Saturday, 3 May 2008

Deep breaths

Okay, getting over the initial shock (which wasn't a total shock really, based on the wisps of info that have been emerging through the day), here are some thoughts about the results in general:

  • Deeply frustrated at the outcome, but had been bracing myself for it for a couple of days now. Still, finding it hard to work out what 1.17m people think he has to offer them for the next four years.
  • Will be interested to see what proportion of second preference votes Brian Paddick got. I wouldn't be surprised if it was bigger than his first preference proportion.
  • Delighted that Sian Berry got so many votes. I'm hoping that the Greens get at least a couple of seats in the assembly. She was a really decent outside candidate, and I hope she gets to have some role in the London Assembly.
  • Really worried that the BNP managed to come fifth, with quite a chunk of votes. Desperately hoping they don't get any assembly seats.
  • Still not convinced of the value of independent candidates standing for this kind of election. I've only just got around to finding out who Winston McKenzie is. Seems to be a serial electioneer, having been associated with a marvellously contradictory range of parties.
  • Disappointed that the BBC cut the coverage just as Sian was starting her speech, but I guess if they'd broadcast her, then they'd have had to broadcast some other people who should probably not get air time.
  • Intrigued by the heavy thanking of the Police early in the speeches of the three main candidates. Was there trouble anticipated?
  • Wondering how much the rest of the UK are laughing at us right now.
  • I've never been an Evening Standard reader, and I'm certainly not going to start now.
*sigh*

8 comments:

Ginger said...

News just in - BNP have got an assembly seat. Shit.

Revamp said...

"Intrigued by the heavy thanking of the Police early in the speeches of the three main candidates. Was there trouble anticipated?"

He's making a pre-emptive effort to make peace before the "Big Savings" kick in and he starts slashing funding, I suspect.

Otepoti said...

"some other people who should probably not get air time."

People with whose opinions you disagree? Tsk, tsk. Free speech, anyone?

Cheer up, Ginger. "Flop-haired Fop Brings London to Its Knees" - no, I can't see it somehow. Remember there's an awful ot of inertia built into the system.

Ginger said...

Th only people who I don't think should get air time are the British Nationalist Party/National Front i.e. the far right. It seems I'm not the only one - apparently when the BNP mayoral candidate came to make his speech, all the other candidates walked out, as did some of the press.

Otepoti said...

Hmm, I just looked up BNP, and they are obnoxious. But there are systemic advantages to the existence of a party like this:

a. you know where the crazies are.
b. political activism diverts (at least some) window-smashers into door-knockers.
c. given that opinions such as these exist, it's better to have them put in public, where they can be roundly opposed, than have them seething unheard.

In the meantime I can't think of anything worse than to hand such a party a sense of grievance and entitlement by state censorship (if that's what it was). If it gets 4.1% of the vote it should get 4.1% airtime.

Some opinions should not be held, but all should be heard, dont' you agree?

Nga mihi ki a koutou ko tou whanau. Greetings to you and your family.

Ginger said...

"Some opinions should not be held, but all should be heard, don't you agree?"

Hmmm. I think they all have the right to be expressed. But whether they should be listened to is another matter. Everyone is free to canvass. But I don't think it's undemocratic to draw a line and send off the signal that some views don't actually have a place in a decent society.

Otepoti said...

"I don't think it's undemocratic to draw a line and send off the signalM that some views don't actually have a place in a decent society."

Pai kare, I don't know where to start with this, without doing the xkcd thing: ("Someone is wrong on the internet!") so I'll just give you this article's address, which shows the proverbial road to hell being lined with good intentions. http://www.macleans.ca/canada/opinions/article.jsp?content=20080423_31672_31672&page=1

Cheers

Ginger said...

Thanks for that - it was an interesting article. Once again my lack of historical insight lets me down, it would seem.

I would still say that there is a distinction between letting someone express their views but not sticking around to hear them, and legislating agains their being expressed in the first place. On the other hand, we have had various bits of legislation introduced in recent years, some of which posed a threat to the telling of relgious jokes on the grounds of 'incitement to racial hatred'. So phrases like 'fine line' and 'slippery slope' do spring to mind.

Thanks for that link.

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