Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Great day

All round it's been a really constructive 24 hours. We seemed to have hammered out the final editorial points on our General Election Manifesto and my day job has been pretty rewarding as well.

I'm currently working with a number of disadvantaged kids in Manchester, and I'd recently tried writing to some of the local football clubs, which form a big part of these kids lives. Man City, Man Utd and Oldham have all come good with 2 tickets each, 1 for the child and 1 for a carer. It has been an absolute pleasure to ring up the residential workers and let them know that their kid gets the chance to go to a match - something they might never get the chance to do otherwise.

Back to politics though... Tory posters are springing up around Liverpool. I'm still assessing the reason for this seemingly pointless use of election budget in an area where they won't win seats. If we break it down into some kind of Tory calculation, I think it goes something like:

Tory results in 2001 + Boris Johnson effect = Lost deposits

In Liverpool Walton the Tories got just 6.1% last time and Liverpool Riverside was not a lot better with a poor 8.4%

Already local Tories increasingly vote Lib Dem on a tactical basis, and will do so again this year. Without some kind of election expenditure, the Conservatives may be looking at lost deposits in places like Liverpool, Salford and Manchester. The inside information that anti-racist campaigners have about the local Bullying No-action Party is that they are actively targeting weak Tory areas in an attempt to displace them. This could also be a factor.

Success for most long standing Liverpool Greens would be a 5% vote and us holding our deposit. I personally would like to be more ambitious than that. I think we can actually finish ahead of the Conservatives as long as we are visible in the local media. The Tories don't seem to have found a candidate yet, and after John Prescott's slip of the tongue today, they need to get a move on. Someone parachuted in from elsewhere will also have a negative effect on their support, as Liverpool's people tend to prefer someone who lives locally.

Finally, I've noticed that the usual online suspects that chase me around on the net are making their comments wherever possible. I'll always try and keep the debate on the issues or analysis, but the party political hacks quickly give themselves away as they just can't help personalising things when they are struggling in the debate. This tends to be worse from the Labour Party side. I reluctantly admit to having campaigned for Labour in a marginal seat in London in 1997, when the country was crying out for change. Since then I think disappointment is my overall feeling about this government, punctuated at times by real anger. The fact that I was once a Labour supporter explains the New Labour hostility.