Never had to do two of these in a year before…. This one might have come earlier, but I found one of those “social life” things so am busy most evenings being nice to people.
Doesn’t do much for my blood pressure, but stops me clogging up the Internet with splenetic objections to Boris’s alternative realities.
Anyway, this is the pre-election summary of election literature what I have received. (An entertaining feature is that none of the candidates personally support Brexit, which must be relatively rare and may account for it not being promoted much.) Any party not listed is apparently not standing in my constituency. In alphabetical order:
Conservative and Unionist Party (Tory)
- Summary: The Tories have supplied two leaflets again (the candidate is evidently placing all his hopes on a roadside poster nearby – note to candidate: can’t really read roadside posters when commuting during December election campaigns). Last time these included the “Election Special” edition of a fake magazine; fortunately the party has realised this obliges them to produce regular updates on the MP’s progress and so have left it out this time. Instead we just get folded pieces of paper, one with the formal picture of him looking welcoming but determined and one showing him in mufti, squatting on a new canal bridge.
- Key Policy 1: Advocate for the town, much loved by constituents.
- Key Policy 2: NHS funding.
- Transport: £100bn on roads, railways and other “responsible, constructive investment” (including canal bridges). Has already spent “millions” on new roads.
- Proud of: Living locally and doing lots of casework.
- Quality of election material: Quite blue. One is on more expensive paper than the other; both printed locally.
- Party has leader?: Yes. (Said leader is very proud of having got his party to prioritise a policy that has stopped things from being “given the attention they deserve” and taking the country off “the road to a brighter future”, which he promises to remedy. Emphasises that the election is because Parliament won’t let him pursue this policy without discussing it first, which rather suggests Government policy is that we should get rid of all the current MPs.)
- Candidate remarks: Still a friendly chap who seems on top of his brief. (But has omitted to explain why none of his transport pledges in 2015 have happened.)
- Summary: In 2015 I had seven leaflets from Labour; in 2017 this dropped to two; this has now gone back up to six, including an application form for a postal vote.
- Key Policy 1: CHANGE!
- Key Policy 2: End NHS privatisation.
- Transport: No explanation of how to get to any of the new Labour wonder green jobs (or non-privatised hospitals), except possibly by electric car (but the electric cars seem to be more something to be built to create jobs rather than something that anyone will want to use).
- Proud of: Fighting for her country (couple of pictures), doing something about libraries (apparently in that we still have them) and being local.
- Quality of election material: Still red. Candidate has been persuaded to grin more.
- Party has leader?: No. (Though there is an old bloke waving a supportive sign in one of her pictures who looks a bit like the leader.)
- Candidate remarks: Was very blunt and direct at the last election; have not seen her this time (the hustings have been very badly advertised, assuming that there were any), but the more local-centric bits of the leaflets read like they were written for her speaking style.
- Summary: This time a leaflet has actually been delivered to my door without me having to demand one from the candidate, which is fortunate because I haven’t seen much of him either. It is a folded sheet of A3 with lots of Liberal orange. To avoid one half of the town running out of leaflets (like last time) it is a joint leaflet of both local candidates. They are duly seen standing in front of shuttered shops, reindeer and pro-EU protests. The leaflet is most notable for opening with an appalling deer pun.
- Key Policy 1: Take the climate emergence seriously.
- Key Policy 2: Stop Brexit.
- Transport: Candidates got photographed standing in front of a local steam locomotive (which loco has evidently decided she is voting for them, though will be an interesting sight at the polling station). Neither she nor they had anything to say about electrification of the local National Rail line or the excessive EU funding of trunk roads.
- Proud of: Long-term supporter of EU membership.
- Quality of election material: Orange and easy to read. Reasonably detailed, with lots of pictures of both candidates and their families. Slightly excessive use of bold text. Still no grasp of commas (or awareness of semi-colons), with the consequence that one candidate is claiming to have helped to write the national climate crisis.
- Party has leader?: No.
- Candidate remarks: Still a nice chap. (All three parties have re-run the same candidates as last time, this time in a serious election without the smaller people running around.)
Vote early, vote carefully and vote hopefully.
Here is a reminder of the circumstances in which you do not need to vote.