Angelic Paranoia

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Politics and tennis
Friday 9th June 2017 11:51 am

I keep trying to post, but I'm either out or in and distracted by tennis or in and have a hundred things to do or in and too tired to do anything. Today I'm in (and have the day off) and am too tired to do anything, but it doesn't feel so bad because it's self-inflicted.

Whenever I stay up for the election, whatever I do is wrong. Last time we didn't have a result until lunchtime and this time dawn is a lot earlier and Andy Murray is on court at 11.45, so I stayed up until 12.30 and went to bed. I thought I'd check BBC News when I was woken up by the birds, but couldn't open my eyes. I thought about it again when I randomly woke up at 5.30, when I did open my eyes to see the time, but was just too tired. When I woke up at 7.30 and was clearly not going to get back to sleep it was all over.

Some election stuff:

  • I am excited about a hung parliament, for a variety of reasons, but partly because it seemed like we were going to get one in 2010. So now I actually get to see one.
  • Despite this, my Conservative MP gained one percentage point of votes. Although Labour came second, with half the votes of the Tory. And turn out was 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2015 in my constituency. And I feel like my vote counted, which is the best thing I can hope for in my getting-safer-all-the-time Conservative seat.
  • I've never been so undecided about an election. I did Vote for Policies and other sites and they came out variously in favour of the three parties I was considering voting for in the first place.
  • I went to the local hustings, aka quiz the candidates (I found out the other week that hustings is a British English word). I agreed with some of the things they all said and disagreed with some of the things they all said. Although my MP, despite being a normal person when I met him when he was on constituency duties, was really smarmy. I tried not to be biased towards the Labour candidate just because she was wearing red. I managed it at primary school when my house colour was blue!
  • I only learnt recently that they were looking for more people to man polling stations and work at the count. Manning a polling station must be quite dull, but I'd love to go to a count. I can't stay up long enough for a general election one, but a local election one would be fine, because they count on the Friday.

Of course the other main thing going on at the moment is the French Open. I did a lot more listening to it on the radio last week. Andy Murray's last match against Kei Nishikori I just couldn't bear to listen to. I am going to watch/listen to the men's semis today, but it might be through my fingers with the Murray vs Wawrinka match.

I did watch a bit last weekend. I was enjoying Kyle Edmund's match against Kevin Anderson, partly because it was on Court 2, so the camera couldn't swirl about the court, partly because Jim Courier wasn't commentating. But mostly because I really like watching Kyle Edmund. At least he gets on with it, unlike Andy Murray, who is always going on about something.

When the radio started with Andy Murray vs Del Potro, I put that on, listening to it and watching on the telly when they were actually playing the points and the camera didn't move. Back in the days of analogue TV, the radio would be slightly ahead, which meant they'd be telling you the shot they made as you saw them make it. But the digital picture is really delayed (relatively speaking). The radio on the internet more so. So last weekend was my first chance to test out the digital radio vs digital TV. And it's not as good as analogue on both. The radio was ahead by two shots, so sometimes it looked like it was exactly match, but mostly the commentator told you what was going to happen before you saw it. Still, it's better than listening to Jim Courier.

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Elections and Spooks
Saturday 9th May 2015 7:56 pm

On Thursday night I stayed up for two and a half hours. By the time I went to bed the birds were singing and there were so few seats declared it was obvious nothing was going to happen for a while. Annoyingly I still woke up at 7am, despite having the day off. I could have slept all night and got up at 4am - I'd have had more sleep and seen more excitement. Still, it was exciting that we were down to the last 7 seats, near lunchtime, before there was a result. Even if it was a depressing result. To make it worse, one of my local results was all Conservative and the other was six-sevenths Conservative. But the UKIP candidates on the first all came bottom. And, for once, considering that I live in a Conservative safe seat, I actually felt like my vote counted.

