid of UKIP...)). 

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