Friday, May 04, 2007

Rant Rant Rant!

I'm in huge fucking rant mode so forgive me.

There is nothing the Scottish people (me included) enjoy more than a good spectacular fuck up. Just look at our record in The World Cup for example. We take a perverse Calvanistic national delight in a kind of weird masochistic, own-goal, Self-Schadenfruende - I'm sure there's a German word for this, there is after all a German word for everything (sitzpinkle!), but I'm too lazy to look it up.

We had an election in Scotland yesterday and somehow - god knows how - somehow we seem to have fucked it up. Elections in this country are simple. You get a piece of paper with a list on it. You stick a cross next to the name of the least objectionable of the arsesholes lying for your attention. You then shove the list in a box and walk away with a vague feeling you have had some say in the way the country is run for the next couple of years. You don't even have to take your own pencil, pencils are provided.

This time it was a little bit more complicated. We were given two pieces of paper!


Panic!


This is what the the pieces of paper looked like:





Every house in Scotland should have received a leaflet telling you how to fill in the papers - I know we did. There were instructions in the press and in the polling stations and actually on top of the papers. They were not complicated instructions. Put an X next to the people you wanted to vote for on the coloured piece of paper. Only put one cross on the peach list, only put one cross on the purple list. On the other bit of paper it says:

"Instead of a cross, number the candidates in the order of your choice.

Put the number 1 next to the name of the candidate who is your first choice, 2 next to your second choice, 3 next to your third choice, 4 next to your fourth choice and so on

You can mark as many or as few choices as you like."

Amazingly some 100,000 people managed to fuck it up. Some huge % of the population who bothered to vote in the first place couldn't work out how to do something slightly less complicated than opening a tin of beans.

How? How can you fuck up something so simple? I have seen Kinder Egg toys with more complicated instructions!

Just to prove how simple this is I drew up a play ballot paper with a choice of teas for the kids and asked Holly to put a cross next to the one she wanted: Sausage And Chips, Spaghetti, or Cous-cous - and then asked her to put a bunch of LazyTown characters in the order she liked them best by writing numbers next to them.* No problem. A five year old girl can do this!

And Robby Rotten for First Minister? Makes sense to me.


The People's Choice


OK, The cock-ups wasn't all 'the people's' fault. It didn't help that the machines employed to count the votes couldn't cope with folded, damp, upside-down, or smudged ballots, or those torn to pieces by golf club wielding lunatics and glued back together with tape, and it couldn't be helped that the helicopters needed to shift papers from the more remote islands to the place of counting were fog bound. This sort of thing happens to the best regulated elections anywhere in the world, especially those countries where bananas are major part of the export market. Well, maybe not the golf club wielding nutter. A very peculiarly Scottish dangerous weapon is a golf club.

What makes the whole thing ultra laughable is serious grown up pundits like The BBC's Political Editor Nick Robinson are saying things like:

"...confusing ballot papers robbed tens of thousands of people of their chance to vote."

No they didn't. The thousands of people had the chance to vote. They did vote - and they wasted it. They fucked up.

These are the same morons who regularly pick Bonus Ball numbers for the insanely complicated National Lottery, spend hours filling out Pools Coupons and "Are You A Nagging Friend" questionnaires in 'Women's' magazines and phone in votes by their million for Big Brother, Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor, The Eurovision Song Contest and god knows what else.

What was so difficult?

Nearly everything that is advertised in this country is sold by 'cute' cartoon characters. From Churchill Insurance's nodding dog, to the Post Office's little red ants, it seems like these days we have become so imbecilic and childish we are unable to comprehend anything without having cartoon characters telling us what to do and how to do it. Maybe this is where the election fell over. Maybe the Government should have invested all their money in some cuddly elephant with a pencil in its hand showing us how to vote. Mind you, carry this to its logical conclusion and we'll get Prime Minister's Questions being done with glove puppets.



What's that, Secretary of Defence?
Saddam Hussein has weapons of Mass destruction?
He's been a naughty boy and hidden them? Naughty Saddam.
Do you think we should invade Iraq boys and girls?


Who am I kidding? Politics will never get that dumbed down and stupid - will it?





Rant over. Normal 'mildly amusing burblings about my kids' service will be resumed as soon as possible.



*Actually the bit about making up a toy ballot paper for Holly is a total lie - but I will do it tomorrow. That's a pledge and a priority - but not a manifesto commitment.







1 comment:

John Self said...

Heheh. Very good. OK, I agree with you. No shirt, no shoes, no IQ in triple figures: no vote.

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