ZELLA COMPTON: New voting ID trial will put Gosport on the map

Zella is hoping the new poling booth ID trial will put Gosport on the map
Zella is hoping the new poling booth ID trial will put Gosport on the map
Simon Yates competing in the Giro D'Italia

RICK JACKSON: How we love to beat the French on two wheels!

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With local elections just around the corner it’s time for us in Gosport to get out our ID.

We’re one of the test areas in the country tasked with trialling whether taking identification to vote will work.

‘It’s awfully big for a reminder, doesn’t contain any helpful information, and has no scratch off areas to win a prize – all things which I think would make it marginally more exciting.’

It’s been quite exciting hearing Gosport mentioned on the national news. And in a positive way.

Although there are detractors, those who think the whole ID plan is a bad idea and will deter some people from voting, I am quite pleased.

Given that I have to take ID to collect a parcel at the Post Office, to change money and to get a library card, I think it’s highly proper that I need to prove who I say I am in order to cast a vote and affect the running of where I live.

It’s long surprised me that I could turn up at my local voting booth and get to it without so much as a cursory glance at anything.

Not even my voting card’s been needed, the one that plops through the door prior to each election.

I’m not entirely sure, therefore, of the purpose of that card. It’s awfully big for a reminder, doesn’t contain any helpful information, and has no scratch off areas to win a prize – all things which I think would make it marginally more exciting.

Voting fraud seems as if it would be so easy. Just pop into a local poling station and claim to be someone, from somewhere.

It feels as if it wouldn’t be hard at all. And I suppose that’s why these new practices are being introduced. Which is ironic as the number of people who actually turn out to vote is always so low. You kind of feel someone with the passion to cheat must care so much about where they live.

Maybe we need this new system to put us on the international map of not cheating during elections, as we’re quite ready to comment on other so-called democratic processes across the globe and how sturdy and robust their systems are?

In the spirit of democracy and knowing what you’re voting for, I spent time reading statements which the hopefuls had supplied to The News. This was interesting, to start with but then they all merged into one as it felt like a game of one-up-man-ship about who had lived in Gosport the longest. And, most of them seem to be advocating transparent decision making and more for the people, the residents. As they’re all after the same ends, surely there’s nothing but a golden future for us residents, whether we remember our ID or not.

IT’S SO OBVIOUS, IT’S EMBARRASSING

The conservative PR machine was at it again last week, rolling into action like a well-greased machine. You can hear it, seriously.

Listen to any one in the Conservative Party talk about Amber Rudd.

The words they’d decided to glue to her were grace and determination, like the strong and stable with Theresa May.

It’s amazingly transparent, trying to reframe arguments via a couple of words, but it’s what they do, and do again, those syllables aiming to cut through the surrounding aura of moving the conversation away from the disgraceful way in which the Windrush generation has been treated and trying to reframe it to be a wider conversation about just how rubbish Labour are.

This time it didn’t work, I wonder what two words will accompany our new home secretary?

YOU’RE PART OF THE ACTION AT THE SQUARE TOWER

Sunday night I was at the Square Tower watching a band called the Dodge Brothers. I love that venue. It’s so intimate, even if you’re in the back row – which we were – you feel as if you’re right there in the action.

Organised by Square Roots Promotions who seemingly bring an eclectic mix of Americana, folk and other similar types of music to the city, it was super fun to be with an energetic crowd of music lovers who perhaps, like us, knew little-to-none of the material but enjoyed the evening for what it was.

Fun, lively, well-crafted music sung by four blokes who appeared to be having such a good time, you felt like you were actually one of their mates.