I decided to go and see the Spooks film yesterday, to cheer me up. Then I realised that wouldn't work, so I went to keep myself awake and take my mind off things. It did, but it was depressing. It was good though. I liked that the main character was a 60 year old man - how many films can say that? And it had Harry being Harry, only without Ruth, even more so.

One of the things that depressed me was that they'd changed the Grid. I'd been watching series 10 to remind myself of the non-Harry and Ruth characters and in the film it has a completely different atmosphere. But then I watched some earlier series and it has a completely different atmosphere in those too. So it is very Spooks-like in that everything changes (except Harry).

I was going to say that watching older Spooks is less depressing because you can choose what to watch. So in series 10 I skipped all the Elena bits and both the deaths. And fell in love with Dimitri and watch series 9, minus the Lucas secret bits and deaths. But then I decided to go back to my favourite episode, I Spy Apocalypse. And now I'm depressed. It's such a good episode - I know it's not the end of the world, but it still feels like it.

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Friday 8th May 2015 2:38 am

Since the government gave me an election for my birthday, I am celebrating by staying up watching it. Well, I say staying up. I actually got back from choir when the polls closed, stayed up for ten minutes while I felt more tired, went to bed for three and a half hours and then got up. I need to go to bed before dawn, when it's harder to sleep. Usually I'd stay up until there was a result, but it really doesn't look like there'll be one. There should be one in my constituency by the time I go to bed, but I already know the result of that, I'm just waiting to find out the percentage of the vote my MP will get this time.

I voted before work, which was unexpectedly complicated. I knew I had two local elections as well as the general, but one of them involved choosing three from a reasonable selection, the other was seven from a very long list. Although I ran out of candidates who actually lived in the area and weren't Conservative or UKIP before I go to seven. The worrying part of it was the number of UKIP candidates who lived locally. I had a lot of UKIP leaflets. But they're counting the general tonight, and the locals Friday and Saturday, so it'll be a while before we have all the results.

I'm quite liking Jeremy Paxman and David Mitchell on the Alternative Election Night. It never occurred to me before not to watch BBC1 (although in 1997 I watched the Election Night Armistice, which only went until 1.30am, but then I had school the next day).

If that's all incoherent and rambly, then it is 2.30am and my stomach has decided it's breakfast time.

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Election time
Thursday 22nd May 2014 1:02 pm

Today is European election day. I like voting. I don't vote because we're fortunate to live in a democratic country and people died so we could vote or even so I can criticise who gets in, although they're all good reasons. I vote because I missed out on an election due to being four days too long and I am determined not to miss out again.

This evening one of our suppliers at work is taking us out to dinner. So that I didn't have to worry about rushing home afterwards in time to vote, I went this morning. It was empty in there - partly because of the time (it's been busiest when I've voted on my way home from work) and partly because not so many people vote in European elections. I walked there because I have to go past a primary school to get there and then it turned out to be an pretty empty road anyway. But it was a nice walk and was the polling station was only five minutes away.

European elections are a bit different, because we're electing ten MEPs in my area. Normally in a general election you are electing one MP. The ballot paper lists their names in alphabetical order and also which party they're representing. You put an X by the one you want. In a local election the same thing happens, but you could be electing more than one person, in which case you put more Xs. For European elections it lists the parties in alphabetical order, and the MEPs below them. There are up to ten listed and the number of them that are elected depends on the number of votes their party gets.

It's also different because this is when all the tiny parties come out, many of whom are only interested in getting us out of Europe. My ballot paper had fifteen parties listed, not all of whom listed ten candidates. Some of them I'd never heard of, some of them are definitely racists and some of them are odd. I voted for the one I have heard of that I currently hate least.

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An updatey thing
Friday 3rd May 2013 8:30 pm

It's been quite nice not to have to update for the past two days when I haven't had much time to.

Earlier in the week I posted about this being a busy week work-wise. And then it wasn't. It was in fact quiet. Partly because the thing I thought was going to take half a day only took half an hour and partly because I thought everything was going to turn up at once on Wednesday, and not only did it not, but I got a head start on most of it on Tuesday.

