Thoughts while cycling and having a pint

It was like a wee yappy dog stampeded the herd into the jaws of the waiting wolves.

“Better the predator we know” mooed the English.

The herd philosophy was … do herds have philosophies?

The herd instinct was “they’ll mainly pick off the weak and sick”.

Perhaps true…

Unless of course the predators have become stronger, more cunning, more capricious,

And have found a taste for richer meat.

2015 05 10 Lapworth locks (1)

Lapworth lock – penned sketch, overlaid with a light dusting of conte crayon

2015 05 10 Lapworth locks (2)

Lapworth lock – pen, ink and water sketch from the bike

When I last cycled here, it was winter.  I did not stop for beer and put a more opaque layer of pastel and conte crayon over the penned sketch.

Schroedinger’s election

It’s six in the morning and I write this after taking down the election poster, but not yet knowing the outcomes.  Reflecting my mood, I am listening to Leonard Cohen’s Famous Blue Raincoat.

The last polls suggested the leading parties were neck and neck, leadership of the next government balanced on a knife edge.  For as long as I don’t look, this is still true: we have at one and the same time both Labour and Conservative-led coalitions.  In a few minutes, I will collapse the probabilities by looking.  And I fear that what I will find is a Conservative near majority.  Their interests converge with those of the Scots Nationalists in breaking up the country so a narrow cadre of financial interests can rule without check the broken remnants.

2015-05-08 06.35.37-1

Election day was also my son’s tenth birthday.  The day turned out themed around sloths, his totemic animal.  Here he is last weekend, sitting on the train reading Philip Pullman on his way to watch his mother run her first 10K race: 58 minutes by the way.

2015-05-07 19.23.39-1

Here are my remaining sketches from the last week, an attempt to visualise the bird beneath the feathers.

2015-05-07 19.21.47-1 2015-05-07 19.21.47-3 2015-05-07 19.22.50-1

2015-05-07 19.24.47-1  2015-05-07 19.24.09-1  2015-05-07 19.23.21-1 2015-05-04 18.28.35

2015-05-07 19.21.32-1

Rainbow

Up and down the roads, I see giant, smug-blue bills being posted, supporting the Conservative Party candidate in the General Election. In this constituency, just 175 votes (0.03% of the electorate) separated the Liberal Democrat winner and Conservative runner-up in 2010. It is a top target for the Conservatives to win.

Tactical voting 3

Our house is divided between Labour (signified by red) and Green supporters (and one undeclared!).  It makes sense to us to support the Liberal Democrat candidate (signified by yellow).  As no party poster represents our views, I have made my own.   It would be fun to see more home-made election bills going up, especially (from my point of view) if they shared this rainbow of party colours.

Tactical voting 1a

Home-made poster now on display, much to the embarrassment of my family who think I am a bit mad.

The current predictions are that Labour and Conservative will each win around 270 seats, with 325 required for an overall majority.  The Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists will hold the balance of power and, with a predicted solitary Green MP, could support a Labour minority government or left-leaning progressive coalition.  The more seats the Conservatives take, the more likely they are to lead a government, driven rightwards and towards authoritarianism by their extremist wing and partners.

To those who say we should always vote true to the party we support, I say this.  Let the parties take care of themselves.  As voters, we have to game the system against the odds, to get the government closest to what we want.

Tactical voting 2

This was my first attempt at a home made poster.  I like the idea of voter-driven reciprocity to challenge the system whereby parties take some seats for granted whereas a handful of marginal seats determine our futures. Using this website, I was really pleased to have had a promise of a Labour vote in Hammersmith from a Lib Dem supporter in exchange for my Lib Dem vote locally.  However, the vote swapping site seems to lack sufficient participants to be really viable.