In Wales things are likely to be given an additional surreal twist, as presiding over the count in Carmarthenshire will be Mark James, the chief executive who is currently resting at home while the boys in blue from Gloucestershire carry out their investigations.
The South Wales Guardian will report tomorrow that county councillors in Carmarthen have been told that a condition of Mr James's entirely voluntary decision to step aside is that he may not have contact with council staff.
All of which begs the question how he will be able to preside over an election without talking to any of the staff involved. Oh, and the Guardian reckons he can expect to be paid around £20,000 for this experiment in Trappist election management.
Cneifiwr understands that the fee for this election is likely to be around £5,000.
In the 2009 European election, for the two constituencies of Llanelli and Carmarthen East and Dinefwr there were 37706 votes cast. If the gagged Returning Officer Mr James is really to be paid about £20000 for this duty, it works out that about 53p for every vote cast will end up in his pocket. Kerching!
If you pay peanuts, it has famously been said that you end up with monkeys. In this case, the rather strange prospect of the Returning Officer being unable to speak to his staff rather reminds of the monkey who could speak no evil, or anything else for that matter.
Perhaps he could be put in a cage with soundproofed glass walls and be allowed only to communicate with people not employed by his council?
Perhaps they could communicate through the medium of interpretative dance? Or, continuing the Python theme, semaphore?
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