As I write the French are going to the polls for the first round voting in their presidential elections. One of our neighbours drove yesterday to Lyon, 500kms away, as that is where she is registered to vote. Another of our friends is driving back from Lyon so they can vote here where they are on the electoral roll. I am not sure if voting is compulsory in France but more importantly they seem to have no on demand postal voting system that has so corrupted and perverted our UK general elections.
On demand postal voting was introduced by Labour under the excuse it would increase the turnout. The reason was Labour knew it would play into the hands of Islamic so called community leaders and heads of family who would control the voting papers of a hundred people at a time and who could then be targeted by Labour activists. Its so much easier to work on 200 people than 20000!
I have seen the same system at work in the LibDem rotten borough of South Somerset where the votes of old people in residential homes are in the hands of wardens many of whom are fully paid up political activists.
It is time we returned to Churchill's definition that democracy is a man in a polling booth with a pencil and bit of paper. The French have stuck to that principle. If you want to vote you go to the polling station where you are registered unless you have a medical or other valid exemption eg serving in HM's forces.
Yesterday thanks to satellite I listened to the morning, 11:00, Radio 4 politics programme where Peter Kellner, pollster and husband of Baroness Frumpy head of the EU foreign service, lead a discussion on the thesis that the domination of UK politics by the three big parties with a panel consisting of George Galloway of Respect, Caroline Lucas of the Greens and Nigel Farage. Galloway was outstanding and Green was very good. As per usual Farage blustered but Kellner eventually nailed him. The discussion had turned to the prospect of Galloway retaining his seat next time. Kellner opined that George would easily win again in Bradford and Lucas in the gay capital of Brighton. Kellner, obviously pissed off with Farage's irrelevant bluster, offered Farage a wager that UKIP would not win a single Westminster seat in the next UK general election. Farage huffed and puffed and did not like being nailed to the wall but eventual had to concede a £10 bet on Ukipnot winning a seat next time!
Kellner is certain to win his bet but will Farage pay up? The fact that a respected and experienced pollster like Kellner was prepared to offer such a bet on air shows how irrelevant Fartage's EUKIP is as a serious UK political force. The most he will ever achieve is a few 90 second sound bites sponsored by the EU to make the anti-EU supporters look silly.
The other big piece of UK news was wee George kindly offering the elegant, hobbling, Christine another £10 bn of our money so she can further her 2017 French presidential campaign. It will also ensure some well paid EU sinecures for former members of the Bullingdon when they get kicked out by the UK electorate in 2014.
It is laughable. Note the US have refused to cough up and pointed out the Germans who are members of the EU have lots of spare dosh. But of course the Dr Frau's Thatcheresque principles stand in the way. Christine may be fragrant with a big designer handbag but Angela is keeping her money belt tight.
The EU is reported on French TV today as asking for a 6.8% increase in their budget for next year. Austerity is for the little people not EU apparatchiks!
I get back to the UK late on Thursday just in time to miss QT but it was good to catch Andrew Neil with Gisella Stuart. The main thing I learned was that the French also hate the Euro as much as we do. Only Sarky of their candidates support the EU. Marine and Francois both want to leave. They can see France going the same way as Spain, 25% unemployment etc. Certainly French builders are short of work judging from our personal experience.