and for a bit of context on what that headline means…
So… on the night when David Cameron finally became Prime Minister, HyperHam and I had the following conversation:
HH: “Why is Mrs Cameron standing at the back, pregnant and far away from her husband?”
AW: “Well, we’re living in Tory times now.”
To me, this was so amazingly funny and of-the-moment, that I immediately posted it on Twitter and Facebook. After all, what’s a joke if it’s not instantly shared to as many people as possible?
While a couple of friends graciously shared the joke with credit, another friend of mine reposted the joke without attributing it towards me. Indeed, when I pointed out that I wrote the joke, she deleted the comment, and then we had a slight disagreement before she decided to delete the joke to begin with. But she genuinely thought she was in the right to just copy a joke without any form of attribution.
Record companies and artists everywhere bemoan how we now live in an age where people copy works without even thinking of paying for it. But at least we all know a song by Lady GaGa is by Lady GaGa. How soon is it going to be before people can’t even be bothered to acknowledge that someone else wrote that song or book or joke?
So it’s been two weeks since my last update of what the election candidates seem to be doing in the 78th Tory target seat of Hammersmith. So this is what I’ve been observing locally at least:
Labour have definitely gone for a personal approach. Aside from a couple of flyers stuffed through my letterbox (one of them on the day of the launch of the Labour manifesto), I’ve spotted candidate Andy Slaughter twice at White City station (again, on Labour manifesto launch day).
To top all that off, he even paid a visit to my road. Naturally, in advance canvassers knocked on everyone’s door in advance to see who wanted to speak to him and only one household took him up on his offer. And his Twitter feed at least took the time to acknowledge one of my tweets.
By contrast, Shaun Bailey‘s team have been relatively quiet after their initially strong showing. I’ve had a couple of leaflets through my door – saving money by combining his election pledges with the local council’s Conservative candidates pledges – but I’ve not seen him or his team anywhere on my travels.
However, you can’t move in the constituency without seeing some Conservative billboard – ironically with Gordon Brown’s smiling face. I’ve not seen any Labour billboards in the area.
Alas, nothing directly from the LibDem candidate Merlene Emerson – although her team did email me direct. But that doesn’t count for the purposes of this comparison.
I may have gotten a leaflet from her or her local council colleagues vying for my vote in my ward.
Again, nothing at all from the other candidate. While I don’t particularly want to hear from the UKIP or the BNP candidate, I do wonder where the Green candidate is. And what Stephen Brennan is standing for.
Still, there’s seven days to go…
So, Gillian Duffy from Rochdale reportedly says: “All these Eastern Europeans what are coming in – where are they flocking from?”
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in a private conversation with one of his aides shortly afterwards, describes her as “bigoted”.
What do you think?
So, I happen to live in the 78th Tory target seat, in a seat that’s currently held by a Labour MP (who couldn’t be bothered to discuss the Digital Economy Bill in the House of Commons). My council ward is a top target for the Liberal Democrats. Let’s see how much effort they’re putting into getting my vote (apparently currently worth 1.46x the UK average), while I live my daily life in this constituency. Note that I am, like most people, not going out of my way to attract the attention of candidates.
They’ve been stalking my local tube station, exhorting me to vote for the local candidate by shouting “Vote for this remarkable man!”. What, no policies? No manifesto? I should just vote for Shaun Bailey because he’s a “remarkable man”? I think the local barman is a remarkable man for all sorts of reasons, but I wouldn’t vote for him.
At home, I’ve had three letters from the Conservative party – it’s gotten to the point when I can spot the letters. They look like formal official letters, and – according to the back of the envelope – seem to come from CCHQ. Which uncomfortably reminds me of GCHQ – ironic, considering the last letter asked me to consider Labour’s erosion of civil liberties versus what the Tories would do.
Not a word from the LibDem candidate, which seems a bit of a shame. But the prospective LibDem councillors have stuck a leaflet through my door, extolling their attempts to get London Transport to improve a bus route. Given the road it goes through has a bunch of closed shops and a recently revitalised library, I’d have thought that particular area needs more than an improved bus route.
UK Independence Party
There’s a rather offensive poster down the Goldhawk Road screaming about how 5000 immigrants a day move to the UK, and what a terrible thing this is. Never mind the Goldhawk Road tends to be one of the more diverse roads in W12.
Absolutely nothing. Which seems bizarre.
I wonder if this’ll improve next week…
would they want to charge overseas tourists $10 to register for the privilege of visiting America. So they can fund a travel tourism promotion group aimed at … getting overseas tourists to come to America. And explain to tourists why they have to be fingerprinted and give away lots of their personal details.
Nothing like being scanned for fingerprints and asked if I was involved in a Canadian drink-driving incident in 1994 to make one feel welcome when entering the land of liberty and freedom. Looks like I’ll have to pay an extra $10 for the privilege soon…
Remember Drop The Dead Donkey, the seminal UK sitcom set in a news-gathering organisation? And in particular, unscrupulous cameraman Damian Day, who would go so far as to punch a child in a war zone to get the crying shot he needed?
The Evening Standard carries a story about a black couple, outraged that their waitress scribbled ‘black couple’ on their bill, when they were the only couple dining.
The thing is, I’ve kind of done this myself while running my parents’ Chinese takeaway, scribbling descriptive notes on their order because I have a huge tendency to forget which order belongs to which customer. I’ve even done it when there’s only one customer – after all, another one will inevitably walk in and I’ll get all confused.
I’m not so sure I’ve gone as far as just describing someone in terms of their race, but there have been other unflattering descriptions such as baldy, NHS glasses etc. But if I went to a restaurant, and saw that scribbled on my order was “fat balding Chinese man”, I’d be a tad put out to say the least.
It’s certainly racism in the sense of discrimination against or antagonism towards other races, but there are probably bigger battles to fight. Like the woman at Question Time taking Jack Straw to task over African-Caribbean versus Afro-Caribbean while one of Britain’s biggest bigots sits on a panel next to Jack Straw. And then there’s the controversy in China over a “Chinese Idol” contestant who’s half-Chinese, half-black…
Ooooh it’s complicated. But I’d rather we just end up dealing with people based on whether they’re nice to us or not…
BBC News: “Some Anglican clergy have said they are ready to accept an offer to join the Roman Catholic Church at a meeting of about 600 conservative priests. … Many who are considering conversion are unhappy at women bishops being introduced into the Church of England.”