Two weeks to go ...
Until the local elections and the AV referendum
The contest for seats on Copeland Council is becoming, a little like the last general election, one between hope and fear.
The Conservative slogan is "Vote for a better Copeland." Conservative leaflets spell our positive policies to attract business and jobs, such as free parking, how to improve quality of life, such as paying more attention to basic services such as cleaner streets, and how we will pay for it (scrap the full-time leader and executive, and return to a balanced committee system.)
The Labour slogan is "Your Voice in Tough Times." Labour leaflets concentrate on how terrible the national situation is (without the faintest acknowledgement that the Labour government which was in office untill less than a year ago might have had anything to do with this) and promise in very vague terms to "stand up for" the needs of the community. Considering that they have been running Copeland Council for twenty years, there is astonishingly little material in the Labour leaflets about the achievements of the council. And even less about what specifically the Labour candidates will actually do as councillors if elected.
And while the Conservative election addresses for Copeland Borough Council have a section about each Conservative candidate - who we are, where we live, what job we do or did - the equivalent Labour leaflets have an extraordinary lack of detail about the people they are trying to persuade voters to elect. Often just their names and a group photograph.
Just possibly this saves them having to explain that one of the Labour candidates for Bransty ward lives on the other side of Carlisle, while Labour candidates for wards like Bootle and Gosforth live in Bransty ...
The election in Copeland is between the Conservative challengers who are putting forward policies for a better Copeland, and a Labour establishment who seem surprisingly reluctant to write about what they have achieved over the past twenty years, or would like to do if re-elected, and who appear to think that they can win, or for that matter deserve to win, by bashing the national government. A government which, for all its faults, is having to clear up the situation which the previous Labour government left behind.