Monday, October 09, 2006


Leafleting in the moonlight

Perhaps being a Liberal Democrat operative after dark is not such a good idea, but with the nights drawing in, there aren’t enough hours of daylight to get all the leafleting done. So tonight, for the first time in a long while, I was out under cover of darkness delivering Focus to my “home patch” of Mountside Crescent and Clough Drive. And despite being bright yellow, the Lib Dem rosette emits a disappointingly small amount of light to illuminate my path…

I’d forgotten how difficult leafleting actually is in the dark. I take for granted the perils of navigating my own garden path during the night, as familiarity has taught me the location of the various pot-holes and rickety steps. I can do it with a fair degree of confidence that each step will not be my last! Sadly, the same can not be said of the 180 others driveways I had to negotiate this evening. I must apologise to the families and friends of the countless snails that fell victim to my clomping shoes. And also to the local residents I inadvertently scared witless by fiddling noisily with their gates for a very long time indeed as I tried to fiddle with latches in the gloom.

But most of all I apologise to the very many householders who probably received two or even three copies of Focus. Crossing the road, going back and forth between houses and trying to cover them all, means it’s very confusing remembering which have been done and which haven’t, even in the daylight. At night I just didn’t stand a chance. One house looks very much like another, which is why, as I zig-zagged with an increasingly furrowed brow and look of despair upon my face, several of the houses in the locale received more than their fair share of Focuses.

And the trauma didn’t end on my return home. I have a list of Members wishing to get more involved, and Members-to-be wishing to get involved full stop. And tonight I rang three of them to try and get them to sign on the dotted line, with the following thrilling results:

1) Member-to-be number one told me that she “didn’t want to be a Member any more,” which was probably the quickest I’ve ever been rejected by a girl. Normally they see my face at least, before saying “no.”
2) Member number two couldn’t get to the phone because, according to the BT robot who addressed me “the number you have dialled has a fault. We are trying to repair it, please call back.” Two done, one to go…
3) Member number three has a lovely mother. But sadly Member number three herself has left town, and won’t be back until Christmas.

Still, as someone once sang, none out of three ain’t bad…

Which was almost enough to make me disheartened. But happily all was not lost this evening, as I had a great chat about recycling with a local resident in the street. She shared my opinion that Bury Labour’s decision to spend £50,000 of taxpayer’s money on bugs for recycling bins (the front page story in Focus) was not a wise move. I agreed when she said that it would generate little but ill will towards the Council. Wer were both of the opinion that if the Council had that amount of money to spend on recycling, it might be better spent upgrading recycling facilities locally so that it wasn’t quite such a monumental effort visiting numerous recycling sites to get everything recycled. How about, instead of spying on us to see who is recycling and who isn’t, let us know a bit more about where we can recycle, and make it easier to do so by providing more facilities to do it. That seems like a better idea to me, since it’s going to have to be done anyway once the results come in from the bugs!

So, even in the darkness, it was good to get some positive feedback from local people. The snails weren’t sacrificed for nothing!

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