Tuesday, April 06, 2010

How to help the Liberal Democrats #LibDems

Maybe you've been inspired by Nick Clegg's positive message today, when he said:

"It is a very exciting opportunity for everyone in Britain who wants fairness and real change, who wants something different.

"This isn't the old politics of a two-horse race between Labour and the Conservative Party. The real choice is between the old politics of Labour and Conservatives and something different, something new and that is what we offer."

Maybe you were impressed by Vince Cable's knockout performance in the Chancellors' Debate last week.

Maybe you have been helped by a local Liberal Democrat Councillor like Daisy Benson or Allan Knox and were impressed by the work they did.

Maybe you were angered by the emptiness in both Brown's pitch, which was basically "vote for us because we're not the Tories?" and Cameron's, who explicitly said "we don't want another 5 years of Gordon Brown."

Perhaps this has motivated you to get involved for the first time, to help in a campaign. It is a great experience. Some of the best fun I've had in my life has been amidst the pressure of an election campaign. There are all sorts of things you can do from stuffing envelopes to delivering leaflets to telephone canvassing to putting a poster up to entering stuff onto a computer to knocking on doors. You can do as much or as little as you want to and you meet all sorts of fabulous people.

Wherever you are in the country you can volunteer here.

I just wanted to mention a few campaigns where friends of mine are standing and who have a real chance of winning. First there are the two energetic Edinburgh candidates, Kevin Lang in North and Leith whose HQ at 5 Bonnington Road Lane is now up and running and who can be contacted on 07786 062 302 and Fred Mackintosh in Edinburgh South, only 405 votes behind Labour who have only just selected a candidate, is based at 4 Grange Road Edinburgh, 0131 662 1513. There's also Katy Gordon in Glasgow North, contactable on 0141 221 3167. In Aberdeen South, local campaigner John Sleigh, who was instrumental in the effort to save Doonies Farm has only 1348 votes to make up. He can be contacted at 173a Crown Street, or 01224 571959.

South of the Border, if you happen to be near Watford, where Nick Clegg is today, Sal Brinton is in a very good position to beat the sitting Labour MP. The added bonus of helping in her campaign is that fellow blogger Sara Beford keeps the Army marching on its stomach with a delicious array of home baking.

Ed Fordham in Hampstead and Kilburn needs only 474 votes to win. He also has been fighting an energetic campaign for several years.

Finally, Bridget Fox, in Islington South and Finsbury, heroine of the emergency motion at Liberal Democrats' Spring conference, whose work has helped to ensure that Lib Dem MPs are opposing the controversial Digital Economy Bill would also make a fabulous MP.

These lovely people will all be able to find you something to do - you never get to the end of your work in an election - there is always more you can do to get your message across or help local people.

It was during the 1983 election that I as an idealistic 15 year old casually wandered into the SDP HQ in Wick looking for a copy of a manifesto - and I've never looked back.

If you want to make a difference in this election, come and join us!

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