I’m suffering from jet leg – or physical effects mirroring it – caused not from some wonderfully exotic global destination but two return trips to Loddon Valley Leisure Centre just 20 miles down the road.
The joys of the overnight national election count at the leisure centre fuelled only by sugary sweets, crisps, black coffee and the gloriously inane humour of the media I was tasked with looking after. God bless ‘em.
Bed at 6.30am, a second rate sleep whose restorative effects were rendered utterly ineffective within two minutes of waking four hours later, a hectic afternoon/early evening slavishly attached to my work laptop, and back to the leisure centre bright and breezy the following morning for the borough and parish count. (No sugar but still vats of coffee.)
Today my head and stomach aren’t quite in sync with what my watch and phone clock are telling me. Could really do with some serious ‘zzzzzzzz’.
Democracy in action is wonderful to be part of though. So much more goes on behind the scenes than people think – not just the candidates running ragged on their campaign offensives. A small army of local government and general public are beavering away. There’s the intricacies and protocols of opening postal votes, for example – it’s all rather complicated but also cathartic. (I got quite into making sure the numbers tallied.)
The counts themselves are buzzing; so much anticipation, concentration and excitement almost bouncing off the walls waiting for the first results to be announced. And when they do start, they come in fast and hard.
Of course the results are never going to make everyone happy. Me included. And this election was no different. But until every single eligible person takes the time to vote – and stops whinging about their vote never going to make a difference – the argument about first past the gate and proportional representation cannot seriously be resolved.
Remember there are still millions of people on our little green planet who would die for the chance – and more often do – to vote. Women in this country are still relative newcomers to its luxury.
If turnout had been 100 per cent, who knows what the outcome could have been? So in the meantime people, please wind your necks in and stop throwing your toys out of your prams. Don’t like the result and you didn’t vote? No sympathy.
Vote! It’s as simple as that. Rant over.