Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Smoke rising over it

I wish I cared a bit more about AV and the arguments for it’s apparent (but unproven) superiority over normal voting systems. If we do get AV tomorrow when the scribbled blue crayon Xs are counted up and counted down then the way is paved for us to explore AV plus. AV plus is of course a fully proportional system which would of course be the next natural step. Whilst this may in various scientific and statistical ways appear fairer (an over used and not wholly attractive term if there ever was one), the real problem will all voting systems isn’t the system, it’s the candidates. When you look at the field, their pedigrees, careers and their actual capabilities it’s hardly any wonder that voters are fed up and apathetic. The truth is that he current political system does not attract people of a particularly high calibre nor people with the necessary backbone to represent their constituents honestly and wholeheartedly. That’s the problem and few extra Xs and some magical algorithms wont fix it.

Disaster today. Up, fed cats, cleaned cats, cleaned me, frittered about and rushed out of the house, no petrol so a quick pit stop for some of Arabia’s finest snake oil and onto work. Once there I realised I’d forgotten my fruit. My gorgeous green apple and nicely bruised banana were back home, idly lying back in the kitchen fruit bowl.

Imran Khan says “Pakistan has lost its dignity and self belief”. The reason is? “ Pakistan has the most corrupt and incompetent government in its history.” Well that’s good to hear, they’ve also got atomic weapons and have been given $28 Billion is US aid over the last few years.

In the good old days I mostly attended a chilly primary school and cared little for external things other than occasional assassinations and the way that Britain seemed to be in the centre of every crisis in the world (or to blame for them). I believed that Britain was hated by all foreigners because we’d stolen all their sugar, corn and butter and locked all of their zebras and lions up in our fashionable zoos. Then there was the Cold War which just seemed to drag on and on. Living in a council house with only coal fire and no central heating I understood that pretty well, cold was something you fought against with blankets, curtains and pots of soup and the air-attack siren that was tested once a week, just to add a little drama to the otherwise silent and grave soundtrack. My uncle and aunt were high up in the Civil Defence, they had hats and armbands and went on exercises every weekend in their Austin A60. I had absolutely no idea what was going on and looking back it’s clear that neither did anybody else, we just became indifferent to the cold, sterling in a non decimal form and the black and white lifestyle. Maybe that’s what was good about the good old days. Funny how I recall the fifties and sixties in monochrome and the seventies in wishy washy colour, the eighties are like a fireworks party, the nineties are white with a chrome trim. The last decade, whatever it was called has plumes of smoke rising over it.

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