Tuesday 2 May 2017

Why Has Everyone Forgotten the Local Elections?

I was planning to do a whole series of pieces on the local elections, but since nobody seems to give a tinker's cuss for them, including the candidates, I sort of forgot the idea. I will drag my aching old arse off to the polling station this coming Thursday as you do, but other than that for the first time in my life I have no real interest in a political contest.

Here in the Leith Walk ward of Edinburgh Council, I have had three leaflets, and no canvassers knock on my door. The first leaflet was from the Greenies, then I got a generic Tory one and finally a missive from the SNP which sang the praises of one candidate, whilst ignored pretty much her running mate. God knows what is going on in the SNP, is all I can say.

From Labour I have not heard a word. No leaflets, no canvassers, nothing. The lack of canvassing is worrying because Labour always managed to send its troops out to jolly its supporters into going to the polls. Ordinary people like having someone knocking on their doors, and Labour cannot rely on a self-motivating electorate like the Tories can.

I wrote to a fellow who runs the Momentum Edinburgh Facebook page and asked him what was going on. He replied that there were street stalls in operation, and told me about one that was near my home last Saturday. I should have pointed out that street stalls are what you do if you are desperate due to a lack of party members, but we are told that Labour's membership is booming, so where are the lazy little shits?

The SNP also have a big membership, not that you would believe it when you consider their non-existent campaign.

Being of a curious bent I spoke to friends in those parts of England that also have a vote on Thursday, and the same thing is happening there as well. No campaigns, no literature, no interest from either the electorate or the parties.

Are you expecting a final analysis of this problem? I'm sorry, but I can't give one. I have no idea why members of political parties are so utterly bovine these days that they cannot turn out to mobilise their supporters to try and win an election.

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