Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Griffins Never Rest

Or at least this one doesn't seem to be getting much rest at the moment. It's all in a good cause though, the cause of helping the Libertarian Party with its current and near future election campaigns. I had to drive down all the way to that London on Saturday morning to attend an election planning meeting for Libertarian Party candidates and regional co-ordinators (I fall into the second category). In retrospect, I should have driven down the night before, parked up in Rickmansworth (where I have a friend who would have put me up for the night) and then taken the tube into London in the morning. But I didn't like to impose, so I scraped myself out of bed as early in the morning as possible and drove down there almost non-stop. I actually made good time until I hit London, which is when my troubles started. That town isn't fit for modern people - the streets are too narrow, there's too much traffic and once you get into the main part of town it's almost impossible to tell which direction you're going in (I normally navigate around cities by noting the direction of satellite dishes, but they don't seem to have satellite TV down there for some reason). Consequently I got lost. Another thing I don't like about that London is that there seems to be a chronic shortage of car parks, but I found one eventually, parked up and made my way on foot to the venue. The meeting was nearly halfway through when I arrived, I was tired and not in the best of moods, so I don't think I contributed much useful to the proceedings, but it was good to see that the meeting was well attended. Quite a few people (I don't know the exact number) have applied to be candidates in both the General Election and the next lot of local elections (we see no point in bothering with the current election for the European clown parliament). The selection process is underway at the moment.

There were also talks by Gregg (a veteran political campaigner based in the North West) who was full of good advice on campaigning, and Andrew Hunt. Andrew has the honour of being the Libertarian Party's very first candidate for elected office. He's running for the Wisbech South seat in the Cambridgeshire County Council election on 4th June. Like most of us in the Libertarian Party he is in no way, shape or form a career politician - just a concerned citizen who's had enough and wants to do his bit to restore some decency and common sense to the political process. Andrew talked for a while about his experiences while out campaigning, and he came across as being quite a positive sort of guy. He'll need to be, because he's going up against a very experienced Tory councillor who seems to have his feet well under the table. Wisbech South seems to be regarded as a Tory stronghold, despite the fact that the council have increased Council Tax by more than the rate of inflation and seem to be addicted to wasting money. From what I understand, Labour, UKIP and the "Lib" Dems have put up paper candidates who aren't even bothering to campaign - you can draw your own conclusions about their attitudes to the voters from that. So in those terms it's a straight fight between Andrew and the Tory - a bit David and Goliath maybe, but hopefully we'll be able to do the opposition some harm in the polls. In any case, standing in the election both raises the Libertarian Party's profile and gains us some useful campaigning experience, so it's a win/win situation for us. Griffins don't fail.

And that explains why I'm not going to be getting any serious rest for the next couple of weeks, either. Andrew's not running his election campaign single-handed - even though Wisbech's a bit out of the way for most of us, a whole bunch of Libertarian Party activists have volunteered to go there and help him out. I've volunteered to help with leafletting etc both next weekend and the weekend after - it'll mean a long drive down from Manchester, followed by hours of walking the streets of Wisbech and sleeping on Andrew's living room floor with a bunch of other Libertarian Party volunteers, but it's all in a good cause and will have multiple benefits. It'll help Andrew, it'll help the Libertarian Party and it'll help the good people of Wisbech by showing them that there is a sensible alternative to the Tory tax and spend merchant who's currently got the job. It will also provide me and the other volunteers with practical campaigning experience - which is sure to be useful in the near future as we put up more candidates. It's a funny thing - I'm not looking forward to the long drive, I'm not looking forward to the hours of ground pounding while I deliver leaflets, I'm not looking forward to sleeping on Andrew's floor - but I am looking forward to it.

Of course I'm not what you'd call a natural political animal. I'm really just someone who wants politicians to leave me alone - but they won't do that, they tax me more than I can afford to pay, they ban things I enjoy doing and they always seem to want to grab even more power. So it's been necessary for me to band together with other like-minded citizens to put the State back in its rightful place - as a service organisation, not our overlords. If you think the same way, why don't you join the Libertarian Party? We're a rapidly growing organisation, but if we're going to challenge the LibLabConsensus (and I think we can) we need more members, more money, more activists and more candidates.

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RobW said...

Brilliant article Stuart.

pagar said...

Hi Stuart

Excellent article. Great to hear things are moving forward.

Sorry to have missed the first NW meeting but I didn't get any details of venue etc and assumed it had been postponed.

I'll definitely make the next one.



Citizen Stuart said...

Cheers Rob, I hope things are going well down your way.

Pagar, I'm sorry you didn't get notification of the meeting, I was sure I'd sent it out to everyone. I'm going to try to contact everyone on Monday to arrange the next one. Let me know if you need a lift to Wisbech, by the way.