Thursday, May 22, 2008

Crewe and Nantwich - Polling Day

I spent about six hours in Crewe today, working on the polling day operation in Crewe and Nantwich byelection.

In the morning I went out with young Mark, Joe from Guisborough and Tim from Portsmouth, knocking on the doors of Labour promises, reminding them that today was polling day and urging them to go out and vote. In the afternoon Mark and I went it alone.

I have to say that in our deliberations, the "outs" had it by a very long nose.

It was very warm again, the sun shines a lot in Crewe compared to Liverpool, I can confirm that most confidently.

Mark and I enjoyed our chat as we walked round, putting the world to rights.

We espied lots of people on our travels. First to be spotted was Colin Eldridge, a Liverpool LibDem, hordes of Labour activists, including organisers, MPs, an MEP, and people I have not seen for years. Masses of hugs and kisses, which I really enjoyed.

Joe from Guisborough turned out to be a friend of one of my best mates - Eileen Johnson in Stockton, so that was lovely. I phoned her to tell her we were together and she rang me back from her holiday in Crete, lucky lady!

We worked very hard and put in a lot of graft but the time we were there - between about 10 and 4 was generally dead-time, in the new Labour era most people go to work, I blame the government on the number of outs we found!

I took lots of photos of Labour houses with huge poster displays - but in the end I am not sure any of it will have been enough. Our 200 workers will have easily knocked out our promises, but I suspect the Tories had more promises and their appetite was probably stronger than ours.

They will be counting now but I dont look forward to the results, if this was really a two-horse race, we may find one of them was hobbled!

If the Tories win, which I am sure they will, this will be their first win from us in something like 30 years. Not a great day for the Labour Party.


scouseboy said...

Not a good day at the office at all!!! And I say that with a very heavy heart. Unless the party and/or its leader finds a direction vey soon, I fear the country will be condemned to an extended period of neo thatcherism

Louise Baldock said...

I agree

And I share the heavy heart

As a lovely older man said to me at the last house on the last street on the last of our "knocking up" rounds

"People don't have long enough memories"

He went on to say that he had had a row with his son who was talking about voting Tory, telling him he would not be welcome in the house again if he did.

That it should come to this....

I began my LP membership in 1992 when we failed to win the General Election, but from there on in we started to win more and more elections in more and more parts of the country.

I guess it is now my turn to be on the other end of the results and I dont like the feelings, I will freely admit.

We cannot go back to the days of pregnant women being chained to hospital beds as they go through labour, just because they have been done for shop-lifting

And remember Peter Lilley telling the Lord Mayor's Lunch in London (or whatever fine event it was) that there was no poverty in GB because everyone had a TV?

The Government has to sort itself out, the activists have done their bit, but we need the cabinet to do theirs.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest here. Part of our problem is that we are forever claiming that the Tories will be just like they were in the 1980s - they may well be but it is hard for people to accept that they will not have learned from their mistakes (we did). At the same time, we are doing things that like us look like the "nasty party". That really makes me feel ill.

Sometimes the people in Westminster seem to forget that there are ordinary folk out here in the sticks trying to defend their mess only for us sometimes to just not want to. (And then are accused of disloyalty usually!)

We really need to look again as to how we involve activists in decision-making so that the decisions made at Number 10 are not made for the sake of the next headline to pass through Westminster but rather for the sake of the next kid born into a poor family or the next person fighting for their job against a bad employer.

We have the time, the people and the will to do this. We just need to pick ourselves up and do it.

Anonymous said...

we jump from one period of neo Thatcherism to another. Hats off to New Labour. Ramsay McDonald would be proud of you. You have served your purpose now the Tories are electable again, Murdoch and the City boys are dropping you.Craven mugs