And then there were the local elections. I couldn't decide who to vote for, so I left it until I was in the booth with a short, stubby pencil with my ballot paper to decide which box to put an x in. Then I spent the morning watching the results come in and discovered I made the right choice - there was just under 100 votes between the one I voted for and the Conservative. It was nice to feel like my vote counted because in the general election not even AR would have made a difference.

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Thursday 25th April 2013 6:40 pm

We have some local elections next Thursday, and since it'll be May by then and no longer my NaBloPoMoing month today seemed like a good day to talk about it.

So far I know which council it's for. I've had things through the door from the Conservatives, Labour and an Independent candidate. On my to do list for this weekend (or it would be if I'd got round to writing it down) is to look up all the candidates, find out how many I get to choose and decide which ones to vote for.

I don't trust any of the party's policies any more, so it's no use even looking at them. So I am going to vote based on people, which makes me sense. In the past in council elections the number of people I get to vote for is the same as the number of people who actually live in the ward I am voting in, which makes the decision easy. If you don't live here how can you know what it's like to live here?

This time I don't even know where they live (although the Labour candidate included a photo of him meeting a local resident, which was just hilarious. I know the point he was trying to make but it just failed utterly).

So next week I'll know who I'm voting for, I just don't know yet.

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Thursday 15th November 2012 8:19 pm

The prompts on the BlogHer NaBloPoMo site mentioned quite a bit about voting. So today I will talk about voting, since I voted!

These were elections for people to be in charge of the administrative side of the police force. Which isn't something that has ever been voted for before. Nor was it well-publicised. I got my voting card through before I got the booklet about it. And then, when going through one of the candidate's blog I found there was a hustings in my town, but before I knew anything about this election. So it's not a surprise that they're only expecting a 10% turn out.

Nor was I that excited about the candidates. Which is par for the course for an election really, but it made a nice change to be voting for people rather than parties. But I was disappointed by the Independents' statements - I didn't see how they were qualified to do the job at all.

The most exciting thing is that it wasn't just putting a cross in a box - I got to put two crosses in two boxes! - there was a first and a second choice. Handily, I actually had a first and second choice, out of the available candidates. And I got to vote somewhere new, as I've moved since I last voted. But November is a very odd time to be voting, I much prefer it to be on my birthday.

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Modern election
Wednesday 1st September 2010 9:13 pm

I like elections - I think of them like birthday presents.

When I got home today there was an electoral roll letter on my doormat. Well, in fact it had missed the doormat and was just lying in the hall, but that's not the point. I opened it, thought, "I suppose I just put this in the envelope and post it" when I looked closer to check. I discovered that if you don't want to change anything you can text them (which I didn't do because it didn't say if it costed, plus texting takes me forever) or you can call them, free. You just dial, press some numbers and that's it.

To be fair, it could have been like that for a while, but I've always had to change it. But I was quite excited about confirming I want to vote by phone. Of course now I have a form I don't know what to do with. I suppose to be on the safe side I should take it into work and shred it (as I'm too cheap to buy my own shredder).

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Wednesday 12th May 2010 8:12 pm

This whole election thingy has been exciting. I stayed up on election night to see who was going to be in charge. So they decided while I was out at Rotaract last night. Which was a very confusing evening because Gordon Brown had previously said he would resign (as PM) if the Conservatives and Lib Dems reached an agreement. So then he resigned before they'd reached an agreement. And interrupted the Queen's viewing of Eastenders while they changed PMs. We had a brief period of anarchy while we were all too far away from Buckingham Palace to be PM. Damn.

I'm excited about the Con/Lib Dem coalition. I was born into a Tory Parliament, which eventually went Labour and it was clearly going to go back to Tory at some point. So I was resigned to it always swinging between the two and the only highlights being that you couldn't say for certain which election it would change at. So this is something different and new and exciting, and involves Lib Dems in the government, which I thought would take a miracle to see.

