Reviews, Reflections, Recollections

Just a blog filled with my usual irreverent observations about life and all that.

Location: Singapore, Singapore

enjoys reading and is perpetually trying to find space for all of the books he owns in his room. He also enjoys films, and in particular, going to the cinema. Although a self-confessed trivia buff, reports that he is an insufferable know-it-all are completely unfounded. He enjoys a nice glass of tipple now and then, be it a pint of beer, a glass of wine or a single malt whisky.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Election Night

It was the British general election yesterday, so I got to cast my ballot, the very first time that I have voted in an election. Apparently, because I am a Commonwealth citizen with more than 2 years residence in the country (which is taken to be my college address), I am allowed to vote for an MP. This I definitely find rather strange because the same ruling does not apply to any Europeans (such as French and Germans), despite the fact that the UK is a member of the European Union and as such currently has closer ties with Europe than with most of the former Commonwealth. It certainly seems strange, and it was definitely debated whether non-citizens should be given a vote, and indeed the opportunity however indirectly of being able to choose the leader of the country, but I was the last person to complain. Seeing that my ward in Singapore has been an election walkover since before I can remember, or since it was created (whichever came first), my chances of voting in the general election in Singapore are pretty slim.

It was definitely a good night. I went to St Anne's for guest dinner at the invitation of Aisha, and Krizia, Leo, Anjli and Natascha also came. It was definitely fun meeting up with all these old friends again, and the dinner presented an occasion on which we could congratulate Anjli and Krizia on successfully finding jobs. How quick this seems to be, the passing of ones University friends into the so-called 'real' world of corporate finance and banking behemoths - it certainly leaves one to ponder the fact that you are more than half way through your degree, and that graduation is an occurence that is really not that far away. Upon returning to college, headed off to the bar, which was unusually crowded due to the fact that there was a 'bumps' dinner celebrating the College's sporting success in Rowing and Athletics in particular. To explain the term to the non-Oxford people, the word 'bump' comes from the main motivation of the rowing races in the term whereby the boats are placed in a straight line along the river, an even distance apart, and the challenge is to catch up to the boat in front of yours and to 'bump' it. You then start ahead of that boat along the river on the next day. Since the races go on for 4 days, a great achievement would be to achieve bumps on 4 consecutive days, in which the entire crew is awarded blades (which are oars). The Oxford tradition is that the rowers are really given an actual blade, which is about 7 feet (2 metres) long, which is nice I guess, but of considerable practical difficulty in deciding what one is to do with it!

The evening was then spent predominantly in the JCR with a whole bunch of other people watching live BBC coverage of the election, intermixed with some games of table football and pool. I definitely had a good time as I convinced Raj to give me 2:1 odds on a game of pool in order to win back a pint he owed me - the favourable odds given on account of me having had 2 glasses of wine and 3 pints of beer - and I won the match. All in all, not a bad evening, especially considering I won myself 3 pints. Sadly, though, the excitement on the pool table and the table football table (where me and Sam Geen lost a match 10-9 to Sinead and Jason) was not matched in terms of what was happening in the election. Labour did lose quite a bit of its majority, but still won the election quite easily, not that that was ever in doubt. One of the few real moments of the night came when George Galloway, a former Labour MP who was sacked after his pro-Iraqi and in particular pro-Saddam Hussain stance and who was a bit of a radical, won a Labour seat in London and proceeded to give the a harangue that was quite stunning in its vitriol.


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