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[Top secret] From the election briefing….

[Top secret] From the election briefing….

🕔10.Apr 2015

Our Secret Agent has filed another report.

The local authority organised a briefing on the whole election process. We think maybe the Secret Agent stuff is going to his head….

Control:  I got the message via the dead letter box, green lighting the seminar on election law. I aimed to keep my profile lower than a snake’s belly. I pulled down the brim of my fedora, turned up the collar of my overcoat, checked the cyanide pill in my hollow tooth and made my way to the rendezvous (we get the picture, move along– Ed.).

I sat towards the back of the room, particularly mindful of the presence of a couple of police officers up front. From the Economic Crime Unit they claimed. Maybe they were, maybe SB.

Some guy calling himself the Chief Executive of the Council did most of the talking. He kept referring to “The Commission”. These – and the alleged police presence – are the ones we need to keep off our case.

Chief reeled off lots of paperwork, dates, times, documents to be signed and counter -signed. The whole nine yards.

Then the lowdown on MPs. This guy really blew the lid off. Like you knew that an MP didn’t have to be British? No way. Irish or most Commonwealth countries is good enough. Also to be eligible to stand as an MP there is no requirement that the guy is registered to vote here. How’s that? Final kicker for me was to find that only thirty years ago did it become a thing that a dude in prison (or on the run) couldn’t stand.

And, like, to be a councillor, you get shown the door if you have a three month or longer prison sentence in the last five years, but that would be just fine and dandy if you are throwing your hat into the Westminster ring. Stand for the council and you have to get ten local worthies to support you – signatures, names, addresses, etc.. How many names do you think you need to pitch for the Commons gig? Wrong! Still just ten punters.

So it seems that any random Aussie banged up in France who never had the right to vote here anyway  can stand as an MP as long as someone finds ten good men/ women and true to nominate him. Does the Sun know all this? Does UKIP?

While all these revelations are blowing my mind, the folk around me take it all in like mother’s milk. You see – and here’s the thing  – while for the big battalions deep in party HQ, the election is about the supposed national issues and personalities, down here in Blogshire, other matters are overwhelmingly more vital and urgent. On the front, it’s all hand to hand fighting and trench warfare.

Like trees, for instance. No election material on our trees, warns the Chief. What about other trees by the highway asks a determined tree poster. Make sure you check whose trees they are, advises the Chief (NB. do we have any trees signed up to our cause? Better keep our eyes peeled for improperly postered trees wandering threateningly like Triffids through the constituency.)

Also, proxy votes and the control thereof. Postal votes, too. Lots of dark mutterings. (NB. Whatever they are, better keep them out of that Australian’s hands.)

Then there are unhappy grumblings that changes in the location of polling stations are a vicious ploy (by unnamed parties) to confuse elderly voters and prevent them from their exercising democratic rights. Chief promises that former polling places will be emblazoned with notices (in very largest print, I hope) redirecting eager voters to the current location of their ballot box.

Finally, there was much and animated discussion among the old hands about the imprint. (NB. haven’t a clue what, but clearly of vital importance. Urgent research required.) The Economic Crime police pipe up at this point. Best, they said, if electioneering twitter messages carry the imprint. Chief observes somewhat caustically – and a touch gleefully – in that case, the imprint will use up most of 140 characters anyway.

At this point I made my excuses and left. Can’t but feel we are rather a long way behind the curve in all of this. Have returned cyanide pill.


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