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Friday, 11 July 2014

Illogan By-Election

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed the lack of content recently. Many apologies - I have been a little busy. In fact I have calculated that I have spent around 110 hours over the last few weeks working on the election campaign - whether out on the streets or in the office. Hopefully I may have a little more time for blogging again now.

First of all the results:

Lib Dem 277 (23.77%)
MK 217 (18.62%)
Con 215 (18.45%)
UKIP 156 (13.39%)
Lab 129 (11.07%)
Lib 121 (10.38%)
Green vote 50

First of all I hope that readers will join me in congratulating David Ekinsmyth, the succesful candidate. I know that he will continue to work hard for Illogan in his new role as our Cornwall Councillor. It seems to me that the Lib Dems are a party controlled by Westminster career politicians. A party which has sold out its principles in pursuit of power at Westminster. Though a large number of Lib Dem members seem to have sold out to this 'power at any cost' principle there are undoubtedly some members who do maintain principles of local work and community service and I believe David to be one of them. Congratulations to you David.

I can't help thinking though that the Lib Dem campaign and our own MK campaign were on run on very different lines.

I would like to say a heartfelt and massive thank you to every single MK member that has helped me run a very strong and positive campaign. I enjoyed the help and support of hard a hard working (often in adverse conditions and personal circumstances) team that came together and which bonded in a mutual cause. We didn't have access to the full well-oiled and slick campaign resources that were thrown at the Lib Dem campaign. Our Cornish blood sweat and tears were, unfortunately, not quite enough to match a Westminster party which had decided to throw the kitchen sink along with ex MPs half a dozen or more sitting Cornwall Councillors a Cornwall Council cabinet member and dozens of party activists shipped in from all over at their campaign.

As well as thanks I would like to say how proud I am to have been a member of a team which has accomplished so much with so little. We have formed many bonds and learned many lessons which will stand us in good stead for the undoubted battles ahead.

But what of the rest?

Well the sad and disappointing truth is that this election has very much featured cynical party politicking. Many candidates clearly had little interest in or commitment to Illogan and it was obvious that we people of Illogan were being used as an opportunity to increase party representation at Cornwall Council. The epitome of this was the behaviour of one candidate who spent most of the count laughing and joking about how poorly his vote was doing. It was obvious that he had not committed much to his campaign. For him it was just a throw of the party political dice and the turn of a card - easy come easy go - and no thought to the people that he had asked to vote for him.

On the other hand the refreshing and encouraging flip side of the coin was the total rejection of this blatant Westminster party politics by the people of Illogan. Both myself and David Ekinsmyth have worked hard on Illogan Parish Council for several years. While we came first and second, the people of Illogan rejected categorically the cynical party political candidates.

Amongst those most soundly rejected were the Green Party. It was sad to see them succumb to fielding a candidate with little or no tie to Illogan along with the other establishment parties. At one point the Green candidate was spotted driving around Illogan in a 4x4 delivering glossy leaflets - not really what I thought I was voting for when I voted Green in last months Euro elections.

Though I am not able to say that I have woken up this morning as a new MK Cornwall Councillor, every cloud has a silver lining. Looking at the bathroom scales this morning I find that I have lost over a stone in weight over the time of the campaign. A successful diet plan - but not one that I would necessarily reccommend!

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