Tag Archives: stoke on trent central

P-5: The oatcake crisis at Stoke-on-Trent Central HQ

Problems often arise with a campaign – and today was one of those days when problems came in threes.

1. We ran out of delivery and residents and deliverers complained that we were doing some houses for the second and third time.
2. We ran out of canvassing that we had prepared and printed and ready and now have a data backlog
3. We ran out of bacon, cheese and tomoatoe to go with the oatcakes… yes really.
Given we need to be ready for the rest of the day and tomorrow and the final weekend I can’t talk for long and need to crack on.  The campaign HQ is at The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Sheaf Street, Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4LW and is open from 10 am – 9 pm daily.  You know where to come… I will leave it there.
Ed
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P-6 Why Lincoln, Sleaford and North Hykeham matter to Stoke-on-Trent.

In the world of politics “one more heave” has all the images of failure. It conjures up the notion that if you keep trying you succeed eventually thus creating the cycle of failure, by always trying again.

So in that sense, I have changed my own personal politics over time to ensure that every election is specific and that I get something out of it regardless of the result. Indeed, when I mentor candidates I often tell them “that you learn much more when you lose than if you win”. This has the added advantage for me as a Liberal Democrat of being involved in a range of elections and constantly learning.

But if you were in politics solely to win votes, then look elsewhere and outside the liberal family. I realise now, reflecting on nearly 30 years of political activism that many of the things I have achieved have been significant but have not come through a ballot box victory. Many of the ideas I have espoused have been taken up by others, sometimes of other political traditions, and implemented albeit differently. In this respect, I have regarded my politics as fruitful and I reflect positively. So I didn’t ever regard it as one more heave. I regard it as a long term commitment to the values I treasure and hold dear.

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P-7: The final week: Etruria railway station is a joke

I’m departing Derby and calling at Peartree, Tutbury and Hatton, Uttoxeter, Blythe Bridge, Longton, Stoke on Trent Longport, Kidsgrove, Alsager, Crewe… no more will I call at Etruria Station on the slow train… (to recall Flanders and Swann).

Ah the nostalgia of going back to a place you know and love is that everything has changed and nothing is different. But as I sit on my train to Stoke-on-Trent (the train signal board cited above doesn’t have hyphens!) I reflect that Etruria railway station has closed since I was there.

Now in most by-elections, there comes a point when you campaign, know that you might win, that it is going well. Back in February 1998 (literally 19 years ago this week) we were canvassing in Etruria, Garner Street I think, and a resident came out, pledged their support to us and said “Etruria Railway Station is a joke”.  The student activist who was canvassing (a very young Russell Eagling) came bouncing back to the campaign to announce were going to win for those very words “Etruria Railway Station is a joke” was the headline on our recent leaflet in that area.

Since then Etruria Railway Station has had a special place in our election story banter, and it has become synonymous with the notion that when the voters quote your leaflets back at you – then you know you are cutting through.

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Breaking: Stoke on Trent Lib Dems challenge Labour to condemn “offensive and illegal texts”

In response to media reports of text messages being sent warning Muslims to vote Labour in the Stoke-on Trent Central by-election, Stoke-on-Trent Central Lib Dems have issued the following statement:

Stoke-on-Trent Central Liberal Democrats call on the Labour Party nationally and locally
1. To condemn the campaign of misinformation and intimidation currently underway in their name in Stoke-on-Trent.
2. To apologise for their members and activists who have been involved in stirring up community tensions and to suspend all those involved in the text scandal and have them removed from the Labour Party campaign with immediate effect.
3. For Gareth Snell to make

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P-8: The city of Stoke doesn’t change, but its voters might

Some things in politics never change and always make you giggle. The other morning I was out delivering some addressed envelopes and I found the house number I was looking for and dropped the letter through the door. As the envelope dropped through the door I twitched. As I got back to the gate there was the street sign telling me I had got the end of the previous street mixed up with the start of the next, yet the number on my envelope had matched.
This morning I laughed I delivered the same round before breakfast.  I realised that this little dilemma had foxed me back over twenty years ago when I was first active in Shelton politics.  Where The Parkway ended and Ridgeway Road started had always tripped me up.  So to the residents of 89 of both The Parkway and Ridgeway Road a request “can you swap letters you got from the Lib Dems as I mis-delivered them the other day?”
But thinking of things in Stoke-on-Trent that don’t change – two others come to mind.  Fred Hughes – former political animal, local historian and all round good egg.  I have been reading his musings in the Sentinel and was delighted to bump into him at one of the election night hustings.  Largely unchanged I was cheered by his warmth, charm, smile and friendship. It had been along time since I last saw him and it was lovely to catch up albeit briefly.
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Farron campaigns in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent

Tim Farron has been campaigning for our by-election candidates, Rebecca Hanson in Copeland and Dr Zulfiqar Ali in Stoke-on Trent Central.

His day started in Keswick where he and Rebecca met a Flood Action Group:

From  the Times and Star reports:

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP believes that Mrs Hanson is an “astonishingly good” candidate for Copeland.

He said: “Her track record for campaigning on health service issues is known across the constituency and is known for being utterly authentic.

“This is not someone who is jumping on the bandwagon.

“What you get in Rebecca is someone who fights the corner of all the Copeland communities and makes clear that they may be beautiful places but they are also tough places where there is real need.

“We are also the only party fighting against a hard Brexit and the move out of the single market that wasn’t on the ballot paper.

“The majority of British people wanted to be in the single market so to do that without consulting them is just wrong.”

Mrs Hanson expects the campaign to ramp up over the weekend ahead of the by-election next Thursday.

She said: “I’ve loved every single second of it so far.

“I love building democracy, communicating with people and coming to people who are feeling disillusioned at politics and democracy because when I talk to people all that melts away.

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P-10: Legacy campaigning in a by-election

So the final straight approaches and we are looking at our campaign and putting in place the finishing touches and allowing space for some extra elements. We have been often asked by visiting helpers what can they do to make a real difference. So here today for the first time I think i have the answer, which is not as obvious as I expected.

I am a huge believer in having what I call legacy campaigning: that regardless of the electoral outcome that you achieve some positives, some learning, training and apply that to the future.  I spend a lot of time urging new members to attend by-elections, seeing them as training porgrammes, and suggesting that people go with clear objectives of what they can do, might learn and will leave with.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I sit down to do some telephone canvassing on my own it is all too easy to get distracted, to put it off or to make just one or two calls and then do something else. So in place of that setting up a Phone Bank appears to be the solution to my lack of application.

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Recent Comments

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    Norman Lamb is to be applauded for his tireless campaigning on the NHS. The appalling state of our health service is the greatest crisis facing...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 19th Feb - 12:57pm
    I have heard that NHS hospitals pay business rates. as do schools.However here comes the downright unfairness of the system. Private hospitals and schools mentioned...
  • User AvatarPhilip Rolle 19th Feb - 12:55pm
    It would take 2p on the basic rate of income tax to bring the NHS up to speed. Clearly, social care is collapsing mainly due...
  • User AvatarGlenn 19th Feb - 12:37pm
    Edward C. I'm also a broken record player. Sniggering along and having mass appeal is not a sign of cool. Cliff Richard outsold Grandmaster Flash....
  • User AvatarJohn Grout 19th Feb - 11:59am
    David, one interesting thing I've noticed is that in *none* of our significant by-election victories, even this one in a strongly Remain part of the...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 19th Feb - 11:49am
    Another very impressive local election success. However our National Polls remain static around 10%. On two key subjects we are offering a different message. Brexit...