Monday 30 June 2008

Monday's campaign trail

Willerby went well earlier today, we had a captive audience by the shopping centre. Then it was off to Skidby to do some door-knocking with the team and meet the Hull Daily Mail - part of our ongoing “give us some decent coverage because we are a serious party” campaign which we dished out to all the major media.

We had the mandatory pictures by Skidby Mill – well, the Mail did say we were into renewables – so it must be true...

We were well received around Skidby. Clive reports a very high proportion of conversations with people who are giving the Greens “very serious thought”, not having voted for them before.

I met someone I used to work with in Humberside County Council, and rested my insect bitten leg in the famous windmill whilst chatting to a very green volunteer who will pass on our leaflets. I spoke at length to a man on a roof and a man with a dog; a mother and son and cat in their farm yard who looked like a scene from a painting by Hopper; a man who said David Davis never replied to his letter about the local travellers; a woman who has decided she is too old to drive but still keeps her car in the garage under sheets and goes to sit in it sometimes. She decided to put up our poster in her window. One family almost slammed the door in my face - and then mentioned they’d already voted – for us!


Donations to the campaign fund can be made using the bank details at bottom.

Shan up at t'mill at Skidby

Sunday 29 June 2008

Getting up steam in Little Weighton

We moved on to Little Weighton Steam Fair where, amidst clouds of smoke and tunes from Mary Poppins played on a steam organ , we chatted to people drinking tea or beer. One 5 year old asked, ‘what party are you going to?’ When I explained that a ‘party’ is a group of people who have ideas about how to make things better, he wanted to know where the others were. I pointed to Clive, Martin and Bill. He then asked, ‘ so what are your ideas?’ I explained about oil running out and he suggested bikes and horses. What unerring logic kids have - particularly before they get old enough to get caught up in the mating game! My previous research with 100s of kids shows that the younger they are the greener they are.

Some people just feel fed up with politics in general and don’t want to vote at all, and who can blame them when they have been betrayed so often. When told that politicians are just in it for the money I explained that I’m definitely not. To prove it, if I am elected - about which I’m feeling more and more optimistic - I undertake to give half my salary to the Green Party. I’m in it because I can’t bear to think about what’s going to happen to people, and other species, in the future.

North Cave Car Boot? They want CHANGE!

Another fine day we’ve had! We zoomed off like the Trumpton Fire Brigade to North Cave car boot sale - where we found lots of Green-minded people. Women in particular seem to understand the dire situation the old parties have got us into and the desperate need for change. People want local decision making, they are sick of being conned by politicians who don’t practise what they preach, they know the Iraq war was about oil, they know we are all being exploited by government backing big business, and they want it to stop.

They can also see that with only one of the lame old parties standing in this election the Greens have a chance to make their ideas clear and to get plenty of votes, so lots of people said they would vote for us because THEY WANT CHANGE.

Saturday 28 June 2008

Canvassing in Cott.

The regional gang joined us locals for some serious campaigning today. People in Cottingham were very welcoming – as ever – and everyone we talked to was very interested.

It was great having Green Party perennial Clive Lord around. As a founder member, he’s done every Green by-election since the last glaciation and is staying ten days. He even brought his tent!

Leslie Rowe, fellow Euro-candidate, brought campaigners all the way from Richmond (N.Yorks) and we went door-knocking too.

Local secretary, Martin Deane, spotted David Davis (yet again, 'by coincidence' in a constituency of about 120 square miles), and tackled him on detention and his vote for war on Iraq. Davis said he was a Privy Councillor. So that’s alright then. (One million dead, 176 British troops, a country destroyed). Davis honestly held that the war was to bring liberation and democracy to Iraq. “It was about oil!” Martin came back, “It was planned. The Americans wanted Iraq from day one.”

We did agree though to debate the issues sometime, so look out for an official hustings.

And hurrah! People were telling us that they had our leaflet already. The remainder will arrive by Monday - in time for the postal votes.