It's quite cool that when they've been talking about the Cabinet posts on the radio today they've not only said their name and position, as you'd expect, but added in which party they are. And Nick Clegg gets to be PM when David Cameron goes on holiday! I wanted him to be PM at the head of a Labour/Lib Dem coalition, which would have been cool, if highly unlikely.

I'm hoping that the Lib Dem's will tamper down the Tory bad policies a bit and between them they'll end up with something that's better than either of them would have done separately. We'll see. I'm ambivalent about the idea of five year fixed terms because although it'll guarantee me a general election for my birthday every five years, it will mean that the next one that's actually on my birthday won't be until 2050.

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Saturday 8th May 2010 2:37 pm

Despite having twelve hours sleep last night I'm still tired. It's really hard to type when you're tired, but if I do need to do some things today.

Thursday night I was so tired I went to bed at 9pm and got up at 12.30am. It is a lot harder to get up when it's dark than go to bed when it's light. By the time I went to sleep at 8am the result was still uncertain, which was really exciting because the first election I stayed up for was 1997, so until now Labour's been a pretty foregone conclusion.

I'm amazed that all those BBC people stayed up until 3.45pm! I don't know how they did it. But I did like Jeremy Paxman trying to get straight answers out of politicians at 4am on the basis that it was 4am - it didn't work. And when interviewing them at the count he had to tell them what was going on! In the morning when he spoke to Boris Johnson he basically told him to shut up and go back to running the city. Jeremy Vine's virtual things got sillier and sillier and no more useful. Except I missed Peter Snow, not that his virtual House of Commons told us anything either. Chris Addisons twitters were funny as well.

So, despite only getting five hours of sleep Thursday night - more of which were Thursday night than Friday morning - I enjoyed it. It was exciting. My MP is sadly still Conservative and with 52% of the vote not even PR would have helped me there. But I'm hoping that now interesting things will happen with parties working together. You never know. But since hung parliaments tend to bring another election - my birthday's on a Thursday next year.

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Veni, Vidi, Voted
Thursday 6th May 2010 7:42 pm

So today is the day after my birthday aka election day. I made a slight detour on my way home and stopped off at the polling station. Which seems crazy to me because until now I've always lived less than five minutes walk away from the polling station. But this one is a bit over ten minutes walk away. It is sunny now, but I'm tired and that was a bit much of a walk for me after work.

It was quite exciting - it turns out there is a notice board inside that we could put a Rotaract poster on. It's a pity we couldn't have one up there for election day.

Oh, and I voted too. I didn't think that everywhere would have a short, blunt pencil, but it turns out they do. I got thoroughly confused by the names on the ballot paper being in alphabetic order by surname, but since I wanted to vote for the one at the top, that was fine. He was also the only one who actually lives in this constituency. And the most likely to win against the Tories. And the party I wanted to vote for, so that was handy.

I did get quite confused when I went in, showed the people at my desk my polling card, then they asked my name. At which point I paused, worked out they needed my full name and then gave them that. They were happy, but puzzled. I regularly puzzle people by pausing when asked my name because I have to work out whether they need my full name or whether I can just give them the shortened version.

There are many, many good reasons to vote and that I believe everyone who has the right to vote should vote. I know that often the best option is merely the least worst one, but if you don't vote you don't get to have an opinion about how the country is governed. My biggest reason for voting is that the Tories decided to have a general election four days before my 18th birthday when they could have hung on a few more weeks. I'm still annoyed about and won't vote for them on the basis that they screwed me over. Well, and a lot of other reasons, obviously.

Since this week I'm struggling to keep my eyes open after about 9.30pm, I'll be going to bed for a bit. The polls don't close until 10pm so there won't be any news before midnight. Doubtless I will be around on the internet at stupid o'clock, trying to keep myself awake...

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