accidento’s Guide To Voting

May 6, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Posted in advice | 3 Comments
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Still agonising over your choice at the polls? Help is at hand! Follow my simple voting guide and place your cross with confidence.

First question: Is your constituency a safe seat? Yes? Congratulations! You’re one of the lucky ones – FREE to vote with your heart! Go, examine the manifestos in minute detail! Quiz your candidates mercilessly at the hustings!

Of course none of this will make a sod of difference because the outcome’s already certain, so (unless you happen to support the outgoing MP, in which case you have my permission to look slightly pleased with yourself) you might as well wrap your voting slip round a brick and chuck it through the UKIP candidate’s window. In fact, that’s probably a more effective gesture than using it to vote.*

So, you’re in a marginal constituency? DAMN. This should be the sexy scenario, right? Every-body wants you! Every-body wants your love! Leafleters and canvassers are all OVER you. Lock up your baby in case someone tries to kiss it.

The SINGLE good thing about being in a marginal constituency is EDDIE ACTUAL IZZARD might show up.

eddie & josh

Other than that, it’s rubbish. If you like the outgoing MP, you have to fret about all your neighbours suddenly deciding they’re going to vote for the Stop Costa Coffee Coming To Little-Itching-Under-The-Armpit party, letting the rival in by mistake. If you don’t like the outgoing MP, you have to vote tactically**, which is like that time you were in the school play and you had to kiss Martin Notyourtype while your real love, David Blindtoyourcharms, flirted carelessly with the third years.

But! you cry. There are other options! I could spoil my ballot! Or maybe not vote at all!

Firstly, spoiling your ballot: No. No. Believe me, over-worked up-all-night vote-counters are NOT separating that pile of dog-eared scraps into ‘people who are definitely making a considered gesture about the inequity of the first-past-the-post voting system’ and ‘people who don’t understand that you only vote for one person’. Really. You’re wasting your time.

Secondly, not voting at all: They’re all the same, right? You can’t tell them apart! Except, well, you can. They may all be bastards, but there are degrees of bastardry. As Dave Walker points out in his cartoon, even if you don’t vote, plenty of people will, and you might not like their choices. And also, Emmeline Pankhurst.

dave walker cartoon

So, there you go. I suggest you hold your nose, vote, and then join the Electoral Reform Society. Or move to Scotland. The SNP have definitely pledged to get rid of midges and snow. Definitely.

* I know UKIP aren’t a thing in the 2019 election, but I liked this line so I kept it in.

** NB. You most definitely should vote tactically. You can look up how to do it most effectively in your constituency here. And if you need any more persuading, here are the wonderful Spooky Men’s Chorale to persuade you:




Champions Of Sports Personality Book Of The Annual Cycling Dinner Awards Year Show Evening

December 2, 2013 at 10:58 am | Posted in cycling | Leave a comment
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*.♥.*.☆.*.♥.*.☆.* Now updated with NOMINATIONS and RESULTS! *.♥.*.☆.*.♥.*.☆.*

I was tired of reading about everyone else going to glitzy sports dinners in posh dresses and sparkly heels, getting inadvisably drunk and behaving inappropriately. Having completely failed to blag any invitations this year, I decided to put on my own awards.

I’m proud to present the inaugural Champions Of Sports Personality Book Of The Annual Cycling Dinner Awards Year Show Evening. The award categories are below.

Nominations all received two (2) or more votes. 

Sports book we are most likely to sit with ostentatiously in cafés

You don’t have to read it. It doesn’t even have to be in a language you understand. But by perusing it, you’re signalling your in-depth knowledge of the sport, your discerning taste, your general inside-trackiness, your ineffable cool. Just make sure you’re holding it the right way up.

  • Tim Krabbé – The Rider
  • Matt Rendell – The Death Of Marco Pantani

Sports book we sleep with under our pillow and will not lend to anybody, not even you, sorry, but, you know

This may/ may not be dedicated to you personally and signed by the author in his/ her ACTUAL HANDWRITING. You may/ may not recall him/ her looking you directly in the eye and asking, gently, ‘Is that one L, or two?’

  • David Millar – Racing Through The Dark
  • Matt Rendell – The Death Of Marco Pantani

Sportsperson whose no-holds-barred autobiography we would most like to ghostwrite

Someone out there must be seducing their ex-wife’s stepdaughters/ poisoning their rivals with strychnine-tipped spokes/ running a cyclocross series as a front for an international drugs operation. Someone. Who?

  • Andy Schleck
  • Jens Voigt

Sports commentator we are least likely to turn the sound down on

We all mute the commentary and do our own, don’t we. But when your telly-watching priorities are stuffing your face with Kettle Chips and trying to persuade your partner to massage your feet, whose dulcet tones and questionable insights are least likely to offend?

  • Magnus Backstedt
  • David Harmon
  • Declan Quigley

Sports magazine we are least likely to reach for when stuffing wet cycling shoes

Online newspapers are all very well, but they’re not very absorbent. Happily, most of us still have a few cycling magazines lying about the place. Your decision in this category may be based on magazine content, or the texture and malleability of the pages.

  • Cycling Plus
  • Cycling Weekly
  • Procycling
  • Rouleur

Sportsperson we’d most like to be stuck in a lift with

This all-star, flagship category is a joint venture with @inspireajen, as a replacement for the increasingly irrelevant SPOTY. What you do in the hypothetical lift is entirely up to you, of course.

  • Mark Cavendish
  • Bernhard Eisel
  • Jessica Ennis
  • Marcel Kittel
  • Richie Porte
  • Marianne Vos

The results (including a last-minute Editor’s Choice category, as I was upset none of my favourites had made the final cut) were announced via twitter in an all-star, glittering virtual awards dinner on Saturday, 7th December 2013. Everyone dressed up! The fizz flowed, the canapés were trodden into the carpet, and various unsavoury behaviour was ignored-on-purpose.  Read my Storified summary of the evening here

*.♥.*.☆.*.♥.*.☆.* Thanks to all who voted and ‘attended’ the dinner! *.♥.*.☆.*.♥.*.☆.* 

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