Friday, March 31, 2006

The last four weeks before the elections are usually bedlam. Over the next month we have to deliver about 22,000 leaflets and knock on every door in the Ward. As with most political parties, there are only a handful of volunteers willing to go out every evening and risk abuse on the doorstep. Most politicians are acutely aware that we are just below estate agents, parking wardens and the legal profession in the food chain as far as the public are concerned, and given the recent evidence of some of our more high profile members it is a reputation which has been well earned, and will no doubt be flung in our faces many times over the next month. If I had a quid for every time someone had said, "you're all the same" I would not be on my uppers, that's for sure. Despite this, I actually enjoy canvassing. It's more often than not about issues that people care about in THEIR community. Not about the war in Iraq, whether the Japanese buy the stock exchange or whether we have ID cards, compulsory or otherwise. Those things are on people's radar screens, but they ain't looking to me or my opponents to solve them. They want something done about the dogshit on the pavement, they want their council house modernisation done properly, they want decent schools, local hospitals, proper care of their elderly relatives... and they don't want to see their annual pay rise eaten up in council tax. Call them parochial at your peril. For every one person I meet who will mention ID cards on the doorstep, there are 1,000 who either want them or couldn't give a toss one way or the other (but would prefer the zillions they will cost to be spent on our pensioners). Ah well, here we go, here we go, here we go.