Result Night Bingo – Sheets

I’ve created some sheets for Results Night Bingo (which I wrote about here) that you can download and print off. Here are the Constituency Bingo Cards. Here are the Phrase Bingo Cards.

Be warned, I’m not 100% the pagebreaks work properly!

HOWTO: Results Night Bingo

Come 10pm next Thursday, the polls will have closed, and there’ll be nothing more any of us can do to influence the outcome of the election. Which of course means it’s time to decamp to our nearest politically aware late-night bar, glue ourselves to the big screens, the swingometers, and the pundits, and watch the results roll in. Sing the Red Flag whenever Lab Hold flashes up, “dah dah dah” along to Land of Hope and Glory when there’s a Con Gain, and if you’re Nick Griffin, bark the Horst Wessel Lied as you lose in Barking and Dagenham. But, results night wouldn’t be as much fun without games! Below’s my suggested rules for:

The Election Night Bingo Drinking Game.

First off, create two Bingo sheets per participant – one with constituencies, and one with ‘results night phrases’ (“swing”, “key marginal”, “tories”, etc.). You can use this handy generator to do so. There’s a list of UK Parliamentary constituencies here. You can make your cards as large as you like, but I’d suggest 4×4 for constituencies, and 3×3 for phrases.

Now, explain the rules to your weary activist friends.

Constituency Card Rules

1. Every time one of your constituencies is mentioned, drink*.

2. When one of your constituencies is declared, do a shot, and mark your card.

2a. If it’s declared for your party, stand up, shout your party’s manifesto slogan, and do two shots.

3. If you get a line (across, diagional, etc.), shout your party leader’s name, and down your drink.

Special Rule: If one of your constituencies is declared and pushes your party into having an overall majority, all other players must buy you a drink. You must then drink these drinks and party into the next day, alternately revelling in victory and taunting your defeated opponents.

Phrase Card Rules

The phrase card rules are much simpler.

1. Every time one of your phrases is mentioned, drink, and mark your card.

2. If you get a line, down your drink.

General Rules

1. Every time a Monster Raving Loony candidate shows up on the footage, everybody shouts “Wahey!” and drinks.

2. Every time a BNP Candidate is mentioned, everybody shouts “Booo!” and drinks.

*NB: drink, in this context, means a sip.

Twitter’s going to go ballistic over this one.

Just a quick post on this because I couldn’t find a way to condense it down to 140 characters. About ten minutes ago, some of the hacks on the campaign trail started tweeting things like “Oh dear” and “Big gaffe from Gordon”. A couple of minutes later it became clear that Gordon Brown had left his mic on when he got back into the car after meeting a woman who had criticised him in Rochdale. Neutral opinion seemed to think the encounter went well, but apparently Gordon thought it was a ‘disaster’ and that the woman was ‘bigoted’.

This obviously isn’t good, and is probably the biggest ‘gaffe’ from one of the leader’s yet. It will probably get coverage in the top sections of the nightly news programmes, and front-page on some of the Tabloids tomorrrow. The twittersphere will go ballistic. I can see some of the usual Tory types mad already. In fact, it will probably become the main topic of discussion amongst tweeters for much of the rest of the day (supposing Cameron doesn’t accidentally on purpose punch a small child and steal her lollipop…)

But I don’t think it will really matter. The echo-chamber of the online world is just that – and it blows these things out of proportion… I may hide while #BigotGate (as coined by @SamuelCoats) blows itself out…

UPDATE: Just to add, my view is that this is best dealt with by apologising quickly – privately on the phone immediately, and then publicly at Gordon’s next event. Cite the high-octane stresses of the campaign.

Is Clegg driving Tactical Voters back to Labour?

I am fortunate enough to live in a Labour/Conservative marginal, so I can vote how I’d like to and know it will make an impact on who wins the seat. But if I lived in a seat where the choice was between the Tories and Liberal Democrats, I’ve always been absolutely clear in my mind that voting Lib Dem was, to quote Jack Aubrey, “the lesser of two weevils”…until now.

Nick Clegg’s been obstinantly oblique in telling us who he might or might not shack up with in the event of a hung parliament. This morning, he lifted his petticoats just a little more and flashed a bit of leg at the Tories – he wouldn’t, he said, support a Labour government that came third in terms of the popular vote, even if we got the most seats. Now, I think this is a foolish stance to take for a number of reasons – for one, Liberal Democrat policy, for all it’s oddities, is much closer to Labour than it is to the Tories. The Lib Dem base is overwhelmingly anti-Tory, and would, I suspect, be much happier as part of a progressive ‘Popular Front’ government than sharing the Ministry with a Tory party that is still deeply regressive.

The second point is more interesting though. As I said above, until this morning, Labour voters in seats where the fight is between Lib Dems and Conservatives could be expected to cast their votes for the Liberal Democrat in significant numbers. However, if Clegg’s going to put such an emphasis on the overall number of votes – and not seats, the measure by which every other government in this country has been formed – he runs the risk of scaring these voters back into a ‘wasted’ Labour vote.

Who knows whether ‘real’ people (ie, those of us not currently eating, breathing and sleeping the campaign and it’s associated ephemera) think about these things on this level, but this may still prove to be a mistake from Clegg…

A blog about a vlog!

If you’re connected with me on Twitter or facebook, you’ll no doubt have seen meĀ  plugging this already. Starting on Sunday, I’ve been working on creating the more-or-less daily vlog for James Plaskitt’s website, and our first episode went online on James’ YouTube channel last night.

Given that I’d never touched Premiere before editing this, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

It’s been exciting putting this together, and I’m looking forward to tonight’s episode, which is going to feature a shiny new school, some really engaged and interested first-time voters, a former cabinet minister, and a dog called Sadie!

Not Flash. Just Gordon. Still Super

@LindaMarric spotted this great picture of Gordon outside No.10 announcing the election this morning (one of his best, as he’s got an unfortunate knack of being caught in unphotogenic poses and outfits). She asked for a slogan on it. I thought he had a kind of Superman bearing going on, which reminded me of ‘Not Flash. Just Gordon.’ from a couple of years ago. The comparison to David Cameron is still apt, so I did this quickly.

Here’s another thought…

A snippet – fighting the fascists, Glasgow Style.

This is just a bit long for Twitter, so here we are.

My Dad was shopping in Solihull yesterday, and as is his wont, he stopped to have a look at the local estate agent window (believe me, he does it everywhere…). An old gent walked past him and out-of-the-blue announced “There’ll be a flat to rent in No.10 soon!”.

To which my Dad’s reply is “Hah, maybe, I suppose, if he calls it tomorrow”.

“Mind you, the lot I go for won’t get in”, continues the rather gregarious passerby. My Dad looks non-committally civil. “I’m BNP, British National Party”, the old man continues.

To which my Dad’s reply is “Well, you can fuck right off then!”

Brilliant! Especially when you imagine my Dad’s side of the discussion being conducted in a Glaswegian accent!