Friday, 30 April 2010


I've never really considered doing a marathon. 26+ miles at one go seems impossible. Actually the idea of me running more than several hundred yards at one go seems inadvisable. Yet over the last few weeks I suspect I've actually walked several marathons. I've been helping our local Conservative candidate with canvassing and leaflet delivery. One very small cog in one very large wheel, but with time to spare I felt I had to do my bit. Like Spike Milligan's account of the war "Adolf Hitler, my part in his downfall" I'd hope a better title for this blog would be "Gordon Brown, my part in his downfall". However we'll have to wait another week to find out whether my efforts have all been worthwhile. I've had an enormous grin on my face these last couple of days however since Gordon's brilliant executed own goal in Rochdale.

Back to my marathons. I volunteered to deliver a couple of leaflets in our village and two neighbouring villages - about 1,500 houses. Mrs Troy and Troy Junior have helped out although Troy Junior seems to always get an urgent toilet break ("No.... I need a pooh!") when we are furthest away from home. It is amazing how quiet the villages are during the day with very few people at home, or out and about. One day, our candidate came to help out but the heavens opened and we got soaked. He came back to our home and we had a good chat whilst he dried out. Mrs Troy said afterwards that if our candidate could talk to everyone in their living room for 30 minutes then he would win by a landslide. He's such a nice guy! I suspect though that he'd have to start now to get round everywhere before the next election.

I've also helped out by assisting in the canvassing. I've marshalled up to five people as they've gone door to door whilst I've manned the clipboard recording their feedback of the voter's intention. We talk in code like "She's a C" which I've recorded as a positive result. I suspect Gordon Brown often says much the same thing about members of the public he meets, even when they are not Conservative.

It's not easy trying to control and record five canvassers. Their pace varies so much as some find no one home, so quickly deliver a "sorry we missed you card" before moving swiftly on. Others find themselves in conversation for several minutes. Meanwhile I'm scurrying along ahead to ensure canvassers don't knock on doors that have only moments earlier have been knocked by someone else. Then the waylaid canvasser catches up "they are Against at number 74" by which time I'm on a different canvas sheet on the next road. In villages where the houses have names rather than numbers it is actually much more tricky. The electoral rolls rarely seem to list the house names in the same order they appear on the road. I suspect I've done a good job though as they now always offer me the clipboard. I prefer this explanation to the alternative - that they don't want me to meet people!

Some people walking in the street actually seek us out with "can I have a poster for my window" or "good luck, you've got my vote". Always nicely spoken, nicely dressed people. Others, often passing in tatty old cars, put up their middle finger or yell out an obscenity. They don't seem to mind us paying our taxes to support them though.

I suspect most of the public and perhaps many of my readers are already getting election fatigue. Have you been watching the TV debates? Are you sick of seeing "how these polls would result in the number of seats in Parliament" graphics on every news programme?

That's why I've only done one blog posting on the election. I couldn't ignore it but one's enough.

I'll leave you though with a very sobering thought. The task facing the next Government is truly horrendous. The Conservatives always, at some stage, have to come in to pick up the pieces of failed Labour regimes. Some of the economic vandalism this time though is completely unreversable - the Nation's gold reserves sold off at rock-bottom prices, the destruction of the private sector pensions, our EU rebate thrown away. It will take at least a generation to repair the deficit and control the enormous debt burden. In reality, the position may possibly be already irretrivable - like Greece. The Governor of the Bank of England is reported as saying in the US that whoever comes in will have to make such difficult and unpleasant economic decisions that they will make themselves so unpopular that they'll be unelectable for a generation. That doesn't sound a great prize to win come next Thursday. There would be some irony if Gordon, perhaps with his new friend "I agree with Nick", had to stay and clear up his mess. But that wouldn't actually happen, it would be the IMF and our international creditors calling all the shots.

[I realise that some readers may wholeheartedly disagree with some of the sentiments expressed here. Let's not fall out but rather be thankful we live in a democracy where we can all freely express our views. Not just the sound ones expressed above but also others!!!!]


Elaine Denning said...

"I suspect Gordon Brown often says much the same thing about members of the public he meets, even when they are not Conservative."

This made me snort on my coffee!

bantambabe said...

As I've already voted by post, the debates, leaflets and canvassing are irrelevant, and the problem now is finding TV, Radio and Press which doesn't mention the election, and even your blog provides no alternative, but I agree with Elaine about the Gordon Brown comment!

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Someone from the labour offices phoned recently to ask for my vote (and he gave me cheek when I asked him not to phone again). So glad to see your chap's actually going around in person to meet people, I'd vote for him on that point alone.

(Although, as I live in GB's constituency, I'm actually quite glad he didn't visit in person.)

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

You must be exhausted from all this walking. It's strange living in Jersey and knowing that whoever gets elected will have an effect on us, although we can't actually vote.

My son is studying Politics and International Relations at uni and is enjoying watching the TV debates. I'm sure he wishes he could vote too.

DJ Kirkby said...

I shant discuss politics but I did want to say that I'm impressed that Troy Junior is such good proof that walking is good for your constitution.

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

PS Mrs Troy is right about people wanting to vote for a lovely candidate - the libdem candidate visited a friend's house while I was there and was so lovely (despite being told to go away) we'd have all voted for him. Sadly, I'm not in his constituency, so much of his charm was wasted.

Troy said...

Elaine - glad it hit your funny bone!

bantambabe - best to lose yourself in a football match then.

suzanne - gosh! you live in GB's constituency. Tempted to send you a sandwich board to wear with "stay at home on Thursday" on it.

Debs - the choice of voting or Jersey tax rates....let me, its a no brainer.

DJ - constitution or constipation?

Suzanne - he was probably just knocking on doors hoping to find a house full of man-hungry women. Standing as a LibDem is just a facade.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Sure is sobering stuff. Dreading and excited about Thursday in equal measures. HOW do we get this country of ours up and running again.
(and most impressed by your marathons... does it matter if marathons are done in bits and pieces? much better I reckon) xx

Troy said...

LWM - I almost think the country has been taken passed the point of no return...although I suspect many people felt the same in 1978/9.
I agree that marathons should be done bit by bit. I do 10 marathons a year on the school run/newspaper pick up alone!

Anyone fancy sponsoring me for a good cause? (the good cause being the second smallest word in that last sentence).

Sir Bruin said...

Hmm, I have noticed something in your 5th paragraph that worries me a little. I have a regional accent, rarely dress smartly and drive a tatty old car. Admittedly I am not in the habit of giving the one finger salute, unless it is to some idiot in a Chelsea Tractor who carves me up when I am on the bike. Does this mean that I am one of those that you are supporting? If so, thank you very much!

Troy said...

Sir Bruin - you've made me feel guilty now.....I packed up working to stop paying so much tax. Please don't copy me though as in a few years I'll need someone to fund my state pension. I too will be grateful.