Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Cracking flags, Post It notes and the Jenkins Commission

Soooooooooooo.....a conference in sunny Southport, a walkabout in Maghull, a sixth form Q&A in Ormskirk, canvassing at the school gates in Blackburn and in Bastwell ward (where it really was, as the detectives put it, "cracking flags") and now we are back at Straw HQ blogging and writing leaflets.

Jack started the day speaking at the conference of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents at the Floral Hall, Southport, see above for stunning action shot (last time we were there was a POA conference). Lots of good questions and points, particularly about anti-social behaviour and CCTV (which is much valued yet opposed by Tories and Lib Dems).

Then to Sefton Central with candidate Bill Esterson and the great George Howarth. Jack ran George's by-election campaign in Knowsley South in the 90s and it is from there that the great mushy pea-guacamole story - usually attributed to Peter Mandelson - came about. It was an American intern who, in fact, believed that the mushed up pea was in fact mushed up avocado, not then plain Peter Mandelson.
Lively conversation over a bakewell tart with a very friendly non-Labour voter in the cafe near Morrisons in Maghull (near where I used to play cricket for the Echo - Liverpool Business Leagues champtions, 1996), but solid Labour elsewhere.

There will be a new prison here soon, 600 places and massively welcomed locally for jobs.

Then on to Ormskirk School and a great Q&A with the upper and lower sixths - voting reform, the Jenkins Commission (yes, really) expenses, hung parliaments, Lib Dems, the NHS and more in a brilliant new school.

Back to Blackburn for the rest of the day and after an impromptu school gates public meeting, one of those streets you dream of as a canvasser. Everyone was in, and everyone was voting Labour. And this is supposedly a Lib Dem stronghold. Just one let down - and you had to hand it to them - the household with a post-it note stuck to the door declaring: "Tory till I die".

The sun was beating down as well, cracking flags it were (in case you don't know, it means it was so hot the flagstones were cracking).

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