Saturday, 7 April 2012

Is there an election on already? Thoughts from the (sort of) campaign trail

Spent a fair old chunk of today traipsing round Bingley Rural banging in posters - around 40 put up today in assorted strategic (and not so strategic) locations. We've also got the deliveries more-or-less sorted for just over half the ward.

As ever, it was a real pleasure to go round the ward - everyone we met seemed pretty cheery. Lovely chat with a chap at The Bullfield in Harden - not about politics but about the seemingly endless task of sweeping up underneath trees and the testing of assorted different tools (those sucker-blower things are useless by the way) for this purpose.

Other subjects of conversation included Bradford Bulls - there were 24,000 plus at Odsal last night cheering on the Bulls and make their contributions to keeping the club going. It looks OK for a while but, as John (who I was speaking with) pointed out, "this doesn't solve the problem of bad management." And then there's the little gripes and grumbles - the latest one being flyposting. Or rather attaching advertising posters to lampposts without permission.

The thing with local campaigning is that you don't spend a whole lot of time engaged in serious debate about the great issues of the day. Not only do people not raise these things with you but there really isn't the time for such indulgence. When some politician pops up in parliament or (more likely) the council chamber and starts talking about what he is hearing on "the doorstep" don't believe a word. Most people tell answer your question - yes they'll vote for you, no they won't vote for you or, very, often something like:

"Er, is there an election?"

"I haven't thought about it"

"I'll read all the leaflets and then decide"

"I haven't spoken to my wife/husband yet so I don't know"

"I'm not interested"

Or maybe I've been asking the wrong questions "on the doorstep" for the past 35 years!


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