yes yes I know, it will be over soon. Cllr Willis has helpfully published the full list of candidates in the borough of Reading. He even indicates who is incumbent and who stood the previous year in that ward. He notes that Minster is marginal. Yes indeed, Mr Salter was viscerally attached to that ward, for reasons he would probably seek a super-injunction to avoid having to explain. However, he is fishing in Australia (he said he was coming back in early 2011 but seems to have changed his mind: funny how when I went to work in Latvia, where people go from the UK for stag weekends, he called it "far-flung", but Australia is somehow closer to home. Oh.) and presumably will have nothing to say on the subject. My favourite names of those who are standing are both LibDems, in Minster and Norcot respectively: Roy Perestrelo, who sounds like a minor character in a 1990s Bond film, and Hoyte Swager - imagine Mr and Mrs Swager looking down on their newborn and saying fondly "I think we'll call him Hoyte, and perhaps he'll grow up to be a LibDem". No. It's too unbearable. Someone commented on an earlier post that Park will go Green, with Basher and Cllr Hussain fighting it out, literally given Basher's record and that of Park Labour, for second place. I am doubtful about this. Cllr Hussain actually has a proven record and is a decent man, which people believe is rare in politics and they appreciate it greatly when they find it, and are willing to vote for it. Basher Mackenzie is mentally ill and prone to violent behaviour, and is also a person of extremist views. Whatever his religious affiliation, I do think that playing guitars and singing hymns in the street is (a) embarrassing and (b) not a vote-winner. I do not see evidence of any likely Labour gain from Conservative. And without that it is going to be difficult for Labour to take control back, especially now that some of the stones have been lifted and the corrupt antics of the previous Labour administration revealed. People don't like politicians who are crooks. I promise you they don't.
My little poll, which will remain until polling day next week, has shown a late surge for some fat girl no-one has ever heard of to become the next leader of the Labour Group, but she is still behind Rob White, who has voted with Labour just about all the time, and revealed in an email to me that some Labour politicians had criticised him for not voting with them often enough. So that's clear. Vote Green in Park and get Labour. In Wokingham, by contrast, there is a distinct possibility of a Labour gain, which would be rather splendid news. I say no more, for now.