Choosing one’s ideal Focus delivery tool

Last April, while delivering Focus leaflets for a by-election, I had a slight disagreement with a member of the canine community. I came off the worst, resulting in a trip to the local minor injuries department and a spectacular dressing on my finger.

Ever since that incident, I have at last listened to wiser heads who have advised using a Focus delivery tool.

If you can find the right tool, it avoids the risk of a canine incident, as well as speeding up delivery and ensuring a less “screwed up” leaflet reaches the resident.

At first I used a wooden spoon. Then I used a couple of spatulas and a wooden spoon again. All these devices ended up going straight through a letter box.

The resultant scene, from the point of view of the unsuspecting resident, must have been like an Agatha Christie mystery. A leaflet and a wooden spoon lying on their doormat… What on earth happened? – they must have wondered.

It was after the loss of half of our kitchen’s armoury of implements that I alighted upon the humble fish slice as being (for me) the ideal Focus delivery tool. Also known as a “turner”, you can pick them up in Wilko for 40 pence. Because they are crooked, there is less chance of them going straight through the letterbox. Because they are broad, they crisply push the whole leaflet through the letterbox without any screw-up.

Here’s a video of me using said device on our open door at home:

Someone told me that someone in the LibDems has invented the perfect leaflet delivery tool – some sort of cardboard box affair. Does anyone know of this? Or do you have your own ideal Focus delivery tool?

We can’t finish an article on this subject without reference to the following stunning performance, shared by Mark Pack.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Party policy and internal matters.


  • Your tool appears to be a ‘kind to dogs’ one.

    A steel rule also does the business and metes out what would potentially otherwise come back. Personally, I still don’t bother with any tool even after having the end of my finger completely bitten off through a letter box – and sewn back on by a brilliant surgeon.

  • Peter Andrews 21st Dec '16 - 12:42pm

    We usually have a target letter with our deliveries which means I am already holding a pile of each in my hand whilst trying to push them through letter boxes without also trying to hold a spatula as well. In 20 years of delivery I have never had a dog bite as my hand simply does not

  • For the first time after years of doing deliveries I was very glad to have been using a folded section of cardboard box to deal with more difficult door furniture. It was unexpectedly snatched by a boisterous dog and had four large teeth holes in it when retrieved from the householder.

  • I wrap the leaflet to go through the letterbox round the end of some of the the bundle that are going to the rest of the street. Push halfway in, pull back out, leaflet falls to floor indoors & bundle stays in my hand without any fingers being risked.

  • A suitable tool would be a great thing. Having Dupreytrans Contracture in my right hand, the problem is sometimes getting my fingers out of the letterbox again !

  • Alistair Forbes 21st Dec '16 - 9:07pm

    As a newbie I was surprised at how tricky it was to post leaflets through letterboxes. In Witney I was painfully slow, but by Sleaford I had found that rolling the leaflet into a tube it was simple to push the leaflet through almost any letterbox using the palm of the hand on the tube’s end. No other tool is required and my fingers remained clear of door furniture and snarling teeth! This technique doesn’t stop dogs tearing up the leaflet on the other side though….

  • Anthony Durham 21st Dec '16 - 11:45pm

    We have lots of scrap acrylic sheet (“Perspex” etc) in the sign industry from which a friend here in Greenwich laser-cuts special leaflet pushers. I would not willingly go out on a delivery run now without one, because it saves on average several seconds per letter-box. Our pushers are engraved with “Okay dog, bite this”, but actually the main biters are letter-box flaps, and the worst bite I have personally received was from a human!

  • Amazon are using drones ….. now there’s an idea Ha Ha

  • Steve Comer 22nd Dec '16 - 9:01am

    Its good to see Liberal Democrats are once again concentrating on practical politics!
    Somehow I could never imagine this sort of thread on a Labour or Tory Party website….

  • Steven Raison 22nd Dec '16 - 9:58am

    Touch Wood No Dog Bites for Me in 2017. Last one was in Worksop a while Back. Just Broke Skin not major Bite. While leafleting in our Target Ward I note a number of Dog Owners have letter Boxes on Walls. I noticed that also in the 1990’s when our Then Secretary had been bitten during a By Election Campaign. I saw a letter box had been put on wall of house were Bit afterwards

  • Rob Parsons 22nd Dec '16 - 1:08pm

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