THE Jovial Monk pub in North Swindon has joined the ranks of the town’s official polling stations.

Or rather, the conservatory of that fine establishment has, following a redrawing of the St Andrew’s ward polling district.

It will have its own entrance, so people who do not wish to enter the part of the pub where drinks are served shall not have to do so.

Personally, I would have no objection to passing through a pub on my way to vote. In fact, I think it might be a good idea to install temporary rows of optics, kegs and so on at the entrance of every polling station in the land an hour or so before the doors opened on election day.

The booze could either be handed out for free or perhaps at a heavy discount - something similar to the subsidised bars in Parliament would do the job nicely.

I reckon a drink or three before stepping into the box and reaching for the pencil on a string would cut down on a lot of agonising.

Suppose, for example, that a candidate we were thinking of voting for had promised that education was their top priority.

Without a drink in us, we might torment ourselves with dreary concerns such as: “Hang on a minute - didn’t I read somewhere that spending per child has been dropping for years?”

Or: “The last time your lot were in power things were just as bad as they are now - and my kids’ school was shut down and the site flogged to housing developers.”

Give us a few measures of alcohol and it’d be a different story: “Education - iss wunnerful, innit? Best days of your life. Who cares about statistics? Thass just numbers. And if my kid comes home with plaster in his hair because the classroom ceiling’s moulting again, iss character-building.”

Having a few scoops would also alleviate those pesky nagging doubts we sometimes experience when candidates claim law and order is safe in their hands.

We might think to ourselves: “If law and order is safe in your hands, how come I’m still waiting to hear back from anybody about the burglars who stole the contents, roof, doors and floorboards of my house three years ago?

“How come the local drug dealer is so confident of avoiding detection that he has acquired a former ice cream van and modified the chiming mechanism to play well-known Velvet Underground song Heroin?”

Once we were on the outside of a few bevvies, however, we’d be a lot less worried about crime because we’d feel invincible - until we sobered up, anyway.

It would be a similar story with economic policies. After all, a person with a bit of a cargo aboard often discovers that they have far less money in their pocket than they believed, but accepts it as a fact of life.

Having a bit of a cargo aboard at the ballot box would mean we didn’t waste time pondering tiresome questions such as whether any of the candidates on the list had a coherent plan to prevent so many of us from having to use food banks.

People who’ve had a drink or seven are also adept at consuming unusual and sometimes alarming foodstuffs, including but not limited to meat which contains tooth-shattering microchips identifying it as having been part of a family pet as recently as a fortnight previously,

If we’re willing to swallow things like that, a manifesto should be no problem at all.

We’re also used to waking up the following morning, feeling utterly ill and thinking: “My God, what did I do?”

I believe my idea would make voting easier, quicker and more fun, provided voters were told to mark the middle one of the three boxes by candidates’ names.