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Why I didn't vote for...
It has been another busy week. This will probably be a theme for the next little while, at least. Mum is visiting at the moment from the old country. The cricket season has started. And there have been a couple of really interesting elections.
The first weekend Mum arrived, we took her to Tenby (in Wesh - Dinbych-y-pysgod - little fort of the fishes). It was a quaint little tourist town.
The cricket season started on a bright, sunny Tuesday afternoon. Our ten faced off against the opposition eleven. The opposition batted first, and we just needed to get a couple of wickets and hope. Unfortunately, their opening batsmen batted very well. Sending too many deliveries to or over the boundary. Eventually, Steve came on and got rid of one batsman and a few overs later I rolled the arm over. In an eventful over, I caught a thick edge that went over the keeper, had a couple of boundaries taken as the ball flew agonisingly close to the fieldsmen and I bowled the other opener with a ball that spun and kept low. Also, because the umpire can't count, I seemed to bowl and 11 balls rather than the standard 8. We cam back well, but by then the damage was done and we found ourselves chasing 200.
The batsmen started well. More accurately, Steve started well, scoring 82 and hitting everything. Unfortunately, he was run out (as were the rest of the top order) and we eventually made 150.
Thursday was election day. I was very excited - I like voting. The booths were open from 7AM until 10PM. I got up early and voted before work. It was a disapointment. There was no sausage sizzle. There were no people handing out how to vote cards. I came in. There was no one there apart from the people working there and 5 or 6 other voters.
First, the voting. Unlike in Australia, where you can progressively vote against people, here, you only mark one choice, which means you actually have to vote for someone. It was horrible. I will now go through why I voted the way I did...
Why I didn't vote Labour
I don't like the way they have been running the country - either UK or Wales - and I think their priorities are wrong.
Why I didn't vote Lib Dem
The Lib Dem election material was disgraceful. It tended to be things like fake community magazines and things like that (with the words "Election Communication" designed to not stand out). Their campaign seemed to be "vote for us, we're not Labour". Much the same as the Tories and Plaid. Given that everything they have sent smacks of dishonesty - even for politicians, I couldn't.
Why I didn't vote for the Tories
I couldn't. I just couldn't.
Why I didn't vote for the BNP
Umm...where to begin... at least their campaigning was different to everyone else's (Labour, Lib Dems, Tories and Plaid are all the same, rather than the usual "we are not Labour" from Anyone But Labour). And I liked their description of UKIP as English Tories in green wellies. However, when all is said and done, they are the BNP. I don't like fascism.
Why I didn't vote UKIP
I don't mind the idea of Europe, and I don't like the idea of reversing devolution for Wales. Besides that, I don't like any of their other policies.
Why I didn't not vote for Plaid Cymru
Aside from broadly agreeing with their principles and policies, had I not voted for them I would have had to not vote. Besides, I like Centre-Left Nationalism. Particularly when, as now, it is non-violent and accepting of minorities (Plaid ended up having the first member of an ethnic minority elcted to the senedd)
Why I voted
Voting is quite an arrogant thing to. Knowing that less than 50% of the population vote, voting says that I think my opinion on how the country should be run is better than enough of the voters that I should have my say. Guess what. I do. Besides, given hat I tend to vote against the winner, it gives me an opt out in light of the subsequent mismanagement of the state.
In the end, everyone took enough votes off Labour that they don't have a majority. Yay. Basically a similar result to Scotland except that in Scotland the SNP pipped Labour and independence was more of an issue.
With Mum visiting, we've eaten out at some nice places. More than normal, but not every night due to the intrusion of regular life.
Last weekend, we went to Hay-on-Wye. For those who don't know Hay-on-Wye, it is a small town with a lot of second hand bookshops. For those who know my mother, you know why we went. We bought quite a lot of books, ate some very nice food and went home again.
Friday, we had our Welsh exam. There was nothing particularly difficult about it, although there were probably lots of little places I'll have lost a mark here or a mark there. The hardest part for me was, in the oral, using the formal (or plural) "chi" rather than the familiar (and singular only) "ti" form for "you". Particularly as the interviewer was someone I know and have spoke to in the "ti" form. Even worse, I suspect Bec will have beaten me. Six weeks until I find out though.
In the weekend just finished, we took Mum to the Mumbles Farmers Market, where we spent too much money but bought lots of yummy food. We also took Mum to our local pub for dinner and went for a walk through Swansea.
We gave up on the last lot of roofing people and got another lot in. Royal Roofing came, did the job, seemed to do a good job, cleaned up after themselves and came in significantly cheaper than the people who never came to do the job. Royal Roofing have yet to make it to my boycott list.
Besides that, since I last wrote, work has been enjoyable. There have been lots of good, interesting ideas and it feels like progress is being made quite quickly.
Today, I am on a train trip up to Bangor. I have 11 hours of train ride ahead of me today. 11 hours travel for a 3 hour meeting. That would have to be a personal best effort. The iPod is charged. I have books. The zaurus is charged. I have my noise reduction headphones. And have already shifted seats once because the
Comment from Todd Fraser
Go Royal Roofing... you are part of a very small minority... you have dealt with Alex and avoided his boycott list!!!!
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.