Thursday, April 21, 2005

Two weeks on and we'll be gone

What a difference the weather makes. You can smell happiness in the air at half past five a.m. The sun is coming up, outside the front door it's fresh, not chill, and the wheelie bins are due to be emptied in a couple of hours.

In this constituency green small-person sized plastic containers guard every front door. Most residents only open their doors when they have a stuffed plastic sack ready to chuck in the wheely. It takes six seconds. Unlock, lift lid, chuck, thump! and then it's back to "No canvassers, no hawkers, no financial advisers" except on collection days when the bin has to be placed outside the front gate. Suggest to BBM that he should get rubbish collection rota from the town hall and follow the bin men to meet more voters.

Went with BBM to discussion group at the local FE college yesterday afternoon. Only the three big players turned up. Tory Lib Dem and us. There is a Green candidate and a UKIP and a National Front, but dunno who or where they are.

The Lib Dem bloke has been a candidate every election forever, so once every four years or so we meet up and chat in back rooms, corridors and under awnings when it rains. He moans to me that his party in this town is getting old and tired and that he doesn't have anyone to canvass for him any more. Same with us I tell him. He's just had a heart op and been told to walk everywhere so he gets up at first light and walks all over town alone pushing leaflets through hostile doors.

The Tory is a young posh bloke from out of town and he has some youthful locals to support him, so they look much more impressive than the rest of us. They rattle on about immigration and asylum seekers as decreed by Lynton Crosby and are hurt when the audience and BBM have a go at them. I'm sitting at the back with the Tory supporters and one of the young men hints that the continual emphasis on immigration has become an embarassment to them. "It's not going down at all well with the locals." he whispers. Well it wouldn't here. The immigrants in this town are all senior health service workers or human rights lawyers. Consultants at the hospital in their forties and fifties who live in the best areas and have hoardes of very smart children who are training to be lawyers, television producers and Members of Parliament.

Well, that's where I left off there this morning to do some wifely duties. I have to prepare lunch each day. Today it was s chicken with lemon potatoes from the River Cafe Cook book. Yes I know it sounds very posh but it's easy to do and you can eat it cold.

BBM appears very upset. One of his ongoing cases, a local family who have been supported by the whole town in their asylum application have had their appeal against the appeal verdict tuned down. He has to tell them later today and is desparately trying to find a way for them to stay. I offer to help by ringing the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in London and ask if there is any more we can do. There I am working away. Forgotten I am a wife. Forgotten I am in Constituency, feels like a normal day back at the media coalface. A phoen rings and I answer it without thinking. The Daily Mail wants to know if I have been fined seven hundred and fifty pounds for speeding. Of course I answer Yes. You can't lie about things like that. And then I realise it's a trick to find out if I am the awful MP's wife. Clever stuff, but then the Daily Mail is clever. Too clever for me it seems. Break the news to BBM that they have discovered my blogging activities. He sighs with misery. It's turning into a very bad day indeed here and there are still fourteen more to go.


Blogger bas said...

Ahh... uncovered? I won't try to find out. Perhaps you're Cherie?... hmm, no, there's no fee involved! [Sorry!]
Yes, the helpers are getting older and older. It's such a hoot meeting up before setting off with our clipboards and smiles. The conversation is all about knees and whose ache the most.
Wonderful blog... so real!

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