I thought things went well yesterday. Even more new supporters coming out for the first time, another assured performance by Nick Clegg in the final leaders’ debate, good poll showings…
…But today was even better. My first (political – I used to give my tuppenny worth on trainers – I remember when Zoe Ball was a researcher!) radio appearance along with the other candidates and I think and hope I gave a good account of myself and the Liberal Democrats. Unlike the hustings I thought we had a good strong debate about issues and policies, not personalities. Four good candidates, all wanting to fix things, but with different views on how to go about it. Eddie Nestor did a fine job in the Chair.
I believe the only big issue which didn’t really get a good airing was housing – we should have made more of the fact that Westminster has more empty homes than any other London borough – 5-6000 depending on the estimate; only about half the social housing stock managed by the Almo CityWest homes is still in the public sector, there are chronic overcrowding issues and of the 400 council homes in need of refurbishment for over a year, only 4 have been recommissioned. But there’s only so much you can cram into a few 15 minute chunks, as Eddie kept telling us.
What really made my day was going back to our election HQ afterwards and finding out that in my absence more volunteers than ever before had come along. We’ve got our long weekend’s tasks well underway, and I’m looking forward to a whole three bank holiday days of mega campaign action. This is what real change means.