Those letterboxes are waiting, ready to be filled with our leaflets. Local politics is back. I cannot see the rising enthusiasm, the volunteers hammering at the door. We have been giving it a rest, and when the elections were cancelled in May, well, it seemed we could give up on the intensive work we put in each year. It was very pleasant, actually.
We are not allowed to canvass (which takes forever and you cannot persuade most members to do it as they think they will be embarrassed. We can however stuff letterboxes with leaflets. We have the routes planned out, age-old routes we can do in our sleep ,and frequently do. Those letterboxes in all their deadly variety, and the dogs behind them, are waiting for our tender hands.
Is the thrill of the chase returning, the heart beating faster? Those strategically written letters to the local paper fed in over the last few months, and photo-ops set up (to which the reporter never appeared in the end) to familiarise the neighbours with your hard work – some have been doing that.
It has been too tempting though to roll into a ball and hide away from local happenings and the petty politicking of the town hall, which the voters care nothing about, until someone starts painting a yellow line outside their house, to ignore that local involvement and instead to find other things to do, like DIY, watching old films, or writing a political blog. There are things so much more interesting happening nationally.
It is time to rouse to remember where I live, and look about me, see what the past year has done to it, and work out why the council spends so much money for so little done, and what the local party says we can do about it (short of abolishing the council, but maybe that threat is a political point to play with). Did I see what they did down at the other end of the village? How is the local plan going and will there be any farm fields left this time five years hence?
The leaflets them and the press releases. There I stop: after all that has passed nationally and the complete change in focus, what on earth is there I could possibly write?