Saturday, April 22, 2017

Scene from an election campaign

This morning and part of the afternoon I was campaigning in Dearham for the excellent local Conservative candidate for the County Council Dearham and Broughton division, Hugo Graham, and members of the Workington and Copeland associations.

As I came up one drive and reached the vicinity of the front door I noticed that there was a sign asking certain categories of people not to call, one of them being canvassers, so I was just starting to turn round when the door opened.

I was starting to apologise to the householder and explain to her that I had only just seen the sign, when she asked if I was calling from the Lib/Dems or the Conservatives. I said the latter, which was apparently the preferred response, and she asked a couple of questions such as where the candidate lives - I was able to introduce her to Hugo and confirm that he lives in the village within a couple of hundred yards.

Anyway, the objection to being canvassed didn't appear to apply to us, and the lady explained that she had been Labour most of her life and had been a trade union organiser, but is not backing Labour this time.

I've been getting this on the doorstep time and time again. Another voter in Dearham told me he and his family had always been "Labour, Labour, Labour, Labour" - until Jeremy Corbyn became leader, but this time he will probably vote Tory.

In St Bees, in Millom, in Bransty, and in Hillcrest it's been a similar story - "We voted for Trudy a few weeks ago, and we'll back you again this time."  Sometimes this is from people who have always been Conservatives but a lot of it is from people who just cannot back Labour while that would make Jeremy Corbyn the Prime Minister.

These people are right. Theresa May is providing leadership for Britain, Jeremy Corbyn cannot even command the support of most of the parliamentary Labour party.

Several people, including very demoralised Labour supporters, have said to me that the 2017 general election is like a rerun of 1983, but in important respects Labour's position is even worse - Michael Foot was the last Labour leader to fight on a platform as left-wing as Jeremy Corbyn's but for all the flak we threw at him at the time, Michael Foot was a great orator, a patriot, and a team player who had experience of working in government as a cabinet minister.

Jeremy Corbyn is none of those things.

On 9th June either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister. I am convinced that it is in the best interests of Britain that it should be Theresa May.

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