I’ve been asked to write a few pieces for the Nottingham Evening Post as a political kinda person who isn’t actually standing for election this time. The brief was to try and be wryly amusing and illuminate some of the more arcane bits of political life for the wider readership.
My first is in today’s Post and, erm, well, doesn’t manage the wryly amusing bit terribly well, and clearly I went over the word count, as they’ve cut two bits, including the one that makes the headline they chose make sense.
Here’s what the article looked like before the subs deleted lines and words they hadn’t heard before!
On the Campaign trail: Lib Dem army of ‘old ladies’
So the election has been called. Will that make a difference to party workers up and down the county?
Probably not. It’s not like the news of the election will come as a surprise to the party
wonksworkers who are planning elections.
We’ve been working hard trying to communicate our various messages for some months. I know the Lib Dems in the city have been knocking on doors and delivering leaflets at full capacity for some time
– and my covert surveillance of the internet reveals that Tory and Labour activists have been boasting about their teams and the numbers of people doing likewise for both other parties.
In some cases, the Lib Dems have less money and fewer people to go around than other parties, so then, we have to concentrate our efforts on parts of constituencies, and on spending more time to knock on as many doors as possible.
There are some constituencies near Nottingham – including Ashfield where Geoff Hoon decided to stand down before he was defeated – where there is a real chance of the next MP being a Liberal Democrat.
And the scale of work they have to get through to convince enough people to vote yellow next time is terrifying. They will be people working full time, day in, day out to do all that is necessary. They need to recruit a team of people able to deliver 40,000 leafets in a week. They will be writing thousands of letters and making thousands of phone calls.
There will be a small army of little old ladies sitting in a room somewhere stuffing letters into envelopes.
This is work that began long before Gordon finally went to see Her Maj, and will continue long after polling day. The campaign to get a whole constituency to vote Liberal Democrat is an enormous undertaking that takes years and years.
General elections are just a little blip in the middle.
I’m very worried about the prospect of writing publicly about the election either in the paper or here on the blog after an incident in the last local elections where me shooting my mouth off ended up being quoted in Labour target letters as reasons not to vote Liberal Democrat. I’d recommend everyone votes Liberal Democrat!