That can’t be right.

That post title could cover so many different wrongs; one of those would be refusing to vote in what is probably the most important election since I first proudly presented my voting card back in Yorkshire. Largely pointless really as the Conservative candidate was hunted down and eaten – a just reward for the temerity of attempting to explain ‘rich people stuff’ to a bunch of flat caps, who considered ownership of a whippet and an outside toilet a rather vulgar show of wealth.

Alison Yoghurt – Liberal – survived because “well she’s just a daft lass in a hand knitted cardigan with a wide ranging policy portfolio essentially honed down to being nice to kittens“, the emerging greens had no chance in a town where coal was forever king, so basically you voted for the dribbling nutter with the novelty hat or the Labour candidate. Often this was the same person.

Amusingly, while South Herefordshire constituency is a tight two way fight between Blue and Yellow, up here in the rarefied air of Ledbury (4 Deli shops in a town of about 19 people), the Conservative candidate (and probably land owner of every single voter) has been returned UNINTERRUPTED SINCE 1926. The majority seems to actually outstrip the registered electorate of the ward and, so confident is the fella in blue, we’ve not received even a token leaflet. Carol has collected – and pointedly – placed campaign literature from the, frankly, desperate other political options in easy reach of my desultory browsing.

I’ve had a look from the rational perspective of a cyclist and beerist, and find none of them fire any enthusiasm for much other than cracking open a bottle. But vote I must, if only to silence the tedious “No Vote, No Voice” refrain from bloody worthies and Guardian readers. I’d rather point them to while shouting “1926, 22,00 Majority, tell me again that big idea about democracy“. Churchill had it right, and I’m sure he’d have given proportional representation the kind of short shrift that anyone who wants to be in charge traditionally has.

And he may have been right again, because I can give you only one example in the whole of history where the output of a committee has been genuinely brilliant. Yep aside from the American Declaration of Independence*, it’s all been politicised fudgery, spin and lost opportunities. I’m still of the opinion that the country would benefit from locking all the party leaders in a room, equipping each with a sharp sword and the last man standing gets to run the country.

Either than or install me as a benevolent dictator – let’s face it, at least I’d sort out those with pointless dogs and caravans. Plus anyone with marketing in their title would be either leaving the country or enjoying the company of a thousand scorpions. See, I’m not even single issue.

So I think a spoiled ballet shall register my disgust and weariness at a political class with noses in the trough and heads up their arse. It’s still a private booth isn’t it? That’ll do just fine.

Hmm, that was meant to be a single pithy paragraph. It appears I was slightly more irritated than I first thought. Anyway invoking a bit more Churchill and continuing the theme of extreme irritation, I have made a proper effort to Keep Buggering On regardless of the fact that the mechanical fairies stalk me still. Yesterday I broke something else – Rockshox make a fork that is the suspension equivalent of a Toyota HiLux. Not terribly sophisticated, bit weighty, aesthetically stunted, but with unchallenged reliability in the harshest of conditions.

I was making this very point to my friend Mike, extolling the robustness and performance of a component which I’d never even considered servicing** and yet was still providing unflinching service. When will I ever learn? Twenty seconds later 140mm of plush travel became 30mm of undamped bonginess followed by a hard wrist-jarring stop. The noise of various parts crashing into each other in an increasing cacophony of brokenness can be simply described as “expensive“.

My attempts to fix it by beating it to death with mile after mile of rocky descent proved unsuccessful. So as part of the revolving door policy I now have with my local bike shop, I offered up the offending items to Nick the mechanic while enquiring if he’d fixed my ST4 yet. He had not but only because I’d failed to furnish him with all the parts needed to do so. So I have a bike and a half being repaired, a bill that will probably have some negative effect on the country’s structural deficit, and no space left to write about what a great Exmoor ride we had.

More of that soon. Until then I’ll be desperately searching the pamphlets for some nugget regarding a grant for Cyclists recently inheriting a Jonah complex.

* and even this was more about taxes and whinging about perceived wrongs, the bit about freedom and the rights of the individual was a bit of an afterthought.

** as it was working. And if I’d serviced it, it wouldn’t be working at all. In fact, I would have probably thrown a blanket over the remains in honour of the tdead.

3 thoughts on “That can’t be right.

  1. Apparently in Worcester my vote counts for less than half a vote but it is supposedly an ‘indicator’ seat and whoever wins here will probably win overall. Nothing will ever change to as the people who benefit from first past the post hold the power to keep it, those who would benefit from PR will never get the power to introduce it.

    “I was making this very point to my friend Mike, extolling the robustness and performance of a component which I™d never even considered servicing”
    …not many trees on Exmoor on which to immediately ‘touch wood’ I take it!

  2. Ian

    “So I think a spoiled ballet shall register my disgust”

    I’m assuming you’ll take your own tutu Al? 😉

  3. Alex

    @Ian. Indeed part of my “weekend wardrobe”. That was poor spelling in the extreme wasn’t it. In my defence, I was very tired. And I’m old.

    @Benny. Yes, you are one chromosone from being “Worcester Woman”, a stereotype for which the main parties lie to get her vote.

    Lots of trees on Exmoor actually. Some lovely singletrack. Would be more enjoyable with a non clanging bike.

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