Nevin's Notes (05/05/10)

>An alternative take on the election

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Oh, the excitement

Dull? How can anyone describe the most fiercely contested election since Pericles edged out Tony Benn in 450BC as dull? But that's the claim of the Green candidate in Bury St Edmunds, Mark Ereira-Guyer, about the campaign there. And before the sneers, I should remind you that Bury had a riot in1327, and Lord Tebbit is now a resident. Anyway, alarmed by this report, I embarked on a breakneck last-minute dash round some of the constituencies mentioned here over the last month to check on the action. Ready?

Belly battle

We begin in Stoke Central, where candidates slugging it out include former belly dancer Norsheen Bhatti for the Conservatives and tele-historian Tristram Hunt for Labour. And this is Mandy Hill, of the Olde Sweet Shoppe, talking to The Sentinel: "I have seen some of the parties' literature, but I haven't seen any candidates around and I wouldn't know who they are." Hmm.

Spilling the beans

Much better news, though, from Dorset South, where Tory Richard Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, known as Richard Drax for the sake of the trees, has really hit the headlines after spotting a teenager picking flowers illicitly in Portland and reporting him. And I knew Jacob Rees-Mogg, Somerset North East, wouldn't let us down: hit by several eggs at once in Midsomer Norton. Moreover, I don't know what Ereira-Guyer is on about: I have just spoken to the Muffin Break cafe in Bury, where customers have been putting coffee beans into dedicated party receptacles. And someone has knocked the Lib Dem one over. Yes, they are in the lead, too. Next!

Tango with Tony

Tango! More now on that offer to Tony Blair of a place on Dancing With The Stars, the American Strictly Come Dancing. I have been in communication with Tony's potential dancing partner, the lovely Karina Smirnoff. She said: "I suggest he works on rhythms and flexibility as soon as possible." Thank you, Karina! Flexibility, eh? That shouldn't be a problem.

Dual endorsements

Celebrity! Ace atheist Philip Pullman declared his support for the Lib Dems last week in one of those multi-signed missives. Part of it read: "The decision to back the Liberal Democrats in this election is a difficult one. Long-standing party loyalties, even in a less tribal world, are not easily suspended." Indeed. Here he is on the website of Caroline Lucas, leader of the Greens: "I'm happy to support her campaign, and I look forward to cheering her success." Well. What's going on? God knows.

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