Archive for November 15, 2012

Flying Visit

Posted in Biographical, Education, Politics, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on November 15, 2012 by telescoper

I’m still at home at 10am on a weekday, which is unusual, but that’s because I’m soon going to be doing the familiar schlepp to Heathrow airport in order to get a flight to Copenhagen. The purpose of this little trip is to participate in a PhD examination at the Niels Bohr Institute. I’ve never taken part in a Thesis Defence in the Danish system before, although I’ve done many equivalent examinations elsewhere, so I’m quite looking forward to finding out how it works. Will it be much different from the system we have in the UK? Probably, as it is a much more public occasion. Will that necessarily make it better? I don’t know. I was reading the thesis last night, actually, and it’s very interesting which is another reason to look forward to the occasion. I might even get time for some shopping too.

Anyway, before going to the airport I am going to pop along to the local polling station. Today is the day for the Election of the Police and Crime Commissioner for the South Wales Police Area. I’m going to the polling station not because I have a burning desire to vote – the list of candidates is extremely uninspiring – but because I feel I should register a protest at this farcical waste of public money at what is supposed to be a time of austerity. The political class in this country has never been held in lower esteem than at present and the last thing we need is more politicians, helping themselves to six-figure salaries at taxpayers’ expense.  More politicians does not mean more democracy. We already have local council elections, Welsh Assembly elections, General (Parliamentary) Elections and European Parliament Elections. We don’t need any more! This Election is a complete waste of time and money.

I intend, therefore, to visit the polling station and, instead of putting a cross in a box, write a strongly (but politely) worded message voicing my opinion on the matter thus spoiling my ballot paper. It will be the first time I’ve ever done such a thing, but this is the first time we’ve had such a stupid election.

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