Thursday, 6 May 2010

Peninsula 2

Day 25: Chelmondistan and Brantham with local Councillors. A very good and positive response yet again though afternoon canvassing does mean alot of "outs." Meet a good number who have voted already via postal votes. Still 1 in 3 undecided.
In Brantham, we meet lots of people and residents glad to see a candidate. There is a perception of no one calling but with South Suffolk so big, its easy to see why people could think that.
I must thank Trot and Paul they are great guides and know so many people. They've been at the heart of parish life in Brantham for a long time. They are constantly optimistic and a good laugh, just what a candidate needs!


Day 24: Stutton, Shotley and Tattingstone today. The local geography of this area is fantastic with Alton Water and the estuary. Land is looking very dry by now. Learn about a very green primary school and then away canvassing with Dave Wood the local councillor. Visit an amazing redevelopment of the old workhouse. It seems ages since we did GCSE fieldwork at Alton water and this building was in a desparate state. Just occasionally you see a modern development and you think wow and this does that to me.

When there's a lack of pavements

Day 22: Afternoon in Hadleigh and a good chat with the local Police sorting traffic/parking problems near the school. Local councillors know their constituents so well, its impressive. Plenty of posters up.
Layham and Raydon in the evening. A bit of dodging the traffic that doesn't seem to adhere to speed limit. Shame the Marquis is not open at the end of the canvass.

Question Time

Day 21: Day is dominated by the Churches Together in Sudbury Question Time in St Peters. A near full house. Questions are all on national issues with no local ones. Topics range from Israeli - Palestinian conflict, economic recovery, and is a manifesto a contract?
Thought provoking questions especially on what politicians can do about the moral behaviour of the banks? Most questions were directly answered by all the candidates, no games between the Conservatives and UKIP this time. Interesting that if anyone was a target from those 2 parties it was me this time. Consequence of the polls?

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The first day of rain on the campaign trail

Day 20: Probably even less expected than the polls has been the weather. The light rain will help farmers a bit but more is needed. Anyway, no dampening of enthusiasm for the intrepid small band in Elmsett today.
Some more posters up and the lack of loyalty to the main parties is more evident. People sense something extraordinary and the result nationally will probably be the end of the "1st past the post" system. The Observer runs a brilliant piece on the political make up of the UK based on share of the vote and number of seats under the present sysytem. Each one is called either "grotesque, beyond parody or democratically abominable."
Looking at the polls, do even the Tories secretly wish we had PR?

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Meeing Places

Day 19: The morning in Hadleigh is a chance to meet and greet shoppers. A good reception and I also join the local Guides at an event for an impromptu photo as they try to raise funds for a trek around the Isle of Man to raise money for Save the Children.

Lunchtime brings Sudbury Market Hill and a chance to meet and greet more shoppers and some canvassing in the town centre streets. Get a few shouts from cars that sounded supportive or was that wishful thinking? Its still a unusual feeling walking around with a rosette on where you normally shop!

Today brings 2 recent former soldiers raising the issue that the army still need better kit and the difficulty injured former soldiers have with the benefits system. Its a scandal that needs to be changed quickly.

Finish the day with the article on the EADT website about the upsurge to us putting Mr Yeo at risk.

How can 3 years go so quick?

Day 18: Bogged down in the nicest sense with Yr 11 school reports. How can 3 years pass so quick? It seems like only a few months ago that my tutor group were newbies to the Upper School and now in less than a month they leave or go into the Sixth Form. Its the most difficult job putting into a few sentences their successes and areas for improvement on a report when you've got to know them so well. People do not understand what goes into this career.

Join Bryn Hurren (local councillor) in Edwardstone for the hidden treasures of South Suffolk. The roads make you feel you are going round in a circle but the landscape is truely amazing on a glorious sunny evening and despite the number of shingle drives that do untold damage to the soles, its a good evening. The local pub, the White Horse, is a lovely finishing stop and some good discussion is held with the locals in the bar over a locally brewed beer.