Monday, May 01, 2006

A prize for hard work

I reckon if they gave prizes (or seats) to those who worked the hardest, the Labour Party would win every election by a mile.

I have met party members from all over the region this week and every single one is practically on their knees. It is only adrenalin and an urgent desire to make things better for their communities that is keeping us all going.

We are all waking up at 5 o'clock in the morning thinking "I must remember to ring up about Mrs Jones' boiler and there are letters to write about the library hours and I need to have my photo taken with the Friends of the Park and did that leaflet go out in Park Road yesterday and I must ask Janet to help John with his youth club issue and did I feed the kids and who is walking the dog on polling day and has that dumped rubbish finally been removed and is Mrs White happy with her new gate and have I done enough? Did I lick enough envelopes?"

The litany just goes on and on

Thank heavens for lists and plans

Thankfully we all keep each other going, little bits of stories are carried back into the committee rooms. Little anecdotes that make us laugh or raise our eyebrows, every small success is celebrated, every rumour examined for truth even while we are telling ourselves not to be moved from our agenda and our plans.

People I have met only lately, who I have helped in some way are now telling me that they have told all their friends to vote for me. I rush back to the office full of positive feelings only to be told not to get my hopes up too high, we are all too nervous of being complacent. Nobody dares hope for success despite all the pointers, in case we dont quite pull it off in our ward.

Frank came back today and told me that someone told him that I looked like Bessie Braddock. She was so huge in Liverpool (in every way) that I intially took it as a very positive sign, until Jane said she looked like Grandma in the Giles cartoons so I was back in the doldrums again - I might be big but I am not that old

We had a dozen out delivering leaflets today when they ran into the opposition candidate on the Beatles estate. They were kind to him as they passed him but I expect his spirits sunk low when he saw them.

I have been on his side of the fence and know how it feels, to see hordes of "them" out doing something while "you" are on your own.

But then later the tables turn and I expect someone to come in tomorrow to say they were the only Labour activist in a sea of yellow somewhere else.

We feed each other with cake and tea and rumours and stories all day and somehow the adrenalin keeps pumping and we keep at it and we truly believe that win or lose, we really could not have licked any more envelopes, we have done as much as anyone could and now only the voters can decide.

If you see a Labour candidate out there, give them a cheery wave, it will be the source of endless speculation in the committee rooms for at least the afternoon and we will all believe for half an hour that we really could win after all!

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