Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sunshine on the Campaign Trail

This morning we headed to North Earlham. Now, North Earlham is by far Labour's strongest area in the Bowthorpe Ward but also the one with the lowest turnout. We were out to discover why and we weren't disappointed.

Unlike nearly everywhere we have been so far, the local residents here were desperate to talk about issues - from anti-social behaviour to bus routes. We moved pleasingly slow as almost every door we called on wanted to raise something. However what shone through was deep disappointed about the way in which Labour neglected their issues. One man, on Larkman Lane, complianed bitterly that this was meant to be a Labour area yet Labour did nothing for them. It was clear that Labour's vote was not coming out - a large number regusing to vote, a smaller number switching to the Conservatives and even a couple to the Greens.

However, as an aside, I met one man on Dereham Road with the most pathalogical hatred of the Green Party - quite amazing. He is voting Tory but apparently met a certain Green Councillor (no names!) recently and said it was only by the love of God himself that he didn't attack him with the nearest blunt object. What could possible have been said? The elector kept quiet on that, I'm afraid.

Anyway, back to the plot. We had old friends over for lunch today with their 18 month old son and so had a pleasant interlude to all this lunacy!

In the afternoon we went to the north of the City and enjoyed some time in Catton Grove. Eve and myself spent some of that time looking at the general state of roads and in particular at the quality of recent road repairs. Some of it really is shocking and needs urgent attention indeed. Issues raised here also included the state of the City Centre, grass verges and the level of council tax. At last - one resident raised unitary (he was against it).

Best exchange of the day:
Voter: "I haven't voted for 10 years. I last voted for John Major and the Tory Party has gone downhill since them so I haven't bothered."
Heroic canvasser (me): "So do you think you might come out of retirement and vote this year?"
Voter: "Yes I will, Cameron is doing well. Is the election today?"
Me: "No, It's on 3rd May."
Voter: "Excellent, plenty of time to get my pencil sharpened."

That must be one hell of a pencil.

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