Musings From The Padded Cell

Welcome To Bradford.

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
Groucho Marx

In 2015 I wrote an article that upset the poor little local Labour Party.

Having seen it in the Thackley Trumpit – circulation even less than this blog – several weeks on the morons threatened Bill the editor with legal action. Predictably, their bullying resulted in zip.

I simply made the point that, in the 2010 election, in my ward postal votes amounted to 28% of those cast. National figures suggested that this was almost double the average – see analysis.

Dig a bit deeper and the 2015 election results for the five wards in Bradford reveal the following aided by a Freedom of Information request made to the Council in 2015 – see this extract.

Please provide me with the following data in relation to the General
Election 2015 postal voting.
How many postal votes did your council issue?
57,963
How many postal votes were returned to the council?
51,148

There were 218,961 votes cast of which represented a turnout of just over 65% based on an electorate of 332,492. Postal votes amount to just over 23% of those cast which is staggering. In my ward this figure was again 28%.

So, as we regularly bomb the shit out of places far and wide to promote freedom and democracy, back home we have a system that is about as reliable as inking your thumb on exit.

For the last two years my MP has also clearly had super-human powers enabling him not only to sit as an MP but also as a local councillor. Why this is allowed who knows?

With Mother Theresa about to abandon Bradford East – as did Dithering Dave – I was going to cast my vote for David Ward, our previous MP and a thoroughly decent bloke, apart from being a Liberal Democrat. You can’t have it all.

And then he got dumped faster than a fat bird at the school disco by the singularly unimpressive Lib-Dem leader Tim Farron who looks like he has the spine of a camel.

A chance meeting with David last week revealed some horrendous abuses of the hustings process in 2015. Although reported to the Electoral Commission no action was taken, one senses, because places like Bradford do not really matter to Westminster. That’s why nonentities like Farron can play “tough”.

They should matter to us though as voters abandoned to a corruptible process. I sincerely hope David decides to stand as an independent because who else should we vote for?

Here are the likely candidates:

Postman Pat – Labour
You’ve Never Heard Of Me And Never Will – Conservative
Where is Bradford? – Lib Dem
Nigel Farage – UKIP
George Galloway – Any Party Will Do

As I have implied, I am no more a Liberal Democrat than a lesbian but my vote counts and so should yours. Ignore this only if you are happy to be ruled by the mob.

Footnote – as I was penning this piece and before David’s execution the following article appeared in the local rag midweek confirming that Bradford has some real issues when it comes to free and fair elections.

Ninety-two percent of respondents voted yes to the question posed by the paper: Are you concerned about electoral malpractice in Bradford?.

The CEO of Bradford Council, Kersten England is the Returning Officer and all eyes will be on her and the authorities to stamp out thuggery and abuse.

As the article states: The Electoral Commission has long identified Bradford as an area of concern for electoral fraud and the latest figures show the district generates England’s highest number of complaints.

What hope though that they will not attempt to duck the issue again leaving Bradford betrayed and abandoned?

One Hundred Years Ago

Contrasting and compelling news as casualties mounted at the Front including a Bradford Northern player. Back home a new cricket season started with the blessing of those still fighting bombs not balls.

Surely they fought for something far better than the above?

Quote Of The Week

T&A 24th April 2017

Having found this car parked somewhat creatively Plod was quoted in the attached article as follows: “We attended and put a ‘police aware’ sticker on the car. There was no suggestion it was causing an obstruction.”

Only in Bradford.

There’s Going To Be A Heatwave

Keeley predicts a heatwave.

Our summer recruit arrived this week and we welcome Chris Opperman to the Villas from the somewhat warmer climes of South Africa. Fortunately I have a new boiler so acclimatisation should be easy.

Given our cricket committee’s description of his landlord and mentor for the next four months – me – as a “fifty-plus bloke who lives on his own and likes writing” clearly his mum obviously needed some reassuring.

I thought about confessing I was learning to bake cakes…maybe not. Anyway, to his parents Penny and Rudi, I can offer some evidence of the delights Chris will find in what we hope will be the time of his life with us.

Exhibit 1 – the local club scene and far too close for comfort.

We’ve already introduced him to the strange creamy beer that locals rely more than water on. When he ventures here for a quiet beer, on arrival he will be greeted by one of the hostesses.

Understanding what she is saying may take some time but a word of advice to the young man – avoid all invitations to the dark cellar and try not to look down her top. Never say she is looking anything other than stunning unless you like a beer shampoo.

Exhibit 2 – Our Jackie

The Scruffy – as we call it affectionately – contains some of life’s characters and Chris will soon get used to texts from a certain Big Al suggesting refreshments. These should be avoided at all costs on health grounds.

Exhibit 3 – buy one get another the same price!

Although I may have suggested this den of iniquity is a haven for slightly older people, youngsters do frequent.

Exhibit 4 – far too old to chat up and engaged to a giant.

Local tycoons and entrepreneurs also pop in on occasion to offer balance. Prayers are offered at the anointed time of 8pm each and every Sunday. Absence is permitted only by a note from your mum in handwritten form only.

Exhibit 5 – Three very simple folk known to meet 8pm Sundays for worship

This is a happy place and one where, on the odd night when Sky Sports, my hidden box set of Baywatch or endless chuntering about broad beans fails to entertain, can always be relied on.

Welcome to The Scruffy, to the Villas and to the inimitable mad world that is Bradford.

Have a great weekend all.

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