Monday, October 22, 2007

High Noon on the streets of Elm Vale

It was "surveys" at noon on the streets of Elm Vale this Sunday.

Liam and I were continuing our progress around the streets, calling at every house, engaging with local people, talking about the issues they were interested in. We really enjoy it, it is one of the highlights of our week.

We were knocking on doors in a particular side street when into the noon day sun came a cowboy. A big man, dressed in black, with a bow-legged swagger, he stared down the street at us, his fingers twitching over each hip, his holsters packed with survey forms.

In the distance I could hear the strains of his song, carried on the wind.

"Do not forsake us LibDem voters, when it comes to polling day
We do not know what fate awaits us, we only know we must be brave"

Skulking, he followed us round the small side street, knocking on doors we had just knocked on, speaking to voters we had just spoken to. He clearly had a targetted approach (for this cowboy was not knocking on every door but only a few, those perhaps who identified as LibDem in an previous poll or those who had voted in every election. His surveys were pre-printed with names and addresses of recipients apparently).

He caught up with us eventually and stopped to eavesdrop on our conversation. We were pleased to demonstrate our thoughtful and all-inclusive approach to resident engagement and consultation. Indeed had he been at home three weeks earlier, he could have had the full script in person.

Repaying the favour he allowed us to hear his own spiel at the next door. He was, he said, calling on behalf of Frank Doran with a survey that he would like people to complete and then leave in their letterbox when he would collect it back up within 30 minutes. I did call down to the street to him, to ask why Frank Doran couldn't deliver his own surveys, but satisfactory responses were not forthcoming.

At the next three doors we knocked on, in this cowboy's wake, we were asked why the Labour Party and LibDem Party were knocking on the same doors at precisely the same time. A very good question, n'est ce pas?

One resident asked me who the buffoon from the LibDems was, I didnt like to say, it didnt seem fair. Of course dear reader, you are thinking it was Richard Marbrow, and indeed the physical resemblance is uncanny, but this particular cowboy is older and rustier.

Having failed to unnerve us or check our happy and productive progress, he scuttled home, we thought that was the end of it.

But no, it transpired he had only gone home briefly for more ammunition and he returned, triumphantly waving the pre-addressed surveys for the next street. He had clearly hoped to chase us away with just one street's worth of surveys the first time so had not brought any more out with him.

We neatly stepped round him, moved on, missed the next street, chatted to residents in subsequent streets for whom we also had the data and he clearly didn't, unless he went back home for a third time, which even this cowboy would have been embarassed about. We finished the missed street long after he finally sloped off.

What was achieved here?

How helpful was the "buffoon" to Frank's campaign for re-election? "Probably not very" would be my honest response. I would sack him if I were you, he has turned you into a laughing stock.

Neighbours do talk to each other, people in this area do know that Labour is working our way round the doors. They have also heard from us, postal strike permitting, about our progress on their issues. Some of them were sniggering and pointing up the street after your goon. They entirely understood that these were unnattractive spoiler tactics from an unattractive party designed to undermine our efforts.

Take them for granted at your peril.

We had a really productive session, again, speaking to local people, getting the inside track, taking their issues forward, making a difference.

Bring on May 1st, Make My Day!


Louise Baldock said...

If I didnt make it sufficiently clear, it was obvious to us that this failed former councillor had either seen us walking past or had been tipped off as to our presence in the area.

He rushed out with some surveys that really he was meant to have delivered already but had been too idle to push through. Choosing only those in the street that we had just entered.

He thought he would put us off or send us away by his presence, but when we stood firm and kept on with our excellent progress, he had a brief and half-hearted attempt at putting us off in the next street and then returned home, the rest of the surveys remaining undelivered.


Anonymous said...

I was there as well Louise, we clearly know that wasn't the case.

It's a democratic right to be able to knock on doors and ask for people to fill in a survey. Obviously I know your party would like to turn the country into a one party state.. but sadly this will ever be the case.

Before you go insulting people, I think you should take a long hard look in the mirror. You really are quite an ugly person, inside and out!

Louise Baldock said...

Thank you Pat, I love you too.

- and it was the bloody case, you know very well you were just trying to spoil our door-knocking. You cannot expect anyone to believe that you left your house, walked all the way down to Calendar Road, to knock on the same doors as us, and then went all the way back home to get the papers for the next street, and then went home when you saw us continue, just by happy chance.

We are not stupid and neither were the voters.

At least however, I have now identified the nasty person who has been leaving the messages on the blog.

Former Councillor Maloney, I should have known, you are also the only person who has ever written unkindly about me in the newspaper.

A bit of an obsession of yours am I?

As to my being ugly, methinks you do protest too much, wink!

Paula said...

Louise, if you actually knew Pat Moloney you would realise he hasn't got a malicious bone in his body.

He is in fact one of the few genuinely nice people I have met in politics.

You should apologise to him for the way you have written about him. Criticism of people related to their appearance, from whichever source it comes, is out of place in grown up politics.

Louise Baldock said...

Hi Paula

I have met Pat a few times.

He did write a nasty letter to the papers about me which was quite uncalled for. He also did his best to ruin our door-knocking session.

I am not sure I have criticised his appearance as such. I was parodying high noon and the moment when the two protaganists meet on the deserted street as the wind blows up the dust.

For accuracy, I dont think he is bow-legged, although I didnt check, but all cowboys are, that is a distinctive characteristic. For the purpose of the exercise you may assume that I too am bowlegged and also have holsters on my hips, with my fingers twitching over them, keen to draw my weapons.

It did occur to me that to the uninitiated, people might think he was Richard Marbrow so I wanted to make that clear.

Do tell me which part of the description you particularly objected to? I am curious.

I have long since learnt that LibDems lack a sense of humour, I can only suggest to you and to him that you dont read things that you think might give offence.

One final comment, it has been suggested to me in a post (that I refused to allow because it was way over the top, dripping in vitriol) that it was not in fact Pat that wrote the entry above but someone else. In which case, if that is true, I can only say to whichever of your colleagues it was, that by pretending to be him, you have done him a disservice.

As nobody else WAS there, just him and us, what else however am I to think but that it was him?

Anonymous said...

Well well well some people seem to have got their knickers in a twist over this entry.
When I read it I was on the side of the lone gunman, no matter what his appearance, against the team of gunslingers. A good description of a cowboy straight out of some american western book.
However after reading some of the comments I think the lonegun man should definitely be put in boot hill.
As for the Lib Dems lacking a sense of humour, I'd just like to say that it is a good job the rest of the people of Liverpool have, as the only way to regard their running of the city is like watching a pantomime.

Anonymous said...

I was door knocked in quick succession. Bias as I am, the fact that one party had a councillor and candidate knocking came across much better than their opposition who can only muster a chap "calling on behalf of" their lesser-spotted councillor.