I suggest that before you read this you scroll through the comments on previous posts to find Peter's views on campaigning in his home ward of Wensum. Before I tell you why he is wrong, firstly we'll dwell on why he is right.
In an ideal world, every party would stand candidates everywhere and each community would have a full flourishing campaign where every vote is fought over and every argument challenged. That would be a real democracy. But sadly life is not like that.
Firstly politics requires people. Doors do not knock on themselves, and leaflets do not fly through your letter box by magic. Even if a party posts you material, as the LibDems did heavily last time, they first have to raise the money to do it. Even the Royal Mail doesn't run on IOUs. Sadly in modern politics the number of people given to do these activities is falling, driven on by a number of factors (like all the parties looking the same and lack of time in working practices). So with limited finances and limited workforces the parties have to be rational about what they do and where. I imagine the Tory and LibDem membership in Wensum is quite low and Labour's is quite inactive. Only the Greens, as supported by Peter's evidence on the ground, have what it takes to get around. In fact, it could be that the Tory / Libdem / Labour candidates are "paper" ones, where they stand only to give a choice on the ballot paper rather than seriously expect to win. That could explain the lack of effort. Whenever somebody complains to me about lack of communication from party X, I always ask them if they have volunteered to be the street leafleter recently. Usually the answer is "no"; QED.
So, in this election would we expect parties to be focusing on Wensum? Well, yes and no ...
I happen to believe that Mr Altman, the Green candidate, is a weak candidate and very open to attack. His record as Mancroft's councillor was poor, as was his decision to walk away after only a year. Hardly the commitment the people of Wensum want. In addition, a lot of people my end of the ward wonder if the Greens just want the council allowances (wages!) rather than to do the job for the right reasons. Llewellyn to Altman is like from the firepan into the fire! If the other candidates had decent local people who really wanted the job out of a sense of public duty, they'd do well. However ...
The fact of the matter is that the Greens hold the ward with a big majority, with Labour in second. The Tories have improved in the last 3-4 years but have only just managed to leapfrog the poor old fourth placed LibDems (although no doubt only they can win here!!).
And do the parties need Wensum for where they are going? The Greens do because they need it in their column for the great council take-over. But I guarantee you neither Tory nor LibDems have in in the front, middle or even back of their minds. And that leaves Labour - with the party struggling to hold onto 6 (yes, six) marginal wards I doubt they have room for a seventh target no matter how tempting.
I am sorry Peter - Wensum is not going to be a great political fight this year; maybe next. You can expect a few leaflets, probably from Greens and Labour, and a knock from maybe the Greens. The rest you'll have to discover from the internet.
I know it's sad and not how elections ought to be, but until one of the other parties need Wensum or the results show they may be able to win it, don't expect that to change.
But have heart - the Tories are making a good show in Thorpe Hamlet, a seat that I know well and where most people thought they were out of the running. My partner has a leaflet and a letter from the party in a clear third place, so maybe there is hope for Wensum yet.
The author is a regular here and lives in Wensum Ward.