Tuesday 5th March
There are two days to go, and the party leaders, who have singularly failed to make any impact on the polls during this campaign, know that if anything is to change it’s going to require an alteration of tactics.
So, they have decided to see who can cover the most distance. Yes, it’s Battlebuses of Fire, as David Cameron is looking at doing the whole country in 36 hours, and Nick Clegg is trying to go from Land’s End to John O’Groats in two days.
Yeah, that’ll crack it.
Intriguing revelations about theTory campaign in this morning’s Guardian. David Cameron’s office on the Tory battlebus is known severally as the “love pod”, the “power pod” and the “boss box”. Presumably, it is known as the love pod when Samantha’s on board, the power pod when he’s doing Prime Ministering, and the boss box when he’s chillaxing with a bit of Bruce Springsteen.
The Ed Stone just won’t go away. Lucy Powell, Labour’s Campaign Vice Chair, said on BBC Radio Five Live this morning: “I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the fact that he’s carved them into stone means, you know, means that he will absolutely, you know, not going to break them or anything like that.”
But the whole point of the stone is that it’s in stone. If we can’t trust a stone, who can we trust? Still, who can blame her for getting into a muddle, when she was trying to swim with that bloody thing tied to her feet?
Time to think of the voters, who are of course the most important people in a democracy, right up until the polls close on Thursday night.
All of us have, of course, been involved in the so-called Ground War: the push to win actual votes on local issues. Or have we? I have been speaking with a wide variety of friends, and none of them have actually been visited by any candidates. I haven’t.
I have only received three leaflets, two of which came from the same candidate, Mark Field (Conservative). In the first one, he said he was tackling “aggressive begging”, and in the second he said he was “speaking up for the homeless”. Right…
The other leaflet came from the UKIP candidate. I don’t know what it says when UKIP (who came fourth here last time with 664 votes) have done more to try and engage with me than Labour and the Lib Dems.
This experience has been widely repeated amongst my friends who live in constituencies across the country. Still, it could be worse. We could live in Buckingham where, owing to Parliamentary convention, Labour and the Lib Dems are not running because the Conservative candidate is John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons (he runs not as a Tory but as Speaker Seeking Re-Election).
Today, Mr Bercow has spoken of why this is actually beneficial to his constituents: “There is a flip side of the coin and that is that the Speaker has great access to ministers and gets a deluxe service from ministers in whatever government”.
Well, having spent £20,659 of Parliament’s money on refurbishing the Speaker’s apartments, including the essential DVD Player and Large Screen TV, we can safely say that no one knows deluxe service like John Bercow.