Dear Friends of German Comedy,
I have only just calmed down from the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. And my fury had nothing to do with Debbie Abrahams winning.
What got my goat was that polling stations closed at 10pm yet the result wasn’t announced until 2am. What have they been doing in those four hours???
Having extensively re-enacted the scenario at home I can guarantee that identifying which candidate has been voted for and chucking the ballot paper onto the relevant pile does not take more than 3 seconds each. This works out as 20 ballot papers per minute or 1,200 per hour.
Considering 34,930 votes were cast we are talking 29.108 man-hours. Let’s very generously add another 2.892 hours for putting them into piles of 100s, adding up the piles and filling in the final paperwork.
We are talking 32 man-hours in total at the most.
Yet TV coverage from Oldham town hall showed at least 50 people counting votes with twice as many pen-pushers watching on. For four hours!
Said Oldham’s council leader Charlie Parker: “Of course we could have done a Sunderland South and announced the result well before 11pm. But we decided to string it out for as long as possible as we’re all on double bubble tonight. Thank you London and the South East!”
The only thing more frustrating than deliberate inefficiency of civil servants are those fowlish chickens [jawohl – I am on comedic fire!!!] in Lower Saxony. Laying poisonous eggs after stuffing their stupid faces with poisonous food? What were they thinking? And why are German farmers being blamed rather than the greedy chickens? And don’t tell me the chickens were only following orders. It’s that nanny state mindset that blames McDonald’s for there being overweight people. People have to take responsibility for their actions. And so do chickens and councils.
Have a great month (year) and see you soon
Posted by Henning Wehn
on Thursday, January 6th, 2011.