Canvassing in Goring Heath and Whitchurch

Here we are in beautiful Whitchurch, canvassing and getting a generally excellent response. What mystifies me is the state of these opinion polls — how can Labour really be ahead, when I can’t find anyone going to vote Labour?

But then I’m out in the wilds of Oxfordshire – as they say in Apocalypse Now, I’m 75 clicks up the Nong River, and out of touch with base.

I have only one comment on the national campaign, and that follows a garbled radio report of what Charles Kennedy is supposed to have said about pulling British Troops out of Iraq. I may have misheard, but I can say from direct experience that a British withdrawal is the last thing the people of Iraq either want or need. For better or worse, we toppled their regime and transformed their country. It is our duty to see that through, and to restore security. That does not mean an indefinite commitment – and comparisons with Vietnam or Ulster are just absurd – but an immediate withdrawal is not on, and should not be the agenda for a serious prime ministerial candidate.


36 thoughts on “Canvassing in Goring Heath and Whitchurch”

  1. Bozza, try going to beyond the boundaries of your constituency, where the mean IQ reaches rises above 45, and you will find some non-Tory voters.

  2. Vicus, I was there with Simon of Boriswatch and our own Jaq and Barry and others: the beauty of Whitchurch and Goring reduced us to jellylike under 45 IQ levels: it was gorgeous.. what can I say? just vote Blue whatever level you happen to be feeling

  3. I remember passing at least one non-Tory voter on the Boris campaign trail today! Always ready with a putdown, eh Vicus…

  4. Charles Kennedy said that British occupation troops should be out by the end of this year. When he was questioned he agreed hypothetically that it might be appropriate for British peacekeeping troops to serve in Iraq in the future under UN command, but that it was important to internationalize foreign forces and bring in more Moslem countries. This is a position I’d support.

  5. Simon:good reaction to the sniping from the self styled Scurra: he /she
    would be better named Vicus Scurra Ineptus. As a clown , he signally fails to amuse.
    Dredging through the dead , and almost forgotten language, I would advise Vicus Scurra: Quod tibi fieri non vis, alteri non facias. Loose translation: Do not do unto
    others what you would not wish done to you.


  6. Send a Lib Dem candidate round, and the ‘survey’ would find that everyone was going to vote Liberal Democrat (same for Labour). If you sent some unknown party workers round rather than going round yourself with a huge ‘vote conservative’ rosette on, you might get a better picture!

  7. I always tell visiting candidates I’m going to vote for them. They leave quicker.

    It’sall very well talking about withdrawing our troops from Iraq – they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Far, far too late now.

  8. You’re probably right Scaryduck – and the opinion polls might be scarily right after all on voting intentions.

    I will stoke up on hours slept in advance in order to stay up and be on telephone contact with friends through the night on D Day, 5th May. My parents have just given me three bottles of liqueur to help the process. Perhaps we could all be in blog contact too with our impressions and opinions – and reactions to any surprise results?

  9. Melissa: “Perhaps we could all be in blog contact too with our impressions and opinions – and reactions to any surprise results?”

    That would be fun. I am a night owl anyway . . . Do you have a list of times of expected results? Perhaps it will be on the BBC site?

  10. What about podcasting the Henley result? Or maybe you will be in Kent?

  11. I have seen estimates of times for different constituencies and will dig them out

    Looks like on the day will be with the team in London during the day and then at home sweet home later. My colleague, Olly, however will be in Henley and I could ask him to podcast via texting – does that mean (podcast) give progress reports?

  12. No Labour in Whitchurch and Goring, Boris! Perhaps they’ve all caught the Blair disease – the lying bastards!
    In Wantage constituency, by the way, plenty of Tory posters in house windows. The little yellow men seem to think country roadside verges have votes too. Not seen a single LABOUR poster. You could be right Boris.

  13. I grew up in Whitchurch. There IS a labour supporter, but he must have been out. You want i should give Boris his address? 😉

  14. Melissa: “does that mean (podcast) give progress reports?”

    Publishing Olly’s text messages might work out well depending on where he was and who he was with, however by podcasting I meant sound (mp3) recordings. I doubt if the BBC will pay much attention to a safe seat like Henley so you could supplement their coverage.

  15. Melissa, wishing Boris and his Father all of the best luck in there seats, hope they both win by comfortable margins!
    I must also offer my condolences on having Howard as party leader as I think he has alienated a lot of people with his question time performance. Shot himself and the party in the foot 🙁

  16. Whitchurch, beautiful?!!! Exactly what part of Witchurch were you in? The Whitchurch I know is dirty and full of tramps, “scallies” and labour supporters. I guess the police must’ve cleared the streets in preparation for when you arrived!

  17. Peter J – lovely thoughts, thanks
    – took your M H views on board too

  18. Helen

    This Whitchurch is in the South Oxfordshire sticks – I wonder where you could be?

  19. James

    short and sweet, good! will vote your way only if have gone totally insane though

  20. Twas a lovely weekend morning; the gang had come to town
    The man Himself; all chipper; like a king without a crown.
    His courtiers: there were quite a few; followed in his train,
    To catch his words of wisdom, as he charmed them all again.
    With every doorstep visit, his stock rose even higher,
    If only he were leader: He’d replace that Tony

  21. Thanks Melissa, I’ll be watching out for your constituency straight after my own, and hope to see much more blue in the house when parliament resumes, should the worst happen and Mr Blair retain his autocracy, I hope Boris would run for leadership…

  22. Psimon – yes we are open to canvassing the lone leftie…

    Keith – thanks for your elucidation

    Simon – am investigating mp3

  23. Peter – A Boris lead Conservative party is a must! Tonight’s edition of ‘This Week’ on BBC One even had a dog named after the big man at the dog race they sponsored, naming each one after a party leader! I know many people who would vote Tory purely to see Boris in Number 10.

