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A lot can happen in a week…

A lot can happen in a week…

Last week – Thursday 20 January – my wife was induced.

SIXTY SIX hours of labour later, Alexander Joseph Ming Hin Wong was brought into the world in a very messy manner on Sunday morning, weighing 8lbs 1oz. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…

We were finally allowed to bring Alexander home on Wednesday afternoon, after three nights of HyperHam and Alexander being stuck in a noisy ward full of screaming babies, Alexander included.

Thus Wednesday night was the first night of hell for both of us, with a screaming baby that could only be placated by a combination of feeds, bumps, crooning Lady GaGa lullabies and finally him sleeping in my arms while I was propped up on the sofa and could take a nap myself. Tips for getting babies to sleep at night are highly appreciated!

And that’s already taken up one week of paternity leave – just two more to go. 🙁

Hyperham and Alexander

W12 Election watch – week three

W12 Election watch – week three

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.

Liberal Democrats

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.

Other candidates

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…

W12 Election watch – week one

W12 Election watch – week one

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.

Liberal Democrats

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…

Am I going to become a Tory?

Am I going to become a Tory?

David Davies’ recent decision to resign as an MP to force a by-election and debate on the erosion of UK civil liberties (you can now be arrested for 42 days without charge, there are CCTV cameras for every 14 people, the biggest DNA database in the world in percentage terms) has attracted a lot of scorn from media and politicians, but it does seem to have had the side effect of suddenly making the Tories look almost electable. Which is one hell of a neat trick, but a bit of a reflection of a growing trend where people now seem ready to come out of the Tory closet.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, when Margaret Thatcher and then Tony Blair were in charge, nobody in my circle of friends would even countenance the idea of voting Tory. Thatcher’s ghost still loomed large, and Blair seemed to be doing a damn good job.

Then suddenly came the Iraq war, withdrawal of student grants, ID cards, the rise of management consultants everywhere, and now Labour are starting to look bloody authoritarian – which, when coupled with civil servants’ transparent disdain for actually securing peopele’s personal data – is not a good combo.

Hell, during the recent London mayoral elections, some friends of mine were openly declaring their support for the Tories and Boris. And that would never have happened in the 1980s and 1990s (notwithstanding the fact that there weren’t any mayoral elections then…)

So in about three years, Labour have gone from being seemingly invincible to throwing away the next general election. and thus letting the Tories back in. Who, to be fair, would probably have also said yes to a 42-day detention, a war with Iraq etc.

Oh dear.

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