Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Come on England, Win It for My Son

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Come on England, Win It for My Son

Article excerpt


T'S been a funny old spring.

IFirst of all, the coldest start to May since records began, which has made me feel like we're living through an ice age after such a hard winter.

Then there was the election hullabaloo. Perhaps it was the days of uncertainty following the hung parliament result or that I'm 13 years older, wiser and more cynical than when there was last a change of government.

Or maybe it's because I'm bitterly disappointed about the result and worried about what's to come.

But the world seems a very different place to that ridiculously cheerful, sunny utopia that dawned in the days after Blair's 1997 landslide.

Mind you, 1997 was the first time I'd voted, and an 18-year-old schoolgirl is easily impressed by the person she voted for actually winning. I imagine Joe McElderry's supporters felt something similar after the X Factor final.

Like a true grumpy old woman, however, what annoyed me most about this General Election wasn't the result itself, as deeply dispiriting as I believe it is.

No, it was the people who railed against the closing of the polling booths at the widely publicised time of 10pm. Apparently a 15-hour window of opportunity is not enough for some would-be voters.

I'm six months pregnant and, on polling day, was battling swollen ankles the size of haggises. I still managed to hobble to do my constitutional duty between stints manning our online election live blog.

So, I say that if you turn up at a polling station at 9.55pm along with 100 other halfwits who form a queue that can't possibly be processed by 10, then rant, rave and generally fail to comprehend your misfortune when the ballot is closed, as advertised, on time, you probably shouldn't be allowed a vote in the first place.

But then I'm hormonal. Maybe it's just me. …

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