The day didn’t day go well. I spent the evening as I often do on a Thursday
in a pub in Iain Duncan Smith’s constituency as part of a quiz team. We usually
do quite well, indeed for 14 consecutive weeks last year we won, but last night
we were the Greens of pub quizzes and came an ignominious fifth.
The team consists of three old men and three youngsters - well 38 to 40 is young as far as I am concerned - an accountant, a veterinary surgeon and a school teacher. When the General Election exit poll came up on the TV screen at ten o’clock and everyone jumped to the conclusion that a Jeremy Corbyn led coalition was possible it didn’t take them long to decide that the future lay in emigration.
I left the pub at about ten thirty in the peeing rain only to find the A12 was closed at two major junctions and long queues before Blackwall. As I approached the Danson Interchange on the A2 about an hour later two massive lightning bolts illuminated Bexleyheath; could the night get any worse?
Well yes actually. The Crook Log car park was full and I was directed to a muddy football field.
I was a guest of Danny Hackett at the election count. He was busy as you might guess so I didn’t speak to him very much but a few kindly souls took pity on me and exchanged a few pleasantries, among them June Slaughter, James Hunt, John Davey, John Fuller, Mabel Ogundayo, Stef Borella, Daniel Francis, Teresa Pearce and her agent Grant Blowers as well as several UKIP people.
I had hoped to be able to take a few photos and maybe send out a Tweet or two but a combination of tight security, a ban on technology anywhere near the interesting bits and the fact that my gear was in the boot of a car ‘miles’ away in a wet field put paid to any such idea.
The atmosphere was slightly strange. The Conservatives were disappointed to have ‘won’, my Labour friends were jubilant to have lost and UKIP thought the result was “a nightmare”. Not for them, they didn’t expect to do well, but for the country.
They could be right. It seems a little bit 1974 to me. A Prime Minister goes to the country for no very good reason, comes a big cropper and Labour acquires a foothold much bigger than generally expected.
That didn’t end well well did it? Could Theresa May’s election calculations have been done by Diane Abbott?
You don’t need me to tell you the election result do you? Teresa Pearce thankfully, won Erith & Thamesmead, not that there was ever much doubt, so I am probably safe from arrest for a little while longer. Edward Bexrat (Conservative) did better than he deserved to do and Stefano Borella and Danny Hackett mustered a huge amount of support in the other two constituencies to come a well placed second.
If they can keep the momentum going for another eleven months maybe Labour will not suffer the Council wipe out I was fearing in Bexley. The country has given one bad leader a very bloody nose and this borough badly needs a dose of epistaxis too. We have heard the no longer Fat Controller parading her majority as a reason to ride rough shod over the electorate far too often.
Epistaxis. I’ve not been a member of the Chingford quiz team for ten years for nothing.