If I have an hour or two to spare and fancy a walk, I visit an area of Montgomeryshire and deliver what I call my 'team' leaflet. It includes all of our newly elected councillors and its made of stiff cardboard which can be pushed through letter boxes without putting my fingers at risk. This is a more important than you might think. I never worry about the Alsatians and Rottweilers who make their intentions very clear as soon as you open the garden wicket. Its the terriers which wait in silence and pounce when the fingers are within biting range.
Anyway, the leaflet has a tear off return slip which invites recipients to tell us of issues which concern them. Had one back today which simply said "Politician? Get Lost! and it was signed by 'Disgusted' of Welshpool. Stops me getting too confident I suppose. The thing that hurts is that it was sent by FREEPOST. We actually paid for it.
All this rumpus about expenses brings contempt upon the heads of candidates, as well as the current elected members. And that's despite what it costs us personally. In Montgomery recently, I met a lady whom I had called to see about an issue when I was an AM. She launched into me about how much I was 'rippping her off'. When I told her that for the last two years I'd been a candidate who has to meet all of my own costs, amounting to several thousand pounds a year, she hesitated...for about 10 seconds, and then launched into me for wanting to get into a position where I could rip her off.
Back to today's return communication. Bad news is that 'Disgusted' is unlikely to vote for me. Good news is that he or she is unlikely to vote for anyone else.