Thursday, October 07, 2004

I am just back from what felt like a really busy evening. I went straight from school to my Norwich office where leaflets to be delivered to every house in Norwich declaring our “timetable for action” had been delivered – brilliant timing as we managed to get going straight away around Mancroft ward. I then went from there to one City estate to meet local people about the problems that they face. The problems included anti-social behaviour, drugs and apathy towards education. However, their political dilemma shone through. They simply cannot remember the Conservatives winning in their area (although one of two older residents could remember having a Tory MP). This estate was solidly Labour but post-1997 they felt that even Labour ignored their concerns. Then came the LibDems – one lived around the corner, another in the next street. They were elected – finally – with big majorities and the feeling was that they were on the side of residents. Nothing changed – all talk from the Liberals and no delivery they said. So what now? A few toyed with UKIP from the right and Green from the left. If we are to stop the fringes of politics from expanding the two main parties need to address this void in political trust. I am pleased that at least Michael Howard has started. I spoke to the people and shared in their concerns. Unfortunately, I said, without being elected I could not help. Even if I was elected I may not be able to transform their lives straight away, but at least I would try. They seemed pleased just for my time – will they vote Conservative? I don’t know, but I’m just hoping they find faith enough in politics to vote at all.

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