Thursday, May 12, 2005

A night to remember……

The big night came. Thursday the fifth of May. Me and the Missus get all togged up in our best election winning gear, slap on the old red and white rosettes, do a double clench fist pose in front of the mirror whilst shouting "Come and get my seat if you think you’re hard enough"….. and we’re off. We have a date with destiny.

And then we’re not.

Because I thought this might be a night to remember – I reckon I’ll need my camera to record the great event, the very moment I’m declared a Member of Parliament.

Fantasy over. I’ll be made up to get 50 votes.

We arrive at the Civic Hall in Ormskirk. The main players are already in. The Labour crew look like mafia hoods and molls – all grey hair, badly fitting dark suits and chin stubble. The men looked pretty rough as well.

The Tory cadre are typically posh. Tweed, tatty hair-cuts, lots of comb-overs, ruddy cheeks, red fleshy ears and the most enormous blue velour rosettes abound. Amongst the old fogies and blue rinses are a couple of well fit posh totties. I fantasise, riding crops, rounded vowels and shapely, well filled blouses, tiffin, Ferraris’……

Suddenly, a big neon, yellow-coated plod ushers us towards the interior of the hall, proper. The Lib Dems flounce around in their Hush Puppies, aged slacks and round, penny-collar lemon shirts. They’ve all got clip-boards and LibDem-yellow pens – and are trying to outdo each other in officious speed-walking around the hall. They all appear to be called Jeremy, Barry and Isabel….

We stroll in. It’s just like the Ringo kid and Mrs Ringo Kid gallooting their way into Dodge City’s most notorious Saloon…
We ain’t looking for trouble, we’ve just come in off the trail. We mosie on in.

The entire Hall goes quiet.

The Hum stops. The Drum is silenced. Two hundred pairs of politically biased eyes look us over. Think, think think!!!
What would Blair or Howard do in a situation like this?

I check my flies and give a weak as water wavette.

We seek sanctuary in the form of the nearest pair of seats. The spell is broken and counters, tellers, Mafia bosses, Barry, Jeremy and posh totty get back to the business of checking votes.

We survey the activity – and it’s frantic. Voting slips are being dumped onto desks and sorted into bundles - It’s 11 o’clock at night. It’s pretty clear that we are the Electoral Virgins here because we’ve rather over judged the dress code - and appear to be the only ones to have bothered to get togged up at all. It looks like tat-central in that place – almost as if a jumble sale is about to start, and the customers are wearing the stuff on sale.

In the middle of the Hall, rising like a big, black risey thing with white lettering on the sides, are the ballot boxes. They are stacked higher than a stack of corrupt politicians – and that’s high. Now and again, a student is sent over to get another box and tips the contents all over the desks. The counters count. After an absolute age, I check with Alfreda. "What’s the time then?"

"5 past 11".

It’s going to be a very, very long night.

The UKIP Candidate saunters over to us. "What a bloody crap night we’re having" he says. "D’you know what, I should have voted for you lot, our only policy is to get out of Europe….. we’re bloody crap".

His agent nodded in agreement "Yeah, UKIP’s finished - I reckon you’ll be pushing us pretty close tonight, mate. It’s a bit of a bummer – we’ve had a full time crew out canvassing, full time in this constituency for a month now".

I inwardly smirk, smug in the knowledge that these guys are actually worried about little old me and not admitting that since the great ego that is RKS left them, they’ve been withering away.

The Labour Don, the boss of bosses cruises past with his little flotilla of fags. They are handing out real red roses to their team. Righteous indignation takes hold of me. I wanted to say – "Hey Don-Bollocks, what the bloody hell are you guys hijacking my country’s emblem for – got a bloody cheek haven’t you?"

Instead, I seethe and decide to twiddle with my rosette flanges. It helps to calm me down.

I think it’s about time I strolled around the tables to check that fair play and democracy is being served. I stroll like a Statesman, stiff-legged and hands behind my back I really do look the bizz – Lord of all I survey.

In spite of my very best efforts I can’t find one, not one voting slip that has a cross next to my name. It’s very depressing. And then – I see it. Result, hat trick, loss of virginity and passing driving test all in one gloriously orgasmic moment. And I know it’s not the one that I filled in, this one’s got a ‘tick’ next to my name. A tick for God’s sake – will they say it’s legal? Of course they do! My pile is off and growing! I am a Statesman after all. I glide over to Alfreda.

"Why are you walking like a twat?"

"Sorry, I thought I was walking like Prince Charles"

"Exactly!"

It’s now 2 am in the bloody morning. With 200 people in one airless room it’s getting hot and stale and manky. Still the counting goes on. I compare piles of votes. The Labour woman has millions, an entire forest worth of paper has been shovelled into the corner called ‘winner’. Next is the Tory – he’s a decent guy really – and almost local to boot. The Lib Dem is clearly disappointed – he was pretty arrogant throughout this keenly fought contest and this looks like the final straw. His pile wouldn’t even start a boy scout’s fire. Suddenly, the entire Lib Dem contingent flounce out. Suddenly, there’s a lot less yellow around the room. Suddenly, Hush Puppies are silent….. Ladies and Gentlemen - Barry, Jeremy and Isabel have left the building.

I catch the eye of the Returning Officer. "When do you reckon then – the declaration?"

"Oh we should have everything ready for 4ish"…..

Well they weren’t ready for 4 ‘ish’ - more like gone 5’ish’ actually. We are called over – the Labour manikin wins by miles. Tory second, Lib Dem third, UKIP fourth just – bugger!…
And me with 525 voteroonies. I didn’t even come last – some indy brought up the rear a good 300 votes behind me.

