Campaigning in Copeland

In Copeland we’re energetically getting on with promoting our excellent candidate, Rebecca Hanson in the by-election which takes place on 23 February. Willing helpers are flocking to this huge constituency. There is immense Facebook support, but the pleasures of reaching out to the towns and villages between the fells and the sea are considerable, so we invite many more of you to come to share them with us in the next, crucial, ten days.

Yesterday morning Roger Putnam, Vice-Chair of our Copeland and Workington Executive, and I managed to beat the rain, leafletting in Seascale in the south-west of the constituency under only a slight drizzle. This was our third visit to Seascale, delivering the Health Facilities survey, a second  leaflet, and now the tabloid glossy proclaiming, Rebecca Hanson and the Liberal Democrats. Fighting to protect local jobs from hard Brexit, improve local schools and safeguard our NHS.

A lone Tory was out at the same time, delivering an eight-page A4 breezily entitled Cumbria View, of uncertain purpose. As with the Labour Party here, it feels as if the Conservatives are relying on past loyalties for their votes. Well, we aim to bring the focus firmly into the present. For a start, Rebecca seems to be winning the leaflet contest; the house porches blossomed with orange leaflets, the freepost delivery having just arrived as well.

The sea wasn’t rough , but we had a chilly start, and were glad of a lunch break in the little café opposite the big free car park, close to the shore. What a find that café is! A latte plus a huge bread bun stuffed with bacon, sausage and egg cost less than a fiver, and they make good soup and cakes too.  I felt a warm glow towards Seascale!  It hadn’t been so bad leafletting the whole Gosforth Road, either. Everyone we spoke to  was friendly, and helped us find our way around.

These towns are part of Roger’s patch  where he’s stood as candidate or been agent these many years, and established good support. His area, from Whitehaven to Millom with all the towns and villages in between, is used to hearing from the Liberal Democrats. Roger will be out again today with fresh helpers from Newcastle, and should finish Seascale – until the next delivery arrives, of course, and he sets off again.

Our candidate, Rebecca, was working further south yesterday, but will be back to our Keswick HQ tomorrow for the evening hustings in St John’s church. I went out canvassing with her two days ago, and found she has a Lucozade-type effect on helpers and unsuspecting passers-by alike! She is animated, buoyant, confident, fast-talking  but always conveying facts and reasons.  Sure of herself and of her messages, she interests, pleases and enlivens people, as I saw and felt for myself.  The hustings should show off her quality tomorrow evening.

The Liberal Democrats deserve to win here. Come and join us if you can, or telephone for us, contribute, and share in this bonny, worthwhile campaign! If you can’t come in person, you can make a donation here.

* Katharine Pindar is a long-standing member of the Lib Dems and an activist in the West Cumbrian constituency of Cumberland.

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  • I suggest viewing this clip on a recent Channel 4 news item where the Labour candidate in Copeland is proving elusive. It deserves wider circulation on U tube and other social media.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 12th Feb '17 - 2:18pm

    Whenever we hear from Katharine in Copeland we do more than cope !

    Excellent candidate , good prospects, real chance . One way or t’other, we need to say it, Labour , as the clips from channel four show, in a mess !

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 12th Feb '17 - 2:49pm

    Thank you, Katharine, for all the wonderful work you are doing in Copeland 🙂
    I am hoping to do some phone calls from home for you this week.

  • Katharine Pindar 12th Feb '17 - 10:38pm

    That’s great, Leek Liberal, Lorenzo and Catherine! thank you for your much appreciated support. I’ve just got back from the well-attended Keswick hustings, which were quite revealing. Rebecca spoke in a quietly informative manner, showing intelligent understanding and knowledge about local concerns, and an expertise evidently built from in-depth consideration, consultation and work on the issues. The Tory candidate, by contrast, showed no such proof of local involvement and hard work, falling back on generalisations and references to her contacts with Government ministers. The Labour woman had evidently had much more relevant experience locally, but she came over to me at least as a good Cumbrian rather than as someone who could be our national representative.
    The UKIP woman raised one of the few Iaughs, boldly redistributing the moneys to be saved from exiting the EU, and the Green candidate and the Independent showed their commitment to alternative energies, which I suppose we all want, including tidal barrages. I can’t claim to be an impartial observer, but Rebecca appeared to be the most impressive all-round feasible candidate in this election.
    Meantime, helpers from as far afield as Lewisham had been going out all day, in nasty weather – strong east wind, rain when the wind eased in the afternoon – to deliver the addressed postal vote envelopes. Thank you all, folks! This is an open, exciting contest.

  • Robert (Bristol) 13th Feb '17 - 8:35pm

    Is there a LOCAL campaign fund and address to which one can send a donation?

  • Katharine Pindar 13th Feb '17 - 11:01pm

    Thanks, Robert, I don’t know, but I’ll ask our agent Andrew Sangar tomorrow. There will be no expense spared in this serious and intense campaign. But, cheerful note to the commentator on another thread who wanted his donation to us to give the incoming helpers proper filter coffee as they returned frozen from the wilds – it’s been arranged now, friend, and one of the beneficiaries can be the Leader himself – Tim Farron is visiting us in the morning. Meanwhile today we’ve had an inspiring talk from Ed Davey, the former Lib Dem Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, as cogent and informative as ever, pointing out present Government follies which will affect Copeland
    and be taken up by our own well-informed candidate, Rebecca, who this evening has been at the second hustings in Whitehaven.
    Visiting Ministers and their Shadows may be showing a belated interest in the roads of Cumbria, possibly having felt inconvenienced by the distance they’ve had to travel from London, but the best champion Copeland people could find for all their local problems is our outstanding candidate Rebecca Hanson. Come and help us send her to Westminster.

