Alright, I confess that, in the past, I've not always been keen on 'retail politics'. Happy to help, deliver leaflets, canvass (a bit), do the odd residents survey, but somebody else can be the candidate. It's all a bit aggressive, urban campaigning.
However, now that I've got a feel for how politics is done here in our rural idyll, I've changed my mind. This rather more gentle politics is more my speed. It's no less important, but there is less overt unpleasantness. So, I've sought an opportunity to be a candidate in 2011 with the intention of actually having a campaign - you know, doing something.
I have a long and honourable record as a paper candidate - Roe Green ward in 1990, somewhere in Southwark in 1994, Village ward in 2006, and, in June, the Upper Gipping division here in Suffolk. The Party wanted to fly the flag in each case and I was happy to be a name on a ballot paper. Now, however, it's different. I am moved to want to make my community better, and feel obliged to try myself, rather than to help someone else to get elected.
So, how does this work? You need a leaflet, which means that you need material and photographs. There aren't many pictures of me so, yesterday afternoon, we went out to take some. Mark with bus stop, Mark with field, Mark with village sign - you know, the stock photos of candidates through the ages. I may even have pointed at things.
Next, I need to create the leaflet. Luckily, my brains trust, who've done all of this before, have offered to do the first one for me. PagePlus? No clue, personally, but I'm going to have to learn - I'm hoping that there will be training at Bournemouth - and I could always borrow my brother's graphic design skills if need be.
So, with a bit of luck, a leaflet may exist soon. The next question is, how do I get it from printer to doormat?