Tellers, say Wikipedia, help their parties identify supporters who have not yet voted, so that they can be contacted and encouraged to vote, and offered assistance—such as transport to the polling station—if necessary. In as far as this increases turn-out, it can be said to be “good” for the democratic process, since a higher voter turnout is generally considered desirable.
In my time I have sat on wobbly plastic chairs / stood in soggy puddles / leaned on rough brick walls for hours-on-end in a multitude of polling stations across the land, at a variety of elections for all manner of Councils and Governments, as a teller, collecting voter numbers on behalf of a pick-n-mix bag of political parties.
And I can now confirm that the Friday 23 May UK election for the European Parliament was nothing like any other election I have been a part of. From the outset it was clear that voters considered this to be a second Brexit vote, not the General Election for the European Parliament, which it actually was.
As I write, Extinction Rebellion are hosting their final meeting in Berkley Square, to celebrate the return of the nightingale. Down the road, parliament are still at sixes and sevens about Brexit – yes, funny old world we live in.
But together, we can do something about it. Amid the turmoil, we have a real chance to offer voters, fed up with indecision on the things that really matter, a new alternative.
Just as you thought it was safe to venture outside in the lovely spring sunshine, watch out for men in hazmat (short for hazardous materials) suits, often on small tractors, with spray guns.
No they’re not from a new science fiction thriller being filmed in your lovely locality, they are most likely spraying glyphosate again.
Despite ever louder warnings about the unacceptably high toxicity of this chemical, the main ingredient in popular herbicides like Roundup, many local authorities are still plastering our borders and green spaces with glyphosate.
Yet another US court finds the weedkiller glyphosate a ‘substantial’ cancer factor https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47633086 but Camden Council refuses to take action, ignoring my presentation of a 1000 signature petition to stop its use in the borough.
How many deaths will it take before Camden Council wakes up to the potential danger their staff and the public are exposed to?
She’s totally committed to Europe and fights hard for what she believes in.”
Magid Magid, Lord Mayor of Sheffield
Parliament has been Brexit-browbeating the people for a thousand days. And so, fed-up we got up, and marched. Bloodied, but unbowed. I kept reminding myself that I am campaigning to become an MEP candidate for London, while at the same time taking to the streets of that very city, alongside over one million other Europeans, passionately trying to rescue the UK from crashing out of the EU.
All pretty unreal, to be sure.
Frankly, I am also ashamed that it had to get to the point where we now find ourselves staring wide-eyed and ashen-faced into the abyss, before I got off my **se and threw my hat into the ring as an MEP candidate.
Ok, calling all you Green Londoners out there!
Time to do your duty and VOTE
We need a bunch of keen Green candidates for City Hall
I obviously hope you’ll vote for me, but the most important thing is that you VOTE!
It was a proper Christmas, no culinary catastrophes, the family gathered round the table for a feast, no-one’s voice raised above 70 decibels. Bliss. The real tree looked and smelled of Norwegian wood, there were rows of candles, a box full of economy crackers with truly groan-tastic jokes. All just like a real homey Christmas should be.
Then, a few days before New Year’s Eve 2017 and still amid the warm festive glow, a hand-written window envelope fluttered on to the doormat. A late Christmas card? Nah, they don’t come in window envelopes. Probably some neighbourhood thing. I left the letter on the hall table and went shopping. An hour later, warming up with a coffee, I opened the handwritten envelope:
I read on, fully expecting this to be one of those standard communications landlords need to send once a year to comply with the contract. Only when I got to the end of the letter did I realise that this was nothing of the sort:
“Our client has instructed us to commence court proceedings should you fail to vacate the property [within two months of this letter].”
Well, I nearly choked on my croissant. What?! Was I actually being evicted? I had, in a flash, become the star in one of those shocking stories you see on those ‘rogue tenant’ shows on telly. Continue reading →