Monday, 1 June 2009

Abusive people.

For tomorrow's paper I've written a story about politicians getting abused on the doorstep as they canvas for the upcoming elections. I spoke to John Legrys, a man I trust to give me an honest answer about what is going on in the county. He told me he has been shouted at, sworn at etc, and he openly admitted that people see him and other candidates outside and they shut the curtains. We also went out with John to speak to people and ask them what they thought. Really interesting.

But let's take a positive view on this anger towards politicians. I deal with them every day and the majority are decent, hard-working people, a strange breed yes, but honest. And I think this is an opportunity for Local Government and its councillors to show the rest how it should be done. For example, MPs are considering having expenses, salaries, etc being managed and agreed by an independent board. Local councils have done this for years.

I went out for dinner with friends on Saturday and people who would never vote said they will on Thursday. People are engaged with politics again, even if that is because they are angry about politicians and their expenses. This means that Westminster as we know it is being torn down and will be started again, with greater transparency. This is a revolution! There will be greater opportunity for more 'normal' people to stand as candidates, ones people can relate to - this is what people are demanding and any political party wanting power would be crazy not to deliver it. This is actually rather exciting.

Speaking of change, see tomorrow's Mercury for another big politics exclusive...will be in the shops or online tomorrow morning.


  1. cool blog martin! and good point about the local cllrs salaries/allowances example. its great to see people engaged in politics too, though not voting is also a legitimate political choice! capel forever. cheers

  2. Good post Martin. I haven't met any people being abusive when I have been doorstepping, but a lot are saying they will not vote.

    I agree with Jimmy that not voting is a legitimate choice, but I would prefer people spoil their ballot. People should remember all the candidates and agents are called together to watch these being shown as spoiled, and I oddly respect someone who goes to the effort to write a message.

    On Thursday I think the turnout will be near record low levels in most places.