April 18, 2015 Leave a comment
I am happy to pledge support for this.
Essex Labour activist
April 5, 2015 1 Comment
April 4, 2015 3 Comments
A St Laurence resident: “We have not had a decent Government for sixty years.”
A quick calculation by me, then my response: “That was Anthony Eden.”
“A decent and honourable man”, came the reply.
I was not about to cast aspersions on Mr Eden, but I could not help thinking that his term of office was less than two years, the Suez crisis in 1956 effectively put paid to his Premiership. He was before my time, I was born during Harold MacMillan’s tenure at number ten. In all the debates about who was best PM I could not recall Eden receiving many plaudits.
This 87-year old gentleman, a life-long Tory, was not voting this year. Evidently Cameron is no Eden. He did bemoan the lack of heavy industry in this country, then without apparent irony praised Mrs Thatcher. Some might argue she contributed to the decline in traditional industries during her period in office.
It was an affable conversation, and he wished me luck.
Towards the end of the day I was in Leigh ward with my agent, Kevin Robinson, when we were mistaken for the UKIP team. “I don’t want this rubbish” uttered a female resident, holding the offending UKIP leaflet somewhat diffidently. We protested that we did not deliver it – I think our leaflet pushed the UKIP one through too. I am still not convinced she believed that we were not responsible.
Between I met many doors adorned with variations on the ‘no leaflets’ sign. I wonder whether behind some of these doors are the same people who complain that no politician visits their door, or that we are all useless or all the same. Quite how these people get their information about each candidate and party puzzles me. Maybe these signs identify the growing non-participants in our democracy.
The one thing that is noticeable is that after months of little activity from my opponents I am now seeing signs of activity. If anyone says to me that “we only see you at election time” I shall point out that whilst that may be true of other parties, it is most definitely not true of Labour in Southend-on-Sea.
March 30, 2015 Leave a comment
In some ways we are into the unthinking phase of the election cycle. Months of preparation, of clearly described arguments, are supposed to bear fruit as we smoothly transition towards political nirvana. The starting gun has been fired and we all leap into …. filling out forms.
Every candidate has a number of forms that must be completed. These are not especially onerous, but do require care – a late or badly completed form can undo a whole campaign.
We also get the deluge of paper from our printers, and work out just what that means in terms of letterboxes visited per day. The numbers can be off-putting.
Weeks of dry weekends, and then as we must have good weather – rain.
A mountain of paper meaning fewer chances for doorstep engagement. Curses.
Trying to figure out what you opposition is doing. Sometimes you campaign in the metaphorical dark – not aware that your opponents are doing much, if anything. Wondering, too, whether anything you do will make any difference as your efforts are swamped by national news stories.
If, like me, you churn material at a regular rate you do sometime pause and reflect as to who actually reads it. Certainly news editors largely provide a wall of silence. Thanks goodness for the internet.
No matter how many times you re-read your copy, and ask others to do likewise, errors slip through. I have been particularly irked by some silly typos in my leaflets recently. Perhaps this is karma for all the times I have highlighted similar amongst my opponents’ material.
March 16, 2015 3 Comments
I guess there are several examples of literature straying out of the ward or constituency it was intended for, but tonight I found a candidate whose leaflets have gone out in THREE wards.
Richard “Blenheim man” Herbert is also Belfairs and Prittlewell man it would appear, judging by where his Blenheim Focus laughter sheet is being delivered.
It could be that he is standing in all three wards – perfectly allowable in electoral law, although should he be successful in more than one place he will have to explain why he has lumbered hard-pressed tax-payers with a costly by-election.
I suspect, though, that he is only standing in two places (his commitment to Blenheim Park being so strong that not only does he fail to get the ward name right, but he is also standing in the Leigh Town Council elections for a different ward). His delivery team really ought to acquainted themselves with where the ward boundaries are.
I cannot recall ever having a resident so delighted with my delivering a leaflet that they gave me a campaign donation on the spot. That’s another score for party funds. “It’s Julian” they exclaimed, before pumping my hand. That’s one vote then.
There are still a lot of people yet to decide how they are voting. However, in the areas I have been it will be a remarkable turnaround if either the Liberal Democrats or the Greens score significantly. It could happen, but it really seems unlikely. I do detect a slight movement towards the Tories, which mirrors what the national opinion polls are showing. I still think it is very tight and anything could happen. I expect we shall see the odd shock, possibly in my neck of the woods.