By the time the Labour manikin finishes her speech of thanks, the audience have obviously had enough – it’s light outside and the birds are tweeting. I nervously finger my well-crafted, 4 page speech in my pocket. Everyone else is giving short ‘n’ sharp speechettes. The UKIP guy can’t be bothered to say anything he’s so pissed off, so it’s my turn. I pull out the wad of A4, the crowd sigh.

What would Mel Gibson say at a time like this? Easy, He’d chuck the speech away, thank the Returning Officer, Jane and Anne Marie, his assistants, the counters and his agent. Then he’d shout "Freedom" at the top of his voice….. Ohhh, and "We demand an English Parliament Tony - or else"…

Everyone claps. I don’t know whether it was the message in my speech or the relief at its brevity. I punch the air, hoping against hope that just at that moment, Tony Blair had somehow fallen through the ceiling above to meet my well clenched fist.

The winning Labour candidate, or ‘cardboard box’ as she is known in this area looked at the floor. Bloody hell, I’m no Reg Keys but she looked just a little embarrassed there I think. I walk over to her to shake her hand….

"Hi Rosie, congratulations….. Oh, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of me in the future"…

She looked worried. She obviously didn’t know that I am a fully paid up member of the awkward squad….. But she does now!

Triumphant. I link arms with my agent, my soul mate, my wife Alfreda. We deftly avoid all the no-mark local hacks trying to interview anyone wearing a rosette and saunter past the guard of plod at the door. We stroll out into the weak, watery wet morning light and go home.

The deposit was lost – but it just didn’t matter. By standing I had given people in the constituency an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction at the current political system – all 525 of them.

What was it Bill Shankly once said? "First is first and second is nowhere"…..

Well you were wrong Billy boy. Great footy manager you might have been, but you knew bugger all about elections.

First is first is a cardboard box, but 525 is a bloody miracle mate…..

21 comments:

Tony Cima said...

Well done Alfie. You're my hero.

Mike said...

Aye, well done Alfie.

Cardboard Box would never have got my vote because of the positive discrimination used to place her as a candidate. BTW: Why is she known as that? The Tory had no chance as he lived outside the constituency, I never vote for anybody who doesn't live in the constituency so the Tories will never get my vote. The Lib Dem's totally lost it when they said that they would give criminals a vote. UKIP are a joke I haven't a clue how they got so many votes. But they aren't the reasons I voted for you, I read your leaflets and liked what they said and I knew you meant it. 8-)

Oh and the last guy only had one thing on his agend the repeal of section 28, also in his photograph he looked like a raving loony.

What a pity that the 50 thousandish others who bothered to vote didn't open their minds and take the opportunity to give the main parties a good kicking for their corrupt money grabbing and lying ways.

Will you be giving it another go next time around?

Anonymous said...

A great read Alf, thanks for trying
"the awkward squad" that's a beauty.

alfie said...

Thanks for that Mike - but most of all thanks for the votes - i don't think I mentioned just how humbling the whole thing was - and I'll never forget it. I was the amateur on the night all right, I was completely made up when I saw voting slips with a cross next to my name. The rest were much more cautious, constantly checking with their teams..... Of course, everyone knew the outcome, Rosie Cooper, the non local, non living in the constituency Labour candidate walked it. Her election victory wasn't on 5th May - it was getting selected to stand in this constituency in the first place. It was an absolute gimme she was going to win. The Labour Party could have put anything up for Parliament - and they would have still won.... a donkey, a cake...... or even a cardboard box!

I have to say, I think she'll be bloody useless. She lives in Liverpool, was formerly a Lib Dem councillor there and switched allegiance around 5 years ago. We had a debate in Skem a couple of weeks ago in front of an audience of local people. She just trotted out the usual Tony-clone stuff...

The most entertaining guy on the night was the Clause 28 man. His oratory skills were fantastic, it was just the words and what he said - absolutely bizarre. He wasn't allowed to speak at this declaration because apparently he had been racist and homophobic in his speech at the previous election. He also stood this time in Crosby as well - I don't know, he really must like chucking his money down the drain.

I don't know whether I'll stand again - they've already pencilled me in for the next one, but there definitely seems to now be a head of steam to right the wrongs of this country - and above all get an English Parliament. So I'll just watch the spaces to see what happens.....

alfie said...

p.s.Mike - I've managed to get my mug in the Advertiser, well they couldn't cut me off, I'm stood right next to Rosie Cooper herself!

Anonymous said...

Well Done!

525 votes is an excellent result for a "fringe" candidate.

Congratulations!

Mosher said...

Yours was the only borough I was even remotely interested in come the Friday morning. OK, that and my own... and I checked yours first!

Well done, fella.

Kevin said...

Well done for standing, and what an entertaining article.

Good luck next time as well.

Shooting Parrots said...

Well done lad. I've been waiting for this post. Speaking of which, it isn't the first past that wins, but the one with head heldest high.

Complete bolllocks in this case, but I hope you take my point.

You stood up and were counted (literally) and were not found wanting. And your blog the other politicos into the long grass.

Good luck to you and make 'em have it.

Mike said...

Your mugshot was in the Skem Advertiser too.

Toque said...

You lost, but a huge consolation must be that no Labour manakin can write like that.

I hope that you take a four year sabatical from politiking to concentrate on ripping her and her parties policies apart with your pen.

Sarsparilla said...

Congratulations! Rare to read about something on a blog that's important...

I loved the even handedness of your line "What would Blair or Howard do?"

John said...

So 525 people think that Alfred's OK. That's bloody great mate.

Birdman said...

I salute you Alfie and Alfreda. Do it again. And again.
Great writeup too.
You've done yourself and England proud.

pogo said...

*clapclapclapclapclap*

You're a star, Alfie! Inspirational stuff!

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