This is my final blog on the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. I’m looking forward to moving on from it, and blogging about other topics. In my notebook I have 14 (!) blog posts in various stages of stages of completion, as well as about half a dozen more I want to write and haven’t got round to starting yet.
Now When the bloody thesis is written I can finish some of these.
In this post I just want to give a few worthy plugs and say a few quick thank-yous, which I hope will not stray into the self-indulgent territorry.
My earlier post was long enough without discussing the votes received by the other parties in last night’s result, but I think they merit a quick mention. The BNP lost their deposit, lost 1000 votes from May and came fifth behind UKIP, which can only be A Good Thing. For their part, UKIP gained 300 votes from their May performance, with most disgruntled Tories seemingly voting Lib Dem or staying at home.
In Labour/Lib Dem marginals the votes of the other left-wing parties are always going to be squeezed, and it proved the case yesterday for the Greens and the Pirate Party.
The first of our thanks and plugs I should give a quick mention to Loz Kaye and the Pirate Party. Loz seems a very decent chap, and the head of a party with an interesting set of issues. I hope we hear more from Loz and the Pirates over the coming years.
Richard Jones at the Saddleworth News deserves a massive pat on the back for his incredible by-election coverage. Anyone he did not interview was probably not worth interviewing, and for a one-man-band his workrate was exceptional. His daughter also become a minor celebrity in the course of the campaign.
Also, thanks to those who wrote the online hustings posts: four candidates, Jonathan Arnott as well as guest-bloggers Paul Cotterill, Simon Turner and Nick Thornsby. They were all interesting and informative, and popular to boot, so thank you all.
Of course, there is one final goodbye:
Now that the by-election is over, it’s the official end of the Phil Woolas saga. No more stirring up of racial tensions, no more getting the white vote angry, no more seeing him on TV, no more of, well, all the horrible things he did and said.
Sadly, it won’t be an end to friends mentioning “Phil Woolas” to me merely to provoke a reaction, but I’m learning to cope with that
thanks to numerous, extensive sessions with a whole battalion of therapists.
I’m now going to go with the pub, discuss the by-election a bit more, and then never write about Phil Woolas again. And I can’t tell you how good that feels.
Have a good weekend everyone!