First Past The Post

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 by grahamharrowell

On Thursday you need to get out and vote. It’s largely the fault of those who didn’t turn out at the general election (and my apologies to those who were prevented from voting because the system failed them) that we find ourselves with the Cameron-Clegg calamity.

I’ve favoured proportional representation for a long time but I’m not sure that the single transferable vote is the way forward. In any case I have no intention of letting Clegg justify his selling the students and everyone else down the river, so I’m voting “no” in the hope of him not getting what he wants.

Those opposed to AV put out an election broadcast just after the Grand National, in which they sought to rubbish PR by showing a horse race in which the winner turned out not to be the one first past the post but a poorer performer further down the field. As always with new initiatives (professionalism, yellow and red cards, the sin-bin, kicking out racism) the Rugby Football League has been, and is, ahead of the rest of the field.

Widnes are currently sitting just above the Drop Zone in what is called the Co-operative Championship but is in effect the 2nd Division. The team took another thrashing this weekend and a large number of its players have been sanctioned for fighting and other offences. Despite being 6th in the table Widnes and setting an appalling example of behaviour have the assurance of promotion the the 1st Division (or Superleague as the sponsors News Corp International call it) next season. Leigh, who are hovering around the top of the division and who recently gave Widnes a drubbing, have no chance of promotion. (Weren’t Keighley dealt a similar dirty blow some years ago, I hear you ask. Don’t start me.) At the same time Castleford who have been hovering around the top of Superleague have no assurance that they will not be relegated at the end of the season even if they end up champions.

The sporting metaphor therefore doesn’t carry much weight along the M62 corridor. Up here we know that life isn’t fair. We know that it doesn’t matter how good you are, it matters more that you have lots of money and influential friends. That’s a metaphor for politics today.


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