Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Well, now that the blogging seems to have got over its little "bug", I can update you on progress this week.

Monday was a bit of an experience. I spent much of the evening out canvassing a sheltered housing scheme in the City, and was given a really warm welcome. The warden was very supportive of what the Conservatives have been saying. The residents took their chance to take me to task on a lot of things! From the re-routing of buses through to the Tory policy of linking pensions with earnings! It is good to spend time - real time - doing this sort of thing because you can really get a grasp of "issues" - not the first thing that flies off your mind but the true political nitty gritty that may change how people vote. My agent may not like it - I spent 90 minutes with just 30 voters -but I view it as vital. In the new spirit of the Conservative Party I made just one promise (and I can keep this one) - win or lose I'll visit again after the election to talk more about their concerns.

Following that it was back to school for open evening for the new intake of year 7 & 8 pupils. I must admit to getting quite nervous (and not a little upset) because I don't feel ready to leave my year 11s and consider a new year group yet. Still, I smiled and did my bit. Put a lot of parent’s minds at rest with regards to High School transfer. Really nice that one parent who lived in Cringleford said she'd vote for me (after years of voting Labour), and even got an invite for tea!

Tuesday didn't get any less hectic - I took 11 of my finest to a charity 5-a-side competition at the Powerleague in Bowthorpe. They were by far the youngest in the competition but did really well. They were mature, calm and played like a dream, even though 3 of the best players in the year group were injured. We - supported by a lot of Dads! - saw the boys thrash the businesses of Norwich (*how many nil was that?!?) but we did crash against the semi-pro teams. Only after we faced a drubbing at the hands of a certain local large firm did one reveal that they played about three times a week! Well done boys, the whole school is proud of you.

Then onto today. School was manic - in the nicest possible way - and after school a really big team of us went out canvassing along one of the major routes into Norwich. We haven't been down there for some time, but it did look really good. Got a few more poster sites and even an offer to stuff envelops. Plenty of people who voted LibDem at local elections coming back to us for the general election. Resident of the day had to be the chap who - despite having ignored the doorbell - followed me down his enormous drive to shake my hand! Before telling me he just wanted to see the face of the man he wasn't going to vote for! Perhaps the good news was he is still switching from Labour to the Greens. Whilst we're on the Greens, they've apparently selected Cllr Holmes to fight Norwich North at the next election. Well done on your selection Adrian - plenty of scope for mistakes there, with another Adrian fighting Norwich South! Still, at least we know which Green will lose to James Tumbridge now! ;-)

Tomorrow, apart from the normal things, we are doing a leafleting session with the UEA Conservative Future and then I've been invited to go canvassing around one of the estates in the City. It'll certainly be different and I hope to get a lot out of it. We've got to start standing up for people in society abandoned by this Labour government and only by going and talking to them can we even start to put it right.

As for Howard's speech yesterday, just fantastic.

What will a Conservative MP mean for Norwich South?
School discipline, more police, cleaner hospitals, controlled immigration, lower tax.And accountability - an MP accountable to parliament and, more importantly, to the people that elected him.

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