Saturday, 25 April 2015

My very own local election poster

For some reason Broxtowe Constituency Labour Party has not printed posters for the ward candidates. Posters for Nick Palmer assault the eye wherever you go in and around Beeston. I don't know about the rest of the constituency, but I hope his posters are everywhere.

In contrast, I have yet to see a single Labour Party window bill showing the names of the ward candidates — which has amazed me. So I went to the newly opened office on City Road to track down a poster for Beeston North ward. The person organising things in the ward is being run off her feet, so I thought I was making a simple enough request, but it seems not. I was curtly told I could have a poster for Nick Palmer or a 'vote Labour' poster and reminded this was a general election.

My response was to make the point that it was also a borough council election and that it was as important to me as the general election. Another person then said he had never seen ward posters and this was his second election as a ward candidate. I responded by saying my experience in other places was very different.

I did actually catch sight of a 'Vote Labour' poster onto which someone had typed in large print Lynda Lally and added Pat in thick black ink. I only just saw it, hidden almost from view on a pinboard. Knowing Lynda and Pat, I suspect they could well dare to be different, but it is in front windows on streets where the ward posters need to be — not half-hidden on a pinboard in a Labour Party office!

I said there and then I would go home and make my own poster for the Labour candidates in Beeston North ward and I am proud to say it is now in our front window beside a Nick Palmer poster —

Cloud reflections in the window aside, you can see my poster in Wollaton Crescent, unique to Beeston (and all of Broxtowe in the absence of some enterprising agent or candidate in another part of the borough).

What really saddens me is this downgrading of the borough elections when for the past five years it has been local Labour Party workers and councillors doing the donkey and trying as best they could to limit the damage being done to Broxtowe by the Conservative-Liberal Coalition Government.

I suspect even with a Labour led government after the general election, Broxtowe's Labour councillors will still have to fight hard. I will believe any transfer of powers back to local government when it happens. In my book local councils trump Westminster any day and the quality of our lives, both now and historically, owes far more to the work of councillors than MPs.

Perhaps the Labour Party will, belatedly, organise the printing and distribution of local ward posters. Shame on them if they do not, for it will tell me and a good many other voters where their priorities lie and it won't be in Broxtowe for all they say.

Labour's foot soldiers are far too polite. Perhaps had local parties and councillors stood up for themselves some time ago the Party would not now be run by a caucus of professional politicians who have little experience of life in the trenches. The Conservatives and Liberals are much the same, hence the widespread view among voters that the main political parties are 'all the same'. 

Of course there are a few good Labour politicians out there and it is to Nick Palmer's immense credit that many local voters believe he will be his own person and among the few Greens voters I know, there is a belief that their having a candidate has helped ensure we will be getting an MP for Broxtowe and not one who will unquestioningly do the bidding of the Labour leadership. My support is based on this belief and my link to Nick Palmer's blog carries his promise to represent Broxtowe first.

There is still time for Labour to reinstate its Broxtowe Borough Council election campaign to being of equal importance to the general election campaign. As of yet I have not seen a Labour Party manifesto for Broxtowe. If it exists, where has it been published?

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