Tag Archives: luke pollard

Election diary part 7: Complaining about the sea

Busy few days. Visited Porkies cafe in Whitleigh on Friday, which last year became known as ‘Plymouth’s most Brexit cafe’.

Bumped into Arthur Hunt, formerly known as ‘The Janner in the hat’. He had a shouty rant about the Government and the resulting video went a bit viral.

Accusations of bias from both sides. Labour say we’re giving too much coverage to the Tories. Tories say we’re in Labour’s pocket.

A councillor writes a very angry letter to the paper about me. A few years ago it would have sent me into a spiral of anxiety and self-doubt. These days I’m able to laugh it off. Just about.

Told myself I wouldn’t get drawn into a petty rows between the parties. But it wouldn’t be an election campaign without a couple of stories about misleading leaflets.

I had been feeling quite excited about the election. Then I went vox popping in Honicknowle.

Expected to make a piece about the decline of UKIP. Almost everyone I met said they have no interest in politics or are too confused and disillusioned to bother. Made me wonder whether I’m part of the media bubble.

More heated discussions with politicians than usual. I’ve never been very good at conflict. Would always rather play nice and let my writing do the talking than have a row. But now I feel I can give as good as I get.

Politicians are extremely sensitive to any hint of criticism. But we’re not going after vulnerable members of the public who can’t defend themselves. These people put themselves in the firing line and are fair game.

Enjoying the old quote: ‘A politician complaining about the press is like the captain of a ship complaining about the sea’.

Follow The Herald’s election coverage here.

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Election diary part 6: Plus c’est la même chose

 

The day begins with a BBC blackout on political coverage while polling stations are open for local elections. The Today programme presenters talk about hedgehogs and investment banking. I turn over to Chris Evans on Radio 2, then quickly back again.

I visit my local parish hall at 7am to cast my vote for a Cornwall Council candidate. Feel satisfied and smug. Resist the temptation for a selfie.

In Plymouth, Labour and Tories are squabbling on Twitter like schoolkids. Good to know that in this volatile political world, some things never change.

Bit of a do over Conservative MP Oliver Colvile turning down an invitation to a hustings event. His office say he can’t be everywhere at once. I point out they said no before even being given a date.

Visit Porky’s in Whitleigh, known as ‘the most Brexit café in Plymouth’. Last year everyone we met here planned to vote to leave.

This time we get a mixture of responses from leavers, remainers and one very angry Corbyn supporter who describes Theresa May as an “evil bitch” and warns: “If a Conservative stepped over my threshold I would smack them in the mouth.”

Back to base to find messages complaining we’re giving too much coverage to Johnny Mercer. “You must have a love affair with him,” one caller says. Makes a change from the usual accusations of Labour bias.

First proper hustings of the campaign early tomorrow morning at Devonport High School for Boys. Colvile will be there, as will the man he branded a “perennial runner-up”, Labour’s Luke Pollard.

Perhaps the two are destined to follow each other around, trading petty insults about defence cuts and Corbyn’s nuclear policies forever more.

Follow The Herald’s election coverage at plymouthherald.co.uk/election2017

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