How STV works

You can try and see how STV will work for the Lib Dem leadership election here, with a working online poll that lets you rank the candidates in order.

At 2.57am, my vote means that Chris Huhne wins after Simon’s second preferences propel him above Ming.

Don’t forget, dear Lib Dem Reader, if anyone asks you who you’re voting for, this is one of the few occasions in a public election when you can legitimately answer:

“All of them.”

Hustings on Radio 4

A special edition of Radio 4’s Any Questions with the three remaining Lib Dem candidates for leadership, started a few minutes ago.

I’ll be at my computer for all the time it’s on.

The other thing affecting my hits

Of course, the other thing affecting how many hits I’m getting at the moment, is an unfortunate combination of phrases in a certain post below that means you get a listing for me if you’re one of the scores of people Googling “oaten shit.” Despite the fact that I don’t link the two together anywhere here, the Google page reference makes it look like I’m dishing some very specific dirt on Mr Oaten.

There is a general frenzy going on to try and discover the details of Mr Oaten’s liaisons with male prostitutes since the Screws was vague on two salient details:

  1. What exactly was the sex act that the News of the World felt was too disgusting to name?
  2. And much more importantly,

  3. Exactly which football strip did Mark like to dress up in?

RecessMonkey tells us that members’ gossip in the tearoom is largely scatalogical, with the occasional fist and hamster reference thrown in.

But news has yet to reach Recess as to the football strip involved. There’s a ten quid prize in it, he reports in a posting entitled Defacation of character.

Lordy me

I get quoted on Iain Dale’s blog (not something I read regularly. Maybe I should.)

My hits go up by about 100 for yesterday. I’d never have thought Iain was that widely read. Despite his owning a bookshop.

Edit: tech question in the comments, techie readers please note.

The Oaten thing

Well, the shock revelations about Oaten in the last few hours have been interesting.

I’m surprised he feels that a relationship with a rent-boy is reason enough to quit his spokesmanship.

The investigation reveals Mr Oaten had a lengthy relationship with a rent boy then aged 23.

The carefully worded news-articles don’t seem to imply this was a paid-for relationship. And there’s no indication of when it was (although “*then* aged 23” with no mention of how old he is now) — was it an adulterous[1] relationship, or one that ended before he got married?

Either way, the justification from the Screws about why they are running the story at all is pathetic:

Keith Gladdis, Whitehall editor of the News of the World, justified the paper’s story.

He said: “Mark Oaten is an MP, an MP who has been elected on a platform of being a family man.

“He’s also an MP who’s a front bench spokesman – a front bench spokesman who then went on to stand as a potential leader of the Liberal Democrat party. That is someone who quite clearly has a public life.” (From this BBC story)

Guido points the finger at Oaten making hypocritical remarks about prostitution when the issue was debated this week. But Mark’s press release on the subject is measured.

Guido and the Monkey seem to have set it all off with a salacious podcast last week. I’d be interested in a copy if it’s doing the rounds.

Trouble comes in threes. People have been postulating that we’ve had Kennedy with drink problem, Tom McNally confessing to having been an alcoholic in the 80s and now Oaten’s dalliance.

I don’t think that’s it. Tom McNally’s news (I’ve been an alcoholic but I’m fine now) wasn’t much of a bombshell.

Popbitch carried a Lib Dem quickie this week:

Which Lib Dem wannabe leader used to be a regular visitor to a brothel in Paddington where he used to pay girls to shit in their knickers for him, and would then put the dirty pants in his briefcase and take them home?

Given that those are girls, and the Oaten story is about a boy, maybe these words from Stephen Tall tonight

But I am left scratching my head in utter bewilderment that he could have considered standing for the leadership of the party – to succeed a man who was forced to resign because of personal problems – when this story was lingering in the shadows.

are going to end up sounding prophetic by this time next week.

Check out this on Iain Dale’s blog (hold your nose if you need to):

I can’t believe what the newsreader on Sky […] has just said – “My instant reaction was when I heard about this was that it was someone else, but let’s not go there.”

What a sorry mess. There are skeletons hammering on the inside of closet doors tonight.

[1] In googling to try and work out how you spell adulterous, I came across this charming little website that tells you whether you can get divorced or not, with handy yes/no questions about the state of your relationship. Believe marriage irretrievably broken down, but still living together? Reconsider!

New entry for my OPML

I’ve just spent more than the last hour reading posts on Waiter Rant.

Particularly good ones are here, here, here and here. But it’s all a good read.

Before I did my brief spell teaching, and before I got involved in politics, my holiday job was as a cashier in a supermarket. So I know the odd thing about members of the public getting power trips out of being pissy with hapless staff. It seems that forms a large part of poor Waiter’s working life.

But it’s charming to see how well he deals with it, and how uplifting it is to read about it. Plus he seems an all round good egg. And hundreds of readers agree with me, it seems, from the comments on his site.


Lib Dem connectivity issues

Not a good morning — I got to my computer to find

  • My cix e-mail address didn’t work
  • I couldn’t get access to cix conferencing
  • All the Prai sites were suffering a wobbly

As I write, my e-mail address isn’t back up, but the Prai sites have bounced back and offline conferencing is available, whilst web conferencing is still flakey.

The Lib Dems are fairly resilient, and these days, only a tiny proportion use cix. But even so, I felt distinctly unconnected for a short while this morning.