Shamik Das

Friday, April 09, 2010

Campaign Diary: Week 1

Vote-LabourWOW! What fun it’s been; the starting gun’s been fired, and we’re off, all set for the closest election campaign for decades. Let the games begin! :)

Saturday 3rd April: A politics-free day, it’s all about the IPL, and the stunning six-fest in Madras, followed by the faboulously named Mumbai Indians putting Deccan to the sword in Bombay - a game which saw 176 fewer runs. Quite a margin over 40 overs’ play.

Sunday 4th April: Looks like the nasty party have risen from the dead. Manage to get up early and put the boot into Chris “no gays, no blacks, no Irish” Grayling, secretly recorded telling a group of right-wingers (it’s always a secret recording isn’t it?) that BNP b&b bigots should be allowed to bar gay couples from their premises. In 2010. From the man who could, in a month’s time, be home secretary. Un-be-lievable.

Monday 5th April: Get out and about on the doorstep, great reception; no one mentions the national stories, it’s all about local issues, as it always is. Evening news bulletins abuzz with news the pm has confirmed he’ll be off the the Palace in the morning to seek a dissolution ahead of an election, as expected, on May 6th.

Tuesday 6th April: Back to work (albeit working from home) after the Easter break, glued to BBC One as Mr Brown goes to see the Queen. Every inch the statesman, he emerges from Number 10, surrounded by his Cabinet, to proclaim the contest officially on. Mr Cameron, meanwhile, is on his own, surrounded by Tory placemen. Wonder if he’ll be standing shoulder-to-shoulder anytime soon with his front bench team, especially his shadow Chancellor and shadow home secretary?! Buzzing, hit the doorsteps again, public seem not to be as excited as us hacks. Some of those that answer aren’t even aware there’s an election going on; but they say they’ll vote Labour, assuming they vote at all.

Wednesday 7th April: Off to the Commonwealth Club to see Lord Mandelson. Genius, sheer class, Mandy rips into the Tories, accuses them of sitting alongside “xenophobes & homophobes” in the European parliament and says they haven’t changed at all. After blogging the day away make it back in time to go door knocking again, whereupon I speak to a 60-something chap who asks me, and I quote:

“You’re not campaigning for that Teather woman are you? She’s unbelievable, I can’t stand her, coming round with her little clipboard telling us she wants to hear our concerns and then doing nothing. She’s a ghastly little woman.”
What can I say? The man knows his onions! Think I’ll put him down as strong Labour! :P

Thursday 8th April: The first Victoria Street press conference of the campaign, and again, Mandy’s the star of the show. Watching on News 24, you notice even the presenters are cast under his spell. Another day’s blogging followed by a trip to Mayfair to meet the prime minister and several key cabinet ministers at the inaugural “GB on the road” interactive Twitter event.


Friday 9th April: The national insurance row rumbles on, with the Tory spin beginning to be picked apart, their coalition of the conned falling apart - Dragons’ Den star James Caan saying our plans “would only add £15 to the cost of employing someone,” and “wouldn’t realistically be enough” to put him off filling a vacancy that needed filling. Good end to a good week. Roll on the next four!!

Left Foot Forward: For all the latest campaign news


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