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Walking the Tightrope: The Three Ps

"By the time polling day is upon us we've lost the will to live, never mind vote...'' In a British General Election year, Sally Codman is fed-up with politicians and their muck-raking ways.

The ‘Three Ps’ have been exercising what’s left of my little grey brain cells over the past week or so. The ‘Three Ps’? No I’m not worrying myself over that long extinct coin the thruppenny bit, as we called it round here. The ‘Three Ps’ I’ve been busy pondering over these past few days are Politicians, Potholes and Pancakes.

The pathetic prattlings of politicians of all parties are driving me –and I suspect much of the population of Britain – to abandon all hope of ever living in a civilized society. In fact, after becoming addicted to watching ‘The Tribe’ on BBC2 I’m sorely tempted to join presenter Bruce Parry and escape from pre-election Britain.

The isolated Tribes he’s been living with may not have any mod cons but neither do they have the spin-doctors or politicians with verbal diarrhea, who are currently dominating our radios and TVs 24/7.

I must admit that this is the time of year – even when there isn’t a general election in the offing – when I have a bad habit of curling up with the travel supplements and dreaming of a trip to the sun.

And if I’m not doing that I’m reading one of those ‘escape to the sun’ type books with titles like:- ‘Driving Over Lemons’ or ‘The Olive Farm’ or ‘Don’t You Wish You Were Here?’. Okay, I admit to making up that last one but that’s what the others are really saying anyway.

Which brings me full circle, and back to spin docs and politicians. Every time you turn on the radio or TV they’re at it again, slagging off another member of the opposition. If they can’t find any dirt to dig on the candidate or MP themselves (unlikely I know but some politicians are a whiter shade of grey than others) they go after a family member. Failing that the misedemenors of a family pet or a third cousin, twice removed, will do, until they rake up or make up something more damning.

So far we’ve had David Blunkett’s affair, the expense of the ‘First Family’s (that’s Tony and Cherie and not the Royals we’re talking about) holiday flights with the forces – although Charlie boy is also under attack for paying himself a whopping £12m salary last year. And more recently questions have been asked about the size of the ‘cut’ Cherie is taking for her charity tour Down Under and the Tories are threatening to sue The Times.

There were some interesting comments on an internet message board that asked the question ‘Has politics become too dirty?' Replies included; ‘Politics is a dirty game and always has been but today due to the propaganda of mass media coverage it has become infantile’.

Other comments included ‘Politics is no longer about convincing voters your party is the best for Britain – its about convincing them that the other parties are worse’ and ‘Voters get the politicians they deserve, and as many people’s interests are now reality TV and celebrity watching, people want scandal, gossip, and spicy stories and this seems to be what the politicians are giving them.’

Help! – beam me up Scotty, or at least find me a desert island to hide on until the worst bout of Election Fever is over. It's no wonder people don’t bother to vote – by the time polling day is upon us we’ve lost the will to live, never mind vote.

Enough is enough, let’s move on to the ‘second P’ which is all about potholes – at least it is if you live in the Mirfield area. Transco and Yorkshire Water have been so busy digging up the roads that they now have more holes than a Scarborough beach in summer after a visit by the bucket and spade brigade.

Codman Castle escaped with a huge hole at the end of the drive, which you could just squeeze around if you were careful. Other residents haven’t been so lucky. Unfortunates in Knowle Road have been without water for ten hours at a stretch and Station Road is in such a mess that tackling it in anything less than a tank is positively dangerous.

That ‘third P’? – Pancake Day of course, or Shrove Tuesday to us traditionalists. Middle Daughter will, as usual, be chief pancake tosser but my little grey cells are still working overtime trying to decide what I should forgo for Lent this year. In the past I’ve given up chocolate, or booze. This year I think it’ll be something like eating sprouts ……..


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