Oh Gordon. Gordon, Gordon, Gordon.
Am I the only person in the country to feel ‘profoundly sorry’ (to steal a current popular media phrase) for the prime minister? I was reading an account of the D-Day commemorations – and giggling at accompanying photo, the medal-blinged Prince Charles looking like a midget in comparison to his companions, Brown looking like he wanted to rip someone’s head off, and Obama, bizarrely, saluting no one at all – and was unsurprised to note that ‘During the service Brown seemed agitated, constantly fidgeting in his seat’. Of course he was. He probably spent the whole thing wondering whether he could get away with donning a fake moustache, wandering into the French hills and never coming back. Most of Thursday’s local and European election results are in now, and – well – let’s say a map of the country’s political leanings is about as blue as the proverbial Bolt From The, with a tiny kidney-shaped Lib Dem camp-out on the left hand side. Between this and last week’s disintegration of the cabinet, Gordon probably expects to return home and find David Cameron’s creepily plastic face grinning at him from the back bedroom. Ew, I wish I hadn’t thought of that.
Of course, I didn’t make Labour’s plight any better last week – I didn’t vote for them either. I generally take voting seriously, imagining Emmeline Pankhurst glaring bonily over my shoulder, but as all any of the parties can talk about is imaginary ‘far-reaching parliamentary reform’ or how much they spent on their bath plugs, I realised I didn’t actually know what any of them thought about Europe. I also found the hilariously super-sized ballot paper confounding – it was about as big as a fair-sized child and wouldn’t lie flat on the tiny triangle of desk we had to write on. And goodness, there are a lot of random people in politics. You have the three regulars, the extremist marginal parties that we’ve heard of although we wish we hadn’t (BNP, UKIP), and then a whole list of crazies at the bottom. My favourite was Reading’s one-man Roman party (subtitle: ‘Ave!’) run by a Mr Jean-Louis Pascual, who kindly put a leaflet through our door a couple of days ago. It read like a GCSE student’s covering letter, with Mr Pascual proudly listing the number of votes he got in the last election (33), and explaining that he wanted a job in Europe so he could brush up on his languages. Bless him. I found his manifesto from 2007, which suggested moving all of our prisons to Eastern European countries so they’d cost less (which would delight the Eastern Europeans, obviously), and putting the country’s young offenders in the TA barracks at the end of our road (ALL of them?!). Oddly, I didn’t vote for Pascual either – I didn’t think Emmeline would like it.
No, definitely not. Unimpressed face.
This clearly wasn’t a consideration for several people in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, however: Sir Toby Jug of the Official Monster Raving Loony party managed to come fifth overall, after two Conservative and two Lib Dem candidates, and just ahead of…Labour. Poor Gordon.
PS – just watched an excellent edition of Have I Got News For You, with hot drinks in the snazzy new mugs we bought today. Faced an unexpected hiccup when Tim took the first gulp of his Barley Cup and spat it back out – he’d missed out an essential step in preparing his hot drink, namely, switching the kettle on. Barley Cup’s not very nice when it’s stone cold, imagine that. I feel a bit better about the Creamy Potatoes debacle now.