Monday, 2 July 2012

Dancing on the Head of a Pin

I don't feel that I stopped today, but at the end I'm not sure I actually did anything specific apart from talk, type and arrange.

The day started with the weekly meeting of the Mackinlay for Kent Campaign Team. Pulling together a brand new campaign covering 1.4 million people across 17 Parliamentary constituencies is an enormous undertaking. We seem to have spent countless hours on the phone, in meetings, emailing, texting and at times driving miles across Kent countryside to rendezvous in the most bizarre places - the most memorable of which was in a leaking medieval barn, accessed across a courtyard full of cow poo.  Don't ask!

So much progress has been made in just two weeks and I hope to be in a position to announce major news very soon, but not quite yet!  However, here is where we are

  • New campaign website launched and live - take a look!
  • Twitter and Facebook up and running. 
  • Campaign phone number launched - phone us on 01622 235000
  • Campaign email addresses live - email me at
  • Three Regional Campaign HQ identified and established (North, West and East Kent)
  • Mail processing and data management centre identified with lease under negotiation
  • Funding initiative written which, if agreed, will reduce burden on Associations
  • First leaflet of the campaign in draft form and will be sent to print next week
  • Campaign strategy meeting with all Kent Associations 'pencilled in' for end July.
Not a bad start for a group who met together for the first time just two weeks ago!  And I must place on record what a super team it is. Everyone has been selected for a specific skill they bring to the campaign, we all respect each other's abilities and allow each other the space to fulfill our roles.  It's a pleasure to work with such a strong, motivated and skilled group of people.

Back at the ranch, my long suffering assistant, Jon, has buggered off on holiday, so I was greeted by a pile of post and countless emails and answerphone messages. Today was also the last day for the Summer Draw, and I had to pack and despatch the T&M and TW raffle ticket counterfoils to HQ. I can report that both of the Associations I work for showed a small increase in tickets sales compared with last year.  Given the political and economic climate, I am pleased about this as I am not aware of any other Association in Kent to have increased sales.

I also finalised today the local re-selection timetable for next year's Kent CC elections. I passionately support the Party's new Mandatory Selection Guidelines which ensure every councillor must be re-approved and re-selected, with the wider membership having the final say in who is chosen. As I wrote in a previous blog post, the councillors who object most strongly to these changes are those who have the most to fear by having to defend their record and justify their re-selection!

Then a blow - a call from Marion Little, one of the Party's national campaign strategists. "Hello andrew - we're still waiting for your analysis and report on how we won Tunbridge Wells East. We're all looking forward to it."  Urgghhhhhh.   Vague promise about having it ready "after my holiday".  She told me that she has a good memory and won't let me forget.

Finally, amongst the detritus of administration, a very exciting phone call from Craig regarding a meeting he is having tomorrow (Tuesday) evening which will lead to a major announcement. Sorry to be a tease - but watch this space!

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