Feel like helping? Come on up!

“Oh there’s no bus from here!”

Friday 27th June, actually – just catching up! I went to Howden today. I thought I’d garner votes on the train – and found one! Once at “Howden” you arrive a mile and a half from the town at a station that has seen better days. I asked someone about a bus to town: “Oh there’s no bus from here!” So I had to plod into town! We clearly need a Green Party win to revamp public transport here!

I spoke to people around Howden marketplace and had a very enjoyable time.

We are the only other serious party contending this election and many people were interested enough to talk about their views and local life.

It struck me that if you mix red and blue and yellow – it makes brown! So, “the brown parties”, as I’ll call them, now have great difficulty making policies appeal to most people. And it’s because they are committed to a system that no longer works. If it ever did. We just cannot have endless growth. Full stop.

Saturday, we are in Cottingham market place from 11am onwards. We have lots of inspired visitors from around Yorkshire coming to help us!

Thursday 26 June 2008

Grey meets Green in by-election showdown

We had an enjoyable day in Cottingham market today. Cottingham has the distinction of being the largest village in England. Very positive responses from public in general once we had collared them.

A BBC Look North camera crew turned up and asked loads of questions. The interview went well, but of course they chose to show the one bit with a hesitation in it! They also got us talking with a group of people sitting nearby having cuppa. So, we got on the box with 2 other ‘small parties’ so that’s a plus!

We had a stall set out most of the day and gave out some mini-manifestos and all the leaflets we had and had to print up more! People talked to us very easily and the majority seemed interested in what we stood for once they got to know. David Davis appeared there too and he and I and the team had a little chat where we asked him why he’s a Tory and told him we want to open up the issues. He told us he would invite us to any events he holds and that he sees us as the only serious challenger to him. We said we certainly did intend to challenge him.

Judging by the reaction overall of the people we spoke to there was a lot of support for us just waiting to be tapped.

All papers duly in!

Wow!…fantastic support and brilliant ideas from everyone – yes its looking really exciting now our nomination papers are accepted and the freepost leaflet is printed and on its way. We will follow up on all suggestions.

We’ll be talking with BBC Look North tomorrow . The East Riding Youth Council would like us to visit with David Davis too. Need to work on a press release now….

11 candidates so far… more tomorrow - watch this space!

Very best

Shan, Bill and Martin

Donations to: "Hull and E. Riding Green Party"

Co-op Bank, Alfred Gelder St, Hull
sort code: 089299
acc no: 65169216
or to Bill Rigby, 3 Norwood, Beverley, HU17 9ET

Donating to our campaign

We've had a lot of very kind people volunteer to give donations to the campaign to show-up the Tories' real record on civil liberties.

Cheques can be made out to Hull & East Riding Green Party at the address below, or using the bank details which follow:

Co-op Bank, Alfred Gelder St, Hull
sort code 089299
acc no 65169216

Please let know that you have made a donation, as it's important that we track these.

Many thanks,

Green Party Candidate for Haltemprice and Howden
3 Norwood
East Yorkshire
HU17 9ET, UK

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Election Communication gone to print

Excitingly, our official Election Communication has gone to print today, and it will be delivered by the Royal Mail through the letterbox of every constituent before polling day!

Tuesday 24 June 2008

I've been selected as the official Green Party candidate

After a democratic debate inside the Green Party about whether we should stand in this by-election, I'm thrilled to announce that today the national party gave the go-ahead to us standing in Haltemprice and Howden, after I was selected last night by the local party to contest the seat against the Conservatives' David Davis on July 10th.
That's 16 days time!

Our constituency-wide leaflet is due to go to the printers tomorrow, and we're starting campaigning in earnest. Any offers of campaigning help can be directed to Martin Dean at sokuto12 'at'
I'm looking forward to highlighting the Tories' hypocrisy on civil liberties.