Election leaves me feeling flat
It can hardly have escaped your notice that we have elections in a few weeks.
Unlike previous occasions, when I’ve enjoyed the run-up to voting because the time has been mercifully brief, the 2015 election seems to have been with us for ever and, for the first time in my life, I’m struggling to drum-up enthusiasm.
I think part of the problem is that I keep hearing pundits telling us the electorate will decide if it wants a coalition government, and, every time I hear it, my television or radio is in danger of being thrown out of the window.
It’s just nonsense. The electorate in each constituency votes for an MP, not for a prime minister or a hung parliament. Or have I missed those options on my ballot paper in the past?
Since moving to Suffolk 30 years ago, I’ve had a simple choice – to vote for or against Tim Yeo. Nothing else. And whatever choice I made, I knew full well that South Suffolk would remain blue, usually fairly comfortably so.
In the past, I’ve lived in constituencies – Belper, Chorley and the Vale of Glamorgan – which were marginal, and there you really felt that your vote counted. But only to elect an MP.
Something else vaguely political that’s been putting my television in danger these past few weeks is the BBC version of The Casual Vacancy.
The parish council portrayed in the drama is nothing like the ones I have the good fortune to serve on. But then, being a journalist, I’ve led a very sheltered life.
What is it about sporting occasions these days that moments of high drama have to be accompanied by music? Do they really need extra hyping up?
We have football teams in England coming out to Carmina Burana, or the Ride of the Valkyries. Local connections? At least the music AFC Sudbury used to enter the field to – Let Me Entertain You – was a statement of intent, even if it didn’t always happen.
And goals – or tries, as top level rugby is as bad, just watch the Six Nations – are greeted by music over the tannoy. Do we really need to be prompted to enjoy the moment?
The nadir came when a recent AFC manager insisted on a trumpet being sounded, cavalry charge style, for a home corner or free kick near to goal. Understandably, the crowd’s laughter swiftly ensured its demise.
My faith in The Times continues to be undermined. In the past, you could rely on it to get it right when it came to spelling. Not any more.
In the preview of England’s Six Nations match against Italy, fly half George Ford was described as being just 13 stone, ‘ringing wet’. And in the regular weekend feature, the Cool Hotel Guide, one under review was reported as providing breakfasts that were ‘top draw’.
But the error which really had me ready to throw in the towel came on The British Indoor Rowing Championship’s website, where you would not unreasonably expect better.
Checking the results – I was working, I’m not that sad – I found a number of crews representing ‘grammer’ schools. Oh dear.