Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A bit of a round-up

All is going extremely well in the Liverpool Labour campaign.

On Saturday and Sunday we got a full round out in Picton and in Kensington.

15 of us rewarded ourselves with a night out on Sunday night, meeting at Esteban on Lark Lane for a tapas meal and a drink and to exchange campaign stories.

A few sore heads turned up on Monday morning but we still got a delivery out in Kensington and Fairfield - a targetted letter from Wendy, Jane and me supporting our wonderful candidate Liam. He has been revisiting all the Labour promises - people who have said they are voting Labour - and they are all solidly behind him.

Today we got out a ground-breaking leaflet - we must be the first political party ever to put a photo of their own candidate's home on the front of their leaflet! Liam and I standing in our respective doorways, 3 doors apart, to prove he lives in Wavertree, Liverpool not Blackpool, or indeed Mossley Hill come to that. I am not sure where that particular little fib came from, but some voters have been phoning in to tell us that this is another line that is being used on them. You probably wont notice me in the photo, I am only a little figure in the corner, but I am there waving, honest! Our car insurance would be a lot cheaper apparently if we had a different post-code - but other than that, I am happy in my street with such nice neighbours!

Arlene McCarthy MEP came over to help today, knocking on doors in Kensington and in Knotty Ash and stuffing a few envelopes for me. We have also been joined in the campaign centre by Teresa Griffin every day for the last week - Labour's number 3 in the Euro ballot next year, she lives off Sefton Park.

Tonight the campaign centre was full to bursting with volunteers to prepare target mail for Anfield and County and Belle Vale and Kensington. I left at 10.15pm, having done 13 hours, feeling a bit guilty as I left 20 people still there getting everything ready.

A funny story from County - young Daniel knocked on a door and a bearded man opened it, dressed up as a female nurse with his hair up in a little pony tail. He was so gobsmacked he could not actually remember when he got back to the person holding the clip-board, what the answer had been!

Gerard says he does't mind even if the bloke wears a wedding dress, he will happily take him to vote if he is voting Labour.

I haven't spoken to our Rose today but she wont be happy about the libellous leaflet the Independent candidate has put out in her ward. However, I am reliably informed by her agent that she has been receiving messages of support every day. These things usually back-fire and I am positive that will be the case this time too.

The only bit of really bad news is that our agent in West Derby, a lovely young man Kevin, who works really hard for the party, has turned his ankle out leafletting and is now cast as our data manager, updating all the contact statistics on the computer - so we are all thrilled even if he isn't.

Claire is in great spirit in Belle Vale - we hope to have Liverpool's first women-only councillors ward there come Friday morning. She is very upbeat and I cannot wait for her to join us in the group.

Indeed, one of the things that is keeping us going, when we are foot-sore and it is late at night after a very long day, is thinking about the Labour gains we shall make on May 1st - looking forward to a raft of new colleagues who will join us on the Labour Group and help drive our policies forward. If we win where we hope to win, we shall have some great new councillors who are young and full of great ideas, passion and dynamism.

I was struck on Sunday night at the restaurant that so many of our activists and new blood are under 35. Actually I might be doing them a disservice, many of the people folding and stuffing and sticking tonight were under 30. And so many women, we had at least a dozen women out campaigning in Kensington and in Picton today. I love working in big teams, we have people who prefer to leaflet and people who prefer to knock on doors and those happy to ferry volunteers from other parts of the city about. We have those who like to sit at our big tables and stuff and stick and those who want to stick sellotape on posters. The only thing we have not done much of this year is telephoning. Most activists prefer to go out on the doorstep and meet people in the flesh so to speak.

I don't think the LibDems must have a very big team. I only ever see them in either very small groups or more usually on their own and very rarely do I see anyone who is not a councillor. I am delighted that there are hundreds of volunteers for Labour in Liverpool. West Derby constituency is now up to 60 I understand, which is amazing. It is all thanks to the dynamism of Stephen Twigg and his agent of course who have driven their active numbers right up.

I guess it is because the scent of victory is in the air. And we all remember John Prescot's last speech to conference in the run-up to 1997 when he asked us to think whether we had done enough, could we do more? Had we stuffed enough envelopes? Knocked on enough doors?

We wont be found wanting.

This will probably be the last post from me before May 2nd because I dont see where the time is going to be found.

Good luck to all our candidates and particularly those in our key seats. Break a leg!


Anonymous said...

(scouseboy) It seems like the lad from West Derby nearly did break a leg!!!
The Fib dems appear to have given up in Warbreck where I live. They have only delivered one (very poor) leaflet. Heres to a Labour victory in the city!!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck to Liam in Kensington.

Cath said...

Good luck to you all. I wish I could come over to help you but it's all too near the festival. x

Robert said...

Hello Louise

I hope you sock it to em' good and hard today (1 may). The buzz of good local election campaign is difficult to beat. If I lived nearer I would and come and helped. As it is, my father had a bad stroke three weeks ago and passed away yesterday morning, so life has had other priorities, but I wish you and all the Labour Party candidates well and every success.

Louise Baldock said...

Robert, I am so sorry to hear about your dad, I send you a big hug of support. We are having a great campaign, I just stopped for a quick cup of coffee but will back at it just now.