Tuesday 19 April 2011

A Simple Rule

As the referendum draws ever closer, AV fever rages the length and breadth of the land. In pubs and clubs, offices and shops - wherever two or three are gathered together - they talk of nothing but the relative merits of First Past the Post and Alternative Voting... This morning, I received a personal communication from the Yes campaign, complete with statements from its celebrity supporters. If I hadn't already made up my mind on the issue, this would have decisively swung it: nothing endorsed by Eddie Izzard, Colin Firth, Stephen Fry and Benjamin Zephaniah can possibly be right. This simple rule can be applied across the board. And now I resume my dogmatic slumber...


  1. Now there speaks a true conservative.

    This vote will be decided entirely on instinctive emotional grounds, not rational ones.

    The presence of Fry and Izzard (and, you didn't mention, the inevitable Billy Bragg) in the Yes camp indicates that for some reason the London soft-left thinks the AV system is London soft-left 'progressive' (is it really? Why?).

    My guess is that this will probably ensure that they lose.

  2. I also think they will lose, though I think that as we draw closer to the election, the 'Yes' camp will increasingly do as Miliband attempted yesterday: to phrase the debate in terms of giving the coalition a bloody nose.

  3. Perhaps the real question is, Who's going to bother to vote?

  4. We've all been there. Standing in the polling booth wondering what we're doing there. Enter the referendum.

  5. Second past the post has been there, stood on the podium, his votes passed over to fourth past the post, third past the post added his to the candidate we first thought of, first past the post didn't win, he was outnumbered, enter the bloke who empties the septic tanks, he's the next minister of health.
    With you all the way Nige, if they want change for changes sake, bring in the ducking stool, last one to drown gets the job.

  6. We've all been there. Standing in the polling booth holding a pencil, with no sort of mark to make in the box next to the name of our third preference candidate in the European Elections. Enter the cross.

    But how many of us still really know how to draw a cross, in the way that was second nature to our grandparents' generation?

    Once upon a time, before education and literacy became widespread, the humble cross stood instead of a signature for many in the lower classes...

    ...And then there's the old family favourite game for car journeys, noughts and crosses....

    (from 'The Dying Art of Drawing Crosses' - BBC Magazine, 2011)

  7. I'm afraid I may be one of those not bothering to vote, Nige. In fact I'm wondering if I may never vote ever again! Big radical move for me - especially being a woman and feeling I 'ought to because...'

  8. Joey Joe Joe Jr.20 April 2011 at 12:37

    Is the referendum itself an instant runoff vote? I plan to write in NO as my first preference, YES as my second, then MAYBE as my third.

  9. Quite right Joey Joe - if they believe in this stuff, they should apply their own principles. Fourth Choice: You What?! Fifth: Oh Just Go Away...

  10. Banished To A Pompous Land20 April 2011 at 15:42

    "Once upon a time, before education and literacy became widespread, the humble cross stood instead of a signature for many in the lower classes..."

    You did say the BBC Magazine 2011 Brit? It reads more like 1911.

  11. Well said! Any campaign organiser should realise that they should choose with great care their celebrity endorsers. Reminds me of 'You can tell a man who boozes / by the company he chooses'

    A true RADICAL conservative!