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11 May 10 | Re: Election campaign experiences

So, some of the election dust has settled and Cambridge has elected its Lib Dem MP, who now stands poised with a cruse of sweet-smelling oil in hand, ready to anoint David Cameron as prime minister for at least the next six weeks.

I have a couple of experiences to share from the campaign.

First and best was being canvassed by the Labour Party. I had never been canvassed before, so was hoping to be chosen this time around. As it happened my luck was in and I got a Saturday morning visit from a very nice Labour man, not the candidate himself but a loyal follower, and we had an in some ways remarkably frank chat. Every time the Greens came up he had to rein in his obvious excitement at the prospect of their doing well, which was rather sweet, but he was very down on the Lib Dems and particularly Julian Huppert, who he said gave him the willies. He did seem sincerely impressed with the Labour man Daniel Zeichner, and after some guarded initial overtures we were able to identify each other as remaining Old Labour-leaners and he confirmed my hopes that Zeichner was at least partly of this inclination as well. That was enough to win my vote for the nationals, not that it did a lot in the end of course.

Second and not so enjoyable was the weird experience of getting into the polling station and seeing one candidate called OLD HOLBORN. What? It was news to me that any OLD HOLBORN was standing, or even that OLD HOLBORN was a name, so of course I ignored him, and so did everyone else - the twerp ended up with only 140 votes, which was less than half what the plucky but doomed Socialists managed.

I looked him up on the internet afterwards and it turns out he’s a blogger - you can read his awful, self-important rantings here if you like. His campaign apparently consisted of dressing up like Guy Fawkes and prancing about like a nincompoop in the town centre while relying on the awesome power of the blogosphere to do the rest. There’s nobody so deluded these days as the new media man who thinks everyone else spends as long on the internet as he does, as was borne out by the result. I’m always baffled by these independents who don’t even bother to send out a postcard saying they’re standing - you can complain about the entrenchment of the main parties all you like, and I’m not in favour of it, but if you don’t bother to tell anybody what you’re about, or even that you’re standing at all, how do you ever expect to break in? Not by dressing up as Guy Fawkes, I’d have said, and now I have the proof.

Posted by DENNIS COOPER at 18:24

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