Nigel Fletcher - Dale & Co.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I started out in the afternoon with good intentions of delivering all my latest leaflets to my assigned patch, and maybe doing some canvassing too. But after three quarters of an hour battling down rain-sodden pathways and trying to manage the complexities of pushing open letterboxes with one hand and shoving 'In Touch' leaftet through with the other whilst holding an umbrella and not getting entangled in front porches or rose bushes, I was defeated. My leaflets were turning to pulp, the umbrella kept blowing inside out and I couldn't feel my fingers. I returned to Eltham Tory HQ and made a cup of tea to thaw/dry out.
In the hopeful expectation that the weather might ease up I returned for the evening session, but the rain was still pelting down, and my co-candidate and I took an executive decision to abandon for the night. Can't say I was devastated, but it does mean more leaflets left to deliver to keep on schedule (once they've dried out..)
Monday, April 10, 2006
When we did hit the streets it was noticeable how many people were not in, and we assume that many of them have gone away for the Easter holidays - a sensible move. Of those who were in, however, a pleasing number were planning to vote for us, and many others who were considering it.
Of those who were not in, I was disappointed not to be able to meet the current occupants of one particular house. Bill Clinton used to say on the campaign trail that he came from a place called Hope. Well, I can counter that by saying that Hope came from a place called Eltham. For it was in a modest house here in Eltham North that legendary entertainer Bob Hope was born, 103 years ago. A small plaque placed outside by the British Film Institute records the fact, but otherwise you would never know.
I am sure there are many better quips I could use at this point, but the one that occured to me was that in politics it is always welcome to see even a small sign of Hope whilst out campaigning (groan)...
Thursday, April 06, 2006
I was disappointed to see that the scourge that are the British National Party will have a presence in Greenwich at the elections, but at least they could only muster one candidate in one ward. As I represent the ward in which Stephen Lawrence was so brutally murdered by racist thugs, I find it particularly offensive that they should stand anywhere here.
On a lighter note, a friend tells me that in Wandsworth the sole Communist Party of Britain Candidate is standing in Tooting ward. They would therefore be the Tooting Popular Front, without the need for any irony whatsoever...
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Out again last night, with my fellow Councillors and a willing team of helpers. First job was a photocall for us candidates for election literature and the website (http://www.greenwichconservatives.com/page/3/405/). Despite the sunny evening, it was rather cold, and on shaking hands with one voter she recoiled and remarked how freezing my hand felt. Must remember gloves next time (no Mum, I haven’t lost them!).
We got a few roads done, and had a reasonably positive reception, given that they weren’t ones which have been strongly Conservative in the past. One disillusioned Labour voter told me that having heard David Cameron on LBC that morning he was ‘dead impressed’ and considering switching to us for the first time.
I also had my first dog-mauling of the campaign – a nasty looking Boxer dog leapt through the gap in the door and started jumping up at me. ‘Don’t worry – he’s alright, he’s playing’ trilled the owner, as they always do. I survived, but I often wonder how people with a fear of dogs cope – are they effectively barred from seeking political office?
So, the campaign proper begins - on Saturday I donned the blue rosette for the first time this campaign (we've been going out for several weeks, but unadorned), and hit the mean streets of Eltham North. As befitted April, as soon as we got going the blue sky was replaced by a black cloud and shower of rain. Thankfully I was in the middle of talking to a resident who was listing in detail the reasons he will never vote Labour again, so I was able to shelter in his front porch agreeing with him until the weather eased up a bit.
The rest of the afternoon was very positive, and I even found a chap who used to be a Labour councillor in the North East who was so sick of the government that he will now vote for us. More of those please!