Saturday, November 05, 2005
A Day's Canvassing
(Some of my fellow canvassers, out and about in Baldock East with me early this evening. Left to right: Clyde Millard, David Kearns, Tony Eden, Self)
Well Saturday was set aside for a mass canvass of the Ward, so I was looking forward to it with anticipation and trepidation. Anticipation, because I enjoy meeting with local residents and discussing their concerns, whatever their political stance. Trepidation, because I am always in awe of voters in any area where I stand. After several years I still steel myself, clipboard in hand, to knock on a door or ring a doorbell and prepare to meet up with an individual who I may or may not know, who may or may not be busy, and who might see my rosette and decide I am the scum of the Earth.
But today is a mass canvass and, in sentiments echoed by fellow canvasser and Constituency Chair, Clyde Millard, the people in Baldock East are actually rather warm individuals, whether they intend to vote for you or not.
So after a false start to the day, where I found my sister (who went back to Lancaster Uni this morning) had used up all the hot water, which meant a cold shower, I set down to get some work done and made sure I was ready for the afternoon canvass.
As before, there were a crowd of us (including some people who were from other branches in the constituency), and we spent two hours canvassing the Clothall area.
There seems to be a broad mixture of Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat supporters (which irons out previous evidence that this seems to be a three-horse race), but the concerns all boil down to the fact that a lot of people feel that Baldock is a town that is not reaching it's potential, and that it is somewhat neglected. Wallington Road is being neglected by the bypass, there are a lack of amenities, in fact I am getting rather interested in how exactly North Herts District Council and Hertfordshire County Council spend their annual budget!
Then home, only to find that Leicester drew with Southampton and that Leicester threw away some golden oppurtunities
But this is the thing about supporting teams, you stick with them and don't forget it's hopes and glory days, and I suppose that is how I feel about being in the Labour Party. I find Tony Blair infuriating at times and feel that he has let us down on some major issues and situations. But I feel that the government have done a lot of good things over the last eight years such as helping to produce the longest economic security since the War, low unemployment (Labour has helped me get back on my feet in the past, and it is partly why I joined them), helping the campaign to see a global cancellation of Third World debt, as well as the chance for more people to be able to sell their houses. With so much more to do and work at achieving. And it is those things that convince me that we need to work to keep these oppurtunities that we have as a consequence.
Oh and one more thing. Have found that Baldock East has a resident blogger and that my campaign has got a mention:
Intensity in the Baldock East by election has been ratcheted up by no less than three new items of election communication.
Labour’s youthful Paul Burgin has entered the fray. “I am pleased to get the chance to represent Baldock East,” he declares, which shows either a commendable chutzpah or a worrying failure to note the impending procedure of submission to the electorate. Still, he does at least credit the ward with the status it deserves: “Baldock East has a significant part to play in the Baldock area” is Paul’s conviction, an observation validated by the fact that it is in fact approximately half of the Baldock area.
Somewhat unexpectedly, blogs have entered the maelstrom of the election, courtesy of Mr Burgin. Both the Baldock Blog and Mars Hill are authored by Labour’s candidate, and the latter gives a flavour of the epic struggle currently being waged for the soul of this ward.
And there is more. The Tories’ Les Wilsher is back and against his own expectations is out-leafleting his opponents. Any former reluctance to declare his allegiance has vanished in his latest materials. In fact, such is Les’s new found brio that he may have got a little carried away. “Les has campaigned hard to get a commitment from Hertfordshire Highways that the flooding will not happen again” proclaims one of his leaflets, thus dramatically reversing his party’s stated belief in limited government.
It’s a good start Les, but what we really want is a firm council pledge to deliver a white Christmas.
Well the massive leafleting just goes to show that neither myself or my colleagues can relax for a moment (and nor would I allow it), and that I am accused of either chutzpah, or worrying failure to note the impending procedure of submission to the electorate.
I think I prefer chutzpah, although I am aware of the stakes involved.