Wallpaper* 100

Happy 100th issue to Wallpaper* magazine! The new issue flopped onto our doormat this morning and, once read, will be added to the not-quite-like-the-picture-on-the-cover-because-they-are-mostly-in-boxes-in-the-attic pile of back issues that I possess. My collection is sadly incomplete – I’ve every issue from number 9 onwards (including all the recent limited-edition-cover issues) and just about anyone could become my friend (at least until next week) if they were to assist me in obtaining issues 1 to 8 (and it’s my birthday on Saturday, so it would make a great present. Of course, if you’re struggling for present ideas, then there is always my very handy Amazon wishlist, which can be found by going here. Alternatively, just send beer. And cash.).

links for 2007-05-03

Vibrant local democracy

I’ve just been for a short stroll across the Ruralville village green to the Village Hall. There, I placed two Xs on a ballot paper (I always find multiple choice questions to be much easier), reflecting my views on local issues and not on national ones.

Ruralville is a small ward, with around 250 voters. Voting here is never a chore, as there is never a queue and the short stroll is a chance to enjoy the view down the valley, admire the spring colours of the trees and listen to the cuckoos (birds, not politicians). The two ladies looking after polling today were not anticipating a high turnout (“we spotted you coming across the green, so we had a moment to hide our teas and paperbacks!”), although I did find another voter entering as I left the polling station, doubling the turnout.

The question is, in a district where the council has been held by one party for 37 years, is it important to vote? Well, clearly the answer must be “yes”. If you are a supporter of the incumbents, then it is important that they have a clear mandate from the electorate to carry out their policies. If you do not support them, then clearly the only way to force change (excluding the possibility of riots on the streets or showering the local council offices with manure) is to use your vote and support an opposing candidate. And, since this is about local politicians applying policies at a local level, issues such as war, income tax and the NHS shouldn’t really come into it.

So, no matter what your politics are, if there is voting to be done in your ward today, go and use your vote. If you don’t and I then catch you moaning about some aspect of local services, don’t be surprised if I come round and give you a stern talking to.

links for 2007-05-02