Some people, laughably, think the first Monday of May is a bank holiday: clearly they are not involved in local politics.
This weekend and all today is pounding the streets, engaging with the public, no pounding of doors this year but next I will have my hands on those knockers like anything.
It is not the same without the robust conversations on the doors (allow yourself 20 seconds – no more). It is frustrating when you want to get on, but it re-engages you with real people. The householder is very happy to get everything off his chest, from why no one has mended that pothole (have you called the council to let them know, or do you think they are psychic?) to the development threatened next door, to which group of Her Majesty’s subjects they would lock up / deport / castrate (yes, I had all three in one conversation last week). They don’t generally mean it, unless discussing developers.
For the last several weeks leaflets have been delivered, rewritten and reposted, LibDem leaflets analysed with loud disgust, social media (for those who do that) filled with grinning and gurning photographs of candidates and supported and a roped-in MP on High Street and doorsteps (for those standing where there is a high street) and the local hospitals have been badgers by photo-ops, and deliverers with fingers bitten by dogs and double-spring letterboxes.
I have had tougher leaflets this year, that stood a better chance of getting through the defences of the letterbox. I haven’t even been attacked by a dog. (I know we have had a vicious lockdown recession, but it is not like those mediaeval woodcuts of famine days showing when starving families driven to kill and eat their precious hunting dogs. There are still dogs, but more restrained. I am not complaining.)
Actually, why are there heavily sprung letterbox flats with thick draft-excluders in doors to second-floor flats? What kind on ninja winds do they think they have that can get inside and snake up two flights of stairs to blow in at their door?
Legs aching, and while all my run is done, there are fellow candidates in need. Time to jump in a phonebooth and emerge as Supercanvasser, ready to collapse at my desk tomorrow morning – for the earning world does not stop because of an election.
- The fine art of pop-up journalism
- Letterboxes, endless letterboxes
- Oh the things we said in dark corners
- We cannot win on social media
- The Rise of Political Lying by Peter Oborne
- Local Journalism and Local Media: Making the Local News – Bob Franklin & David Murphy (eds.)
- Local Journalism in a Digital World by Kristy Hess and Lisa Walker
- The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies by Ryszard Legutko
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay (1841)
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson
- Pistols at Dawn: Two Hundred Years of Political Rivalry from Pitt and Fox to Blair and Brown by John Campbell
- Political Correctness Gone Mad?, by Jordan B. Peterson, Stephen Fry, Michael Eric Dyson and Michelle Goldberg
- An Utterly Impartial History of Britain by John O’Farrell
- 1000 Years of Annoying the French by Stephen Clarke
- By Thomas Hobbes in the Civil War and Restoration era: