Monday, 7 April 2008

BNP election campaign launch in Carlisle

YESTERDAY was a very successful day. Across the whole of Carlisle, 55 British National Party activists covered nine wards delivering over 20,000 leaflets, the biggest BNP blitz the Border City has ever seen. And as well as that, two BNP decked loudspeaker vans toured the city and received an enthusiastic response from Sunday shoppers.

The BNP chairman Nick Griffin, and his wife Jackie, were also out campaigning and visited all nine wards to sign the rosettes of our candidates, feature in photographs, and help with the leafleting.

I was in trouble in the morning arriving at our campaign HQ an hour late (I was certain I was told an 11 o'clock start!). I was immediately sent out with a gentleman called Harry to leaflet the Warwick Road area in St Aidens Ward for our candidate Tony Carvell. Harry was an interesting chap having worked for the World in Action TV programme back in the 1970s and 80s. Now World in Action did at least one smear programme on the old National Front in 1978, so I was keen to know if Harry had been involved. He said he couldn't recall it but admitted that sort of programme would have been popular at the time. Harry and I leafletted for two hours in a near blizzard before returning to base.

I had been hoping to slip away, dry out, warm up and get changed at home before the evening's meeting, but as I was about to make an exit I was collared by Cumbrian Press Officer Clive Jefferson and despatched to far flung Belle Vue to help our candidate Glen Gardner. There I leafleted Green Lane which must be one of the longest residential roads in the country. We were also doing a double drop which meant one A4 personalised leaflet and one A5 full colour more general local election leaflet were being put out together. With frozen fingers and a two handfuls of leaflets it was slow going but two hours later the road was completed.

The evening meeting heard an excellent speech from Nick Griffin and equally good supporting talks from Duncan Warner from Stockport and Mark and Adam Walker from Sedgefield. The buffet was one of the best ever and the 80-odd audience went home with full stomachs and aching feet.

Still little news on total candidate numbers but hopefully that will become clear today. I'm off to a staff meeting in North Wales in a moment. It's a six hour round trip and I have slight concerns about whether my Rover will get me there and back. Tina broke down in Wigton last Saturday and had to be rescued by the AA. Their man said the car was finished - "head gasket gone" - but my miracle-worker on the Silloth Airfield got it back and running within forty-eight hours with a new raditor and apparently all OK again. It's fingers crossed that I'm back home at a reasonable time tonight.

At the moment I'm re-reading Dick Francis books. I read many of them thirty years ago and it's quite comforting to be able to read them again and still have your attention held. The light, uncomplicated horseracing stories are ideal at bedtime to help you switch off after a hectic day and to get ready for sleep to re-charge your batteries.

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