Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The last few days have been really hectic as the campaign on the ground gets running again. Friday was a very special day at school – the 200th anniversary of the Notre Dame Order and the 25th anniversary of the school as a comprehensive. We had a whole school celebration in the sports hall at which the former Headteacher of Notre Dame and John Pinnington, our current Head, addressed us. That was followed swiftly by a beer and scotch egg night out, not least at the Billy Bluelight pub on Hall Road.

Saturday meant getting up nice and early and we hit the ground going in Eaton following the selection of our county council candidate. We had a really good response, and I was surprised by the degree to which people are probing what the LibDems stand for. I met only one out-and-out Labour voter – on Chestnut Hill, off Church Lane – and a lot of people very angry at the decline of the public services / Iraq war / rising taxation / mistrust of Blair (* delete as appropriate). However I had many good discussions about the LibDems too and quite a few switchers back to us. Their concerns fell in three categories: those who believed them to be dangerous tax rising pro-crime lunatics, those who though they were just a bit crazy with policies such as free cod liver oil for all and those who thought they’d never win so it didn’t matter what they say. One gentleman on Abinger Way said he normally voted LibDem at local elections but realised that the only way to remove the Labour government is by voting for a Conservative MP. “Another powerless LibDem MP won’t do anything but prop up Labour.” I enjoyed his comment so I wrote it down!

Saturday night I donned my best Elvis suit and headed to Cringleford Church Hall for our President, Judith Virgo’s, xxth birthday bash. A fantastic party – Judith certainly knows how to do things properly! Must admit, woke up slightly worse for wear!

Sunday we were at another party – this time for Lisa Ivory, my Agents wife, who is off to India for 7 weeks with Norwich Union. The morning was spent going through surveys and despite my best efforts the evening spent sleeping rather than planning Monday’s lessons.

Monday morning, hence, was a manic plan-athon. Monday evening was spent at Cringleford First & Middle for a governors meeting and then (moving at lightening speed) into Norwich for a Conservative meeting at the new Campaign Centre.

Wow, not a moment to spare! Just waiting at school now ready to head off to the Newmarket Road for more door stepping. Roll on polling day!

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