Politicians are not like normal people. Whilst I know that some of you will be surprised to hear that, especially from a politician, I think it to be true and I suspect that the majority will agree with me.
Most people, when they hear that an election is looming will despair about seeing politicians spending yet more time on television, on the radio and in the papers. Add to that, the doorstep campaign activities step up a notch or two so you are far more likely to be asked to voice your deepest concerns about the council, country or globe with only a moment’s notice.
For activists, candidates, councillors and MPs the build up to an election is an exciting and energising time. When Theresa May, as Prime Minister, triggered a General Election in 2017 and Jeremy Corbyn supported it, much of the country agreed with Brenda from Bristol when she despairingly said “oh no, not another one”.
Admittedly, my delight soon morphed into a sense of panic as the campaign did not go quite according to plan but that is part of what our democracy is about and a lesson is always there that politicians are there to serve the people and we will be punished if we get things wrong.
Early in 2020, when the concerns were mounting over the emergence of a new and deadly virus in China, the Government and its advisors decided that political campaigning and the local and mayoral elections had to be postponed for a year. Even at the beginning of this year, there were fears that the elections would not be able to proceed but the Prime Minister is delivering on the most amazing and comprehensive vaccine role out, so they are going ahead.
This means that local political volunteers are now mobilising to write and print their leaflets, nominate candidates and do all the myriad things that go on behind the scenes to make them work. So much of this, whatever the political party, is done by volunteers.
When I joined my local Conservative association is when I first began to understand just how much time and effort goes into each and every local election. The locals may not have the impact that a General Election has but there is still almost as much work that goes on behind the scenes.
It is these party members and volunteers that make our democracy work and, whatever the political persuasion, they should be recognised and applauded for what they do.
On 6th May, we also get to vote for our Police and Crime Commissioner, who has responsibility for local law and order, so there is a great deal at stake when you cast your ballot.
I am going to enjoy this election, hope that you appreciate everyone’s efforts and go out to vote.