Posts Tagged ‘election counts’

Count me out

06/05/2012, 01:18:24 PM

by Kevin Meagher

I really don’t like election counts.

No, scratch that: I hate election counts.

Of course it’s something of an occupational hazard, but I have no affection for standing around in a hot and noisy fluorescent hall, listening to boring, ill-informed guesswork about who’s up and who’s down.

Seriously, people stand there extrapolating wildly on the basis of the flimsiest evidence, like 10th century peasants speculating about when the dragon will next appear, is an annual endurance I’d happily pass up. Why can’t we just learn to wait until the results come in?

And any other former agents out there will know how annoying it is to have colleagues who are supposed to be there to sit and watch votes being counted instead float off to natter and plot, sharing defective intelligence about how Harry will beat Roger, only to be exposed as a false prophet moments later.

Hot, uncomfortable and tedious. And as venues for the count are mostly now abstemious, they are even more unbearable.

And there is no better place to be than amid the throng of a count to utterly lose perspective on the national picture.

Most of all I hate the phoney tribalism of the whole thing. The gaps between councillors are so utterly miniscule that the enmity is entirely forced these days. However, the smaller the political differences, the bigger the rosettes.

Was I up for Portillo in ’97? I was – and I actually thought he handled himself with great dignity. The politics of personal destruction is ugly and reductive, whoever the victim happens to be.

Counts represent the triumph of a sugar rush electoralism that puts campaigning above purpose.

But what is that we win to do?

Now that I am interested in.

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Labour Uncut

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