Thursday, 28 April 2011

Not so normal, even in Norfolk

What with the Eurofighters practicing their formation flying over head yesterday and the dress, charity and grocer's shops in Swaffham paying suitably reverential homage to the soon to be wed couple in a slightly cheap and plasticy manner, this week is certainly not normal. Not to fear, even in the country which has been closed for over a week the county of Norfolk still provided us with the NFN stories. There was the man on incapacity benefit working as a claims processor in a Norwich Jobcenter Plus and the burglar who took his swag of a TV on a number 10 bus, having previously asked a passer by where the nearest bus stop was and waiting there for his getaway vehicle to arrive. Even the weather just isn't, well, very British. Too much sun and warmth for too long for April, even the north easterly wind in Breckland today and yesterday didn't require an overcoat for comfort on the daily dog walk. But what could be more British than the royal family, parental lineage aside? A pre wedding poll suggest the majority still think so, giving the blue-bloods a 2:1 thumbs up. But wait, this was a Twitter poll which is not representative of the population as a whole. Twitter, as we all know, is only used by middle aged men, lazy journalists and Stephen Frylets. Perhaps the country should have a vote on it. But that's no good either because, like all elections, there is no compulsion to participate like in forward thinking countries like Australia. The same with the Alternative Vote referendum on May 5th, only those enthused either way will bother to have their say. Why we are compelled to fill in a census form, whether you randomly tick boxes and profess to worship Yoda the Jedi master or not, but not to vote is an enigma to me. Even if you believe that every option is as bad as the other, spoil your ballot paper in protesting disgust. Democracy is the central theme of this discourse. Whether we keep the monarchy, watch the nuptial pantomime paid for out of what is meant to be a bankrupt country's purse or get the MP who upsets the least amount of people possible, it should always be a majority's decision of the country as a whole. Along with democracy comes the right to protest and today's clean up of undesirables who may have protested tomorrow smells of the kind of tactics used by nations with the word 'Democratic' in their name which, you can be sure, guarantees that the country is anything but.

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