The UK election results are all in – 650 seats declared.

Conservatives “win” with 331. Labour, Lib Dem and UKIP leaders resign in “defeat”, a logical yet frustrating consequence of a first past the post system where loser apparently takes nowt. At least in horse racing you get 25% odds with a place.

So. Five more years of binary debate, rule by lobbyists, and everything must go economics. Fabulous.

Mood today:

No, really:

“Old, tired, worn out, second-hand sentences.”

Envisaging a spike in searches for info on Electoral Reform now.

Author JK Rowling, the BBC reports, has contributed cash and controversy to the debate on Scottish independence in the UK.

She marked her £1 million donation to the ‘Better Together’ campaign, which aims to keep Scotland in the UK, by suggesting that some nationalist critics in Scotland were “a little Death Eaterish for my tastes”.

“Death Eaterish”…

The Death Eaters, to gloss for people who have not read the Harry Potter books, are pure-blood supremacist wizards, who wear a special mark on their arms and follow their dark leader, operating outside the normal laws of magic.



Death Eaters

Death Eaters

Some Scottish nationalists are a little bit like Death Eaters, though, to use Rowling’s whimsical analogy. Definitely not the SS.

Given the potential consequences (positive and negative, on all sides) of Scotland choosing independence from the UK, we will of course see such high profile figures choosing to draw attention to the referendum, and particular arguments.

I am amused but a bit discomfited by the commentary associated with this development, where the foregrounded issue seems to be Rowling so doing in such a self-reflexive manner. It is almost as if this point is secondary to Rowling proving Godwin’s Law at a relatively early stage of proceedings.

Still, it will almost certainly get dirtier, tricksier, as the campaigns before the referendum intensify. And definitely populist, lowest common denominatorish. Perhaps we can look forward to, say, the cast of Taggart throwing out epithets such as “murderous-criminal-like”. Or Ian McDiarmid: “Sithy.”

Salutations to Julia at ten minutes hate, keeping calm and carrying on in Japan. Scanning the telescreens this morning, I read with dismay that we (The UN), principally the US, UK and France, are once again lobbing cruise missiles into Libya. The precise reasoning for ‘our’ involvement here and not in Bahrain or Yemen, for example, remains unclear.

What might George Orwell have thunk, I wondered?

When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases — bestial, atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder — one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them.

(From Politics and the English Language, George Orwell, 1946)

M. le Président