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Showing posts from April, 2015

Life in a marginal: still uncanvassed

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If the election result was decided solely on how many times people have knocked on my door, there would be no doubt about the winner: the Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxfam and "Hello Fresh" would also retain their deposits. No political party has bothered yet, and there's barely a week left for them to get their acts together. Honestly, what is the point of living in a marginal if you're not going to be given the opportunity to rant on your own doorstep? Plus I'm a stay-at-home Dad so I'm in all day and can even offer a traditional baby-kissing opportunity. Roll up!

"But her face is covered in porridge!"
"Do you want my vote or not?"

The leaflets keep on coming of course. Mrs Tomsk has received a personal letter addressed personally to her from John Leech. It's all but identical to the one I was sent except that the controversial opening paragraph has been replaced with something much more anodyne. Either this blog is much more widely rea…

At the hustings

I was kindly allowed off fatherly duties for an evening to attend the election hustings at St Clements Church in Chorlton. A few things I learnt about the candidates:

John Leech (unsurprisingly) and Jeff Smith (reassuringly) are both good at this game. Rob Manning (Conservative) and Mark Davies (UKIP) also put up a good front against a mainly hostile audience. Lucy Bannister (Green) was the youngest and least assured candidate but to her credit was the most willing to take on the UKIP arguments directly. Mysterious independent candidate Marcus Farmer was not on the panel. Perhaps he was gazing down malevolently from the bell tower.Jeff Smith was happy to go on record saying that he would vote against his own party in order to ban fracking and cancel a Trident replacement. I don't actually agree with him on either of those issues but still I'm impressed with his independence of thought and it has addressed some of my previous doubts. Of course it was also a canny pitch that pre-…

Life in a marginal: when communications backfire

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It's always good to receive a personal letter addressed personally to me from candidate John Leech. Not least when it comes on rather nice parchment-like paper. It's the Ferrero Rocher of personal letters.


However, this particular letter seems almost purposely-crafted to drive me towards voting Labour.

The first two paragraphs contain so much piffle that they actually broke my piffleometer. I understand the need to trash talk Labour in their leaflets, but "Britain nearly bankrupted"? I expect that kind of mendacity from Clegg, but I thought Leech would have more scruples.

If you're going to make up recent history for your own benefit, at least be creative:

"In 2010, the tyrant Brown ruled the Kingdom with a great clunking fist, and all the peasants did whimper as their first borns were sacrificed to appease the mighty Banker Barons. And yet there was still hope, in a fresh faced young hero named Nick Clegge from the South Riding of York-Shire. And lo, the p…

Undecided of Manchester Withington

A confession: I haven't made up my mind how to vote yet.

If it were simply a matter of choosing a party I would have settled long ago on Labour. I've never voted for them before at a general election but picking Ed Miliband as leader showed they were ready to stand for something again and I'm pleased with the direction he has taken the party. While some of the policies they have already proposed may be a bit gimmicky (stupid NHS targets), and some I'll believe when they happen (200,000 new homes a year), others look both doable and will tangibly improve the country: doubling paid paternity leave, reducing tuition fees, giving 16 year olds the vote, abolishing non-dom status, giving football fans a voice in the boardroom, reinstating the 50p top rate of tax, scrapping the bedroom tax, and giving renters more rights to name just a few. Small policies that will make a big difference without breaking the bank.

I could hardly be less persuaded by the endless attacks on Mili…

Life in a marginal: a tale of two Jeffs

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After the blizzard of Lib Dem leaflets, Labour strikes back. It's all about Jeff this time, both in boring old A4 format:


And in a personal communication adressed personally to Mrs Tomsk in person, an intriguing origami-like construction yielding much the same information:



His handwriting looks a bit childish. Should have stuck to the typewriter. Plus he's blown the personal effect by addressing himself to "Dear Resident". Still, it's an impressive roster of ordinary definitely-not-Labour-activists backing Jeff there.

Believe it or not the leaflet folds open again to reveal yet more Jeff knowledge, like a more boring version of those folded paper number choosing thingummies you made at school.

In response Leech has sent us his own innovation: a square leaflet.


Could do better, frankly. But I have learnt something new: Manchester is a one-party state...