Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forward onto the doorstep.

Tried some old fashioned campaigning today. Delivering leaflets around my local village, talking to a few people, and finishing off with a public meeting in the Old School. Wasn't expecting much of a turn-out after realising that I was clashing with a meeting of Berriew Bowling Club. I'd promised myself that if I failed to reach double figures, I wouldn't do it again. Well, I did - just. So I'll do it again next week - at Castle Caereinion. These are the two villages in which I've lived my life.

I'll refer to just two of the issues raised. Firstly, the 'reneging' on the promise to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. I thought this issue had died a death - but it seems not. I've never thought this a justifiable criticism anyway. Cameron/Hague gave the British people a 'cast iron guarantee' that they would hold such a referendum - if it had not already been signed into EU law. My experience is that this response is met with a 'grudging' acceptance. But what really does surprise me is that my questioners seem to have forgotten that it was the Labour and Lib Dem parties which did actually renege on promises to hold a referendum, rendering the Conservative promise undeliverable by doing so. That's politics I suppose.

Second issue was MP's salary - and outrage that an increase has been awarded at a time when some public sector workers are subject to a pay freeze. I said that I didn't know how much MPs were paid, but thought that they were probably well paid already (bearing in mind that there should be an element of public service in the job), and that I'd consider not taking the increase myself while a pay freeze applied to public sector workers. I'd have been more definite, but I could get into bother for making such a commitment. I've checked now, and the salary is £67,737 . Well, I think that is a damn good salary in anyone's language.

Not at all sure that today will have increased my vote come the General Election, but it was enjoyable and satisfying. Good job I'm not some 'pin striped Home Counties barrister' I thought as I descended into George's milking parlour, where there's a real danger that one of the rear ends of the 18 cows present could have expressed an opinion in traditional bovine style. But they recognised a friendly face. More than anything else, I want the next eight weeks to be about enjoyment and satisfaction.


alanindyfed said...

Peole have short memories.
Also: they say people believe what they want to believe....
and don't bother to check the true facts.

Anonymous said...

With the polls looking so dodgy for the Tories, I do hope that your party will now focus on winnable seats like yours. After all, you need every seat you can get. I have the feeling that Cardiff/London were not au fait with the goings on in Montgomeryshire and the possibility of a Portillo moment. Let's hope they now get real

Anonymous said...

Whether the cast iron guarantee was given on a referendum on Lisbon regardless, or only if it hadn't been ratified is a technical point. The spirit people took it in was what was important. I was not surprised Cameron did what he did, but I was none-the-less disappointed. He would have at a stroke removed the UKIP threat, but I guess the Guardianistas and the Markets frightened him.

Well, he is now suffering for that - and as we all will if Labour get in again. I repeat my statement that anyone voting for Labour are either idiots or advantaged from our benefits culture. I still maintain their right to vote how they want - that is democracy after all - but doesn't mean I respect their motives. In fact, I would put a caveat on this - people often attack the BNP and say they should be banned because of their policies. That is a whole different issue, but I propose that the parties that SHOULD be banned from Parliament are those who's manifestos involve wholesale surrender of national sovereignty to overseas interests (eg Lisbon).

alanindyfed said...

Campaigning on the doorsteps - see my blog... ;-)

Glyn Davies said...

Alan - all true.

Anon - Well, we are a 'target seat', though not enough of one to attract financial support for our campaign - which is how I like it. As long as we are not interfered with too much. Terrific support coming over from North Shropshire already.

Roman - hardly a 'technicality'. A referendum on an unsigned Treaty would have enabled us to stop it, while a referendum on a signed treaty would have been no more than an expression of opinion, which could only be satisfied by withdrawal from the EU. Why people give the Conservatives stck for this is beyond my reasoning. It was Labour and the Lib Dems who reneged on their promise, and forced it through quickly to remove the capacity of an incoming Conservative Government to stop the Treaty in its tracks.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is a technicallity when the inference was 'vote Tory, get referendum'. If rejecting the Lisbon Treaty means withdrawal from EU - so much the better. It is true that the LibDems and Labour were total turncoats on this issue, but would you expect anything less than that from them? It just seems that Cameron has shot himself in the foot over this, as your doorstep conversations are showing. I'm not saying its fair, but that's how the public see it.