Ever thought about the influence geography has on the way you vote? You probably ought to, it's had a massive effect on me. Y'see, I grew up in the 80s and did my GCSEs and A Levels in the 90s. that's under Thatcher and Major. But that's not the main reason I distrust the Conservative party, nor the main reason I hate the Tories[1]. That can be explained by a very simple statement.

Anthony Steen was my MP. He's still the MP for my parents, both surviving grandparents, two aunts and four cousins. Yes, that Anthony Steen. For a very very simple reason to hate the git[2], have a listen to this[3]:
BBC flash embed of the audio of the interview. I can listen to this again and again and again, it makes me happy ) I've met him. He visited my school a few times when I was a kid, and I met him subsequently. He really is like that. That interview has effectively ended his fairly undistinguished career. The great shame is that he's been forced out, because despite him representing one of the safest Conservative seats in the country, his behaviour since re-election in 2005 has been, well, interesting, and I reckon he'd have lost without the most recent revelations. Here are some highlights:
A summary list of some of the more egregious idiocies he's managed )

So, there you go. Due to the nature of the first-past-the-post electoral system, if you have a git like that as your MP, if you want to get rid of him, you have to vote for the candidate most likely to beat him. If you get used to voting for that party time and time again because they're the best chance of beating the incumbent git, many people begin to consider themselves supporters specifically of that party.

In 1997, I voted in my first General Election, and specifically voted against Steen. It was a vote for the Lib Dem candidate, but also broadly a vote to get the bastard Tories out and replace them with Blair. I often wonder what, if any, my partisan allegiance would be if I grew up in a part of the world where the Lib Dems were a distant third and Labour were challenging the Tories. Let alone if I'd grown up in a safe Labour area where the Tories had no chance.

One of the stupidities of the UK system is that where you live matters a lot more than who you support. I think it's about time we changed that, how about you?

Footnotes )
I concur with Adrian, The continuing saga of Westphalia-on-Sea (twinned with Pessimisme, France) is absolute genius. It might not actually be about Torbay, but if it's not, then I pity the poor gits in the other town that have just as bad a track record as us. The first chapter In which we learn how Westphalia-on-Sea went into terminal decline just rings so true:
Westphalia-on-Sea was once the most popular and prosperous seaside town in England. Hordes of visitors from the Midlands, the North and even Scotland would fill its hotels and guest houses every summer. By day the families would crowd onto the beach and gradually sit closer and closer together as the tide came in, not really minding that it was overcast, and ignoring the children when they said they felt little drops of rain. By night the younger revellers would crowd into the town's nightclubs and drink sensible amounts of Bacardi and Coke or Watney's Red Barrel. These were happy times, when locals and holidaymakers would bond with each other outside late-night kebab shops, and the odd dispute over a taxi or a girl was easily settled by throwing someone in the harbour.
[livejournal.com profile] westphalia_sea, naturally. Directly elected mayors=a Bad Thing for small to medium sized towns. Especially ones that went Unitary for stupid reasons and have been ungovernable ever since.

A very nice place to visit my hometown. Definitely wouldn't want to live there at the moment.
First up, the Lib Dem leadership thing. Ming's resigned, so be it, spilt milk, my opinion had been hardening against him the more crappy media coverage he got, yes, they were OTT, but a decent press team could've turned some of it around, I can only conclude he didn't know what image he wanted to present and thus came across as dithering. As to who to back? No clue at all, soft Huhne, remain to be persuaded. However, my former MP has stated his opinion on a possible candidacy rather clearly:
Someone asked if my question today had been my bid for the leadership of the Lib Dems. My answer to anyone who asks me if I'm going to stand is that I would rather roll around naked in a field of stinging nettles. In other words the answer is a big resounding no.
Not an image I particularly wanted there Adrian.

In other news, our post appears to be coming back to normal. Jennie? Mah T-shirt has arrived.

I likes it. Rather a lot. Fankoo.
[livejournal.com profile] a_sanders_myspc went to the Brit Award ceremony in his role as a Culture, Media & Sport Committee member. He's completely right about one of the headline acts:
The Killers were great, Snow Patrol impressed, and Oasis were… well many describe Oasis as a great rock n' roll band; to me they are just a wall of sound fronted by a couple of plonkers.
Never could stand em, and I lived in Manchester when they were getting big. Blur, now they were a good indy pop rock band. Oasis were just Beatles wannabes...

In other news, I've got a bit of coding to do, and I've got stuff planned this afternoon/evening. Tomorrow I'm driving back to Devon to collect more stuff (and also see some people), so I might be offline till late Sunday. Might be. Knowing me I'll end up changing all my plans, but, y'know.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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