Nevin's Notes: 30/04/2010

An alternative take on the election
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The Independent Online

Biding their time

Time, obviously, to digest last night's momentous events and hope that, whatever, Rochdale can now be left behind.

Here to help in that process are a few lines from "Bide On", by the town's favourite son, the great dialect poet Edwin Waugh. "When, by failure and folly borne down, the future looks hopelessly drear/ and each day, as it flies, with a frown, tells how helpless, how abject we are/ let nothing dismay thy bold effort to-day/ be patient, and still persevere". Excellent. By the way, Gordon, I understand that Sky News would like their microphone back.

Celebrities sign up

The Liberal Democrats have moved even further into the lead in terms of endorsements: Brian Eno, John le Carré, Philip Pullman, Nick Harkaway, Lisa Appignanesi, Julian Baggini, Jeanette Winterson, Richard Dawkins, George Monbiot, Ken Macdonald, Philippe Sands. Come on, we're not talking Cilla and Joanie here, are we? But still a bit of a disappointment as far as I'm concerned. After Sir Alex Ferguson's nuanced endorsement of Labour ("David Cameron, it's squeaky bum time") I was hoping for a manager race between the Tories and Lib Dems but so far they've failed to come up with so much as a fitness conditioner.


Yesterday, chickens; today a parrot! Yes, it's Charlie the Parrot, noisiest supporter of the Labour effort in Bassetlaw by candidate John Mann, given, at the slightest opportunity, to crying "Vote Mann!" (the parrot, obviously, not John Mann). Charlie is owned, as you might imagine, by a keen Labour supporter. Might I suggest an intensive course to produce the following: "I accept that mistakes have been made", "It was a global crisis, you dummy!", and, "Pieces of four!" (the result of sensible spending proposals).

Ballot-box birds

Nick Clegg got himself into a bit of a bind yesterday, mistaking the age at which soldiers can engage in active service (it's 18, not 16). This surprises me as, with his background, I would expect a much better feel for matters military. More fascinating research on his pedigree, this time by reader Mr Horsfield of Dorset, discloses that Clegg may well be descended from none other than, wait for it, El Cid. Now there's a metaphor opportunity begging with open arms. Next!

Polling the pumps

Here are the latest figures from the three bitter pumps dedicated to the major parties at the Fulflood Arms, Winchester: Conservatives: 42 per cent [of pints drawn]; Liberal Democrats: 35 per cent; Labour: 17 per cent. The figures from that fine Nicholson's house, The Mitre in Cambridge, are: Lib Dem: 48 per cent; Conservative: 32 per cent; Labour: 24 per cent. Both establishments report tactical drinking. I have also received some nonsense about party political crisps from Tyrell's and shameless guff to do with voting for three Zhu Zhu interactive hamsters that to bear some resemblance to the leaders. This is a serious place for serious debate!