Every now and again you hear of a story so sad that it explains why so few people give up their time for local democracy.
I have just spoken to a resident who lives in Eaton and who had been canvassed by the Liberal Democrats for the election. On telling the canvasser that he was voting Conservative, she told him not to vote for "the student" and he was "21 and would leave soon".
Apart from the fact that UEA Student and Conservative candidate Niall Baxter has made Norwich his home, including finding a house and a job, it is really rude and patronising to suggest that UEA students cannot be councillors and fully contribute to their adopted-home City.
Maybe this LibDem canvasser - actually, a very senior Councillor as it happens - thinks I should never have stood? Maybe she doesn't want UEA Students to stand full stop ... I wonder what UEA Students who are currently having their votes courted by the LibDems would think of this?
We already know that the LibDems have a problems with teachers serving as Councillors - they made that quite clear (see here), but now they are ruling out students too. Maybe they want civic responsibility to be the preserve of the wealthy middle class housewives with a lot of time on their hands?
We need a diverse council representing our whole City - students, teachers, young, old, black, white, male and female. I am proud of all of our candidate; I just wonder why the LibDems can't be more positive and honest in their campaigning?
Actually, I think this shows how much they are running scared at the moment - I hope the people of Eaton see through this shabby, shallow trick and the student voters around Norwich now know who isn't worthy of their support.