Sunday, 21 September 2014
The Clacton Ominbus
West Kent Towers organised a day at the seaside this weekend, with 35 activists on our coach to Clacton, and unlike our last last campaign trip to Eastbourne, this time I didn't leave anyone behind!
It was a good day and what struck me most was the local morale. The circumstances of this by-election were "unfortunate" and we all know the early polls demonstrated a tough fight ahead, but the local members I spoke to were far from downhearted, in fact they were determined to fight all the way.
One local campaigner told me, "I have worked for Douglas Carswell for eight years and have given more hours than I care to remember helping him on a personal and political level. A few weeks before his defection he sat on my sofa laughing and joking as we planned his campaign. At that time he must have known. I feel very used and cheated by a man I thought I could trust." Quite.
Our coach rendezvoused outside Clacton with Julian Walden and Marion Little (on her 55th Parliamentary by-election, what a legend that lady is!) Julian had kindly arranged for tea and coffee for the entire coach as we unloaded leaflets and received a briefing from Marion. After leafleting we all regrouped in a local seafront hotel for more refreshments and sandwiches, again kindly supplied by CCHQ, before heading out for canvassing. This hospitality was greatly appreciated by members, as was the effort made by the candidate and the Association Chairman to thank everyone personally for their help.
If you have a spare day I strongly urge you to drive along the A11 and offer help. They're a great crowd and your support would be really appreciated.