  • Denis Mollison 13th Feb '17 - 11:50pm

    Enjoyed the hustings in Whitehaven – except that the format was a bit tedious – single questions which all the 7 candidates then had to reply to. Rebecca came across very well; the other good serious performance was Gillian Troughton for Labour. Sorry to see the betting odds have Tories roughly 2-1 on, with Labour 1-2 and ourselves and UKIP 25-1 or so. The Tories being odds-on definitely not deserved on the their candidate’s performance at the hustings – the best she could do was repeating how she’d been round the constituency with Chris Grayling, and the wonderful things he was promising to announce for the constituency, though strangely not till after the by-election.

    And I learnt how to pronounce Beckermet, where I’m due to deliver letters for postal voters tomorrow …

  • David (Basingstoke) 14th Feb '17 - 3:38pm

    Thanks for posting! It’s always good to hear what’s going on in a campaign.

  • Katharine Pindar 15th Feb '17 - 1:09am

    Denis Mollison – thanks very much, Denis, for writing a comment on the Whitehaven hustings which I didn’t get to, and I see your reaction to the Tory candidate was much the same as mine after the Keswick one. Such an empty offering, no sense of her being involved in local issues, trotting out her connections with Government ministers and repeating meaningless hopeful slogans – surely she shouldn’t win! But Rebecca seems also head and shoulders above the Labour lady, in all that she has to give to Copeland.
    Denis, I was sorry not to encounter you this afternoon after your delivery efforts, having appreciated earlier comments from you on LDV such as your showing us the Order vs. Openness hypothesis. John from Sheffield said you came from Edinburgh – thank you for coming to help. Robert (Bristol), if you would like to post a cheque made out to Copeland and Workington Liberal Democrats to our Chair, Elizabeth Barraclough, address ‘Windrush’. Rogerfield, Keswick CA12 4BN, it will be most gratefully received – we aim to put up some County Council candidates for the May elections next.

    As for the NewsHound report elsewhere (what exactly is NH I wonder?), it didn’t mention that Tim and Rebecca got up very early this morning (Tuesday) to meet at the Thirlmere Reservoir, pictured, with the Flood Action Group, because I suppose of the relevance of the Thirlmere water level and controls to the downriver flooding. It’s one of the many issues that Rebecca has engaged with that affect local people – I know of one person in Keswick who still, last month, more than a year since the floods of December ’15, hadn’t been able to get back into her own home.

    I gather Copeland is to receive a visit from Theresa May imminently; will the Leave voters really appreciate a visit from the Prime Minister who is leading the country towards a hard Brexit? Meantime, while Rebecca Hanson appears increasingly in local media as well as social media, putting her intelligent, well-informed arguments over, we, her troops, will go on delivering her messages through the letterboxes – there is a Newsletter to go out next, and helpers like Sophie, all the way from Surrey, boosting us locals with your welcome company.

  • Denis Mollison 16th Feb '17 - 10:07pm

    Thanks, Katherine. I enjoyed my brief visit to Copeland (and managed to fit some other work in). Sorry I can’t come again before polling day – do hope Rebecca does as well as she deserves!

  • Katharine Pindar 16th Feb '17 - 11:54pm

    Denis, that was impressive ‘other work’! Thanks for the great pictures. You must be pretty fit, and remind me I must get back to the fells after June 23.
    Today I had the pleasure of leafletting in Keswick with an 18-year-old, Christopher, on a gap year before Uni, who lives in Penrith and the Border – the Cumbrian constituency in which I was brought up and where I began my own Liberal activism, at age 17 helping our agent Nancy Powell (a wonderful mentor) canvass the villages before I went to Uni. Thanks, Christopher, keep it up! It’s good to know that young people drawn to social liberalism and unimpressed by Corbyn can find inspiration with us.

  • Katharine Pindar 16th Feb '17 - 11:56pm

    Er, I mean February 23 of course! June 23 is too etched in my memory!

  • Katharine Pindar 19th Feb '17 - 12:47am

    An excellent campaigning weekend is under way in Copeland. In Whitehaven, our largest town, Rebecca met the people from a booth in the market place in the morning, while her troop delivered many newspapers and a flier on Walk Turfs around the town, undeterred by the rain. The flier told people about Rebecca’s stunning programme for the weekend, four village meetings following the Whitehaven event , one after the other, and five more on Sunday, bisected by a Special Facebook Live at 2.15 with Chris Davies, ‘to explore why the single market matters’, and concluding with hustings in Millom. This furthest-south part of our huge constituency has been cultivated well by our candidate, making many visits to encourage the local members, even though it is a long way from her Cockermouth home.

    Meanwhile the work goes on vigorously in Keswick, where Saturday drew eleven welcome helpers from all over the country to deliver the newspaper locally. The vast heap of bundles with their Walk Turf directions and maps, which Tricia and I had looked at pessimistically on Friday, had mostly gone out when Tricia reported back in mid-afternoon. Thanks for everyone for persisting in the rain! We shall carry on tomorrow, of course, and expect the pace and commitment to build even further in the last few days. Rebecca is live every day on Facebook, and support of all kinds is pouring in, as well it might – as supporters coming to Keswick affirm to us locals, she is an outstanding candidate, who is leading us with immense drive and energy. She deserves to win, and the campaign is going very well.

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