    It WILL happen, DAMNIT!

  24. Iraqi oil prod is down 1 million barrels a day, the Sunnis have withdrawn from all Govt positions, Ahamed Chalabi (summer home in Iran, source of Iraq misintelligence, convicted bank fraudster,no oil industry experience) has just been made Minister of Oil, Iraq oil revenues are down 10 billion dollars last year,there were c.200 attacks last year on plant & equipment, of current production 1.4 m barrels comes from the Shia in southern Iraq and c.120,000 b/day from the rest of the country. By September US Congress will have appropriated 207 Billion dollars for out the door funding of the Iraq war.
    This is already a one trillion dollar war just two years later. Iraq is not Vietnam, it is a central part of the world economy.

    Boris, you want more of this? What for? We have not found WMD in Iraq, and we will not find Democracy either.

    How much per head of Iraq’s population is 207 billion? Are they that much better off, or worse off?

    Saddam ruled more cheaply, with better order, greater safety, and probably fewer dead, provided you are willing not to attribute to him the war dead we were only too willing to incur ourselves in 20th century Europe.

  25. Melissa, having given it a little thought: I won’t reveal the name or address of Whitchurch’s only labour supporter. Every village should have an idiot, after all!


  26. Dear Me you lot, working on a bank holiday Melissa? I hope Boris looks after you.

    The weekend weather was fab, I just wish I could move down south. Goring Heath is no where near it’s (defunct) post office and in the back of beyond amidst a sea of blue posters. Everyone loves Boris!

    I live in a labour safe seat and have learned to keep politics out of my conversation. I drove past Prescott on the school run last tuesday – imagine – so near and no sun roof or eggs!

    I was expecting Boris to be physically intimidating and all oily charm but he wasn’t at all. He seemed to me to be a genuinely nice normal bloke. He wasn’t a buffoon or a fool either. He asked questions and was interested in what was going on. Yes, I’d definately vote for him. Boris for PM!

    Mind you, he probably thinks I’m completely barmy and at one point I thought he was going to shout for MATRON! You see, he was lunching at a rugby club and I urged him to post his experiences on the blog. My friend plays 2nd row and has told me a little of the times her club has and it sounds great. Some of the team work for the European commision and are very friendly and know how to have a good time. I just thought it would be nice to hear of a thoroughly english entertainment/experience. I’ve heard some small clubs are having a hard time with new legislation.

    Melissa: “Perhaps we could all be in blog contact too with our impressions and opinions – and reactions to any surprise results?”
    count me in – I drove another 200 miles yesterday and between the munchkins, managed about an hours sleep. I’m sure I could blog in between checking for spiders and monsters under the bed.

  27. Be in blog contact then Jaq! look forward to it ~ roll on Election D Day !!!

  28. Hi boys and girls
    Been nursing my sick husband so haven’t had much opportunity to visit…allow me a moment to ask a very stupid question, I follow the politics a little but not being from England don’t quite know the procedures ….who is eligible to vote actually , because although I’m from the commonwealth I wouldnt have thought I was , but had some chappy at the door the other day takingmy name down etc and saying I was? How can it be ? and if so surely you need some kind of ID or something?
    So if I do get a vote I’ll give it to Boris …promise.

  29. Kay:- hope your husband is on the healing road; meanwhile don’t worry about your right to vote, if you’re breathing , vote Blue, it’s important!

  30. PS: that would be my own munchkins keeping me awake, not Boris and Stanley – they’ll be keeping me awake on thursday night as I watch Stanley win his seat and Boris’s majority grow, hopefully.

    Big up Boris!

  31. Direct experience, Boris? I bow to your recent trip to Iraq but please don’t extrapolate the opinions of the people you met into a picture of the entire country’s wishes. You know it’s more complex than that. Unless you met them all, of course.

    What Charles Kennedy seems to be saying is that because we shouldn’t have been there in the first place, we should seek a digified withdrawal within a reasonable period of time. A year should be enough for any occupying army, anywhere, at any time in history.

    He’s also saying that we COULD stay there indefinitely (ie beyond a year) if we had a UN mandate. In fact it would have helped to have had a mandate before we barged in there in the first place. But of course that would have required consideration and consensus and allowing an important international organisation to have a say in the doings of the Holy Mother Republican Party. And they do SO hate anyone telling them what to do, especially when there are contracts to be handed out.

    Our actions in Iraq may or may not bring democracy to that country – but that was always going to be a side effect anyway. We rushed in because the US administration has seen the figures for future oil consumption and couldn’t afford to wait before they got a decent-sized toehold in Central Asia. Let’s please stop trying to pretend we’re being all altruistic about it: if we cared that much, we’d be sending an international task force to the Congo. WITH a UN mandate.

  32. Sorry, I have been neglecting this thread. When I first read the title I assumed that the subject matter was to do with an unseemly assault on a former leader of your party, and consequently felt it not suitable for my attention.
    I have now read the article.
    As you were.

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