Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Election Diary: T- 18: WORKing on a Dream

Very quick post tonight as the bed awaits.

The first phone call of the day came at 8.30 a.m. and the last an hour or so ago. Any serious candidate at this stage is pretty much electioneering as a full-time job; though, as I blogged yesterday, I do have one of those too!

Nominations closed on Saturday and candidates had until today to withdraw - so, this evening, the full list of runners and riders went up on the South Dublin County Council website. No surprises for Tallaght Central - 13 candidates for six seats; 3 Labour, 2 FF and FG, one each from the Greens, the Socialist Party, the People Before Profit Alliance and Sinn Féin and two independents. We must be one of the few LEA's in the country in which Labour is running more candidates than anyone else; an indication of the ambition we candidates and our party share for three seats and a serious vote to build Labour's alternative.

Canvassed tonight with one of our biggest groups yet in the driving rain in the Osprey and Willington areas. Those of you from the area will know local residents and politicians alike sometimes refer to this area as "WORK" - standing for Willington, Osprey, Rushbrook and Kennington. Just like the PD's launching a manifesto some years back in Prosperous, Co Kildare, it might make a good location for Eamon Gilmore to push our jobs policy in the time ahead.

Pat Rabbitte TD - celebrating his 60th birthday - joined us once more along with Cllr Eamonn Walsh and the support for Labour on the doors was very strong indeed. Thankfully, we brought enough brollies to save our canavssers and their paperwork - the weather has been awful but at this stage of a campaign you've gotta press on regardless.

That said, my attempts to sing Rihanna's Umbrella (the Manic Street Preachers version I hasten to add) on the way home were cut short by those around me. I suppose bringing the guitar out on the canvass tomorrow is probably pushing it too far...

Plenty of interesting stories on the doors too. Local issues such as the infamous Burmah Garage site, the Orwell roundabout and worries about Tymon Park came up frequently, as they have done since I began campaigning in the "WORK" area many months ago - but national issues, and jobs in particular, remain to the fore.

I was most heartened by one middle-aged man who paid a lengthy tribute to our campaign for bringing so many principled young people to the doors.

Tonight's team included canvassers in their teens, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties - our seventysomethings were otherwise engaged - but overall, our youthful campaign has been noted across the ward. I've blogged before that engaging so many young people in our campaign is my proudest achievement to date; I want to give them something to be proud of come count day.