Election Blog“This takes the Biscuit” up to Thursday 1st September 2016

Monday 29th August
Bank Holiday Monday – awake early (6am) again this morning but I didn’t get out of bed until 9.30am.

It doesnt mean I was being lazy, I was very busy writing several different items and undertaking some additional research. I read my draft manifesto again this morning, just making 100% sure before I give it back to the Copy Shop in the morning.

After a fantastic bacon bap, Ellen and I went for a walk around the Archallagan Plantation which is always a nice place for a walk regardless of the weather and only takes around 50 minutes to complete the circuit.

On the way home we called into B & Q again and then home for around 13.30.

I then spent the next three or four hours sorting out and double checking 2,665 envelopes for names & addresses and ensuring the details match my voters lists.

Stopped work around 17.30 and spent the evening watching TV.

Tuesday 30th August
Didn’t sleep well last night, wide awake at 1.30am, 3.30am and 5am

I will be so glad when my regular sleeping patten returns after the general election. I think what has kept me awake last night was the two briefings scheduled for this morning and my draft manifesto, which is currently with the printers.

Unfortunately, my manifesto is far too long, and even though I love the document I may need to find an urgent solution because of the costs involved. The document wasn’t meant to be near 40 pages (A5) long but that’s down to my own research and trying to show a level of knowledge and understanding as a new MHK trying to tackle some very difficult topics facing this island.

I also booked the morning off as all House of Keys candidates were invited to two briefings from Allan Bell, Chief Minister and Eddie Teare, Treasury Minister.

That said, I still managed to pop into the office for 8.00am just for an hour before making my way over to the central government building for the briefings.

I arrived at the Barrule Suite for just 9am and there were plenty of new candidates I recognised, which always makes any introduction so much easier.

Only three Onchan Candidates attended, Tim Craig, Julie Edge and myself.

The first briefing related to the proposed changes to the Manx State Pension with effect from 5 April 2019. The second briefing gave an overview of the implications on the Isle of Man from the UK exiting the EU.

After a long day, I finally got home for 17.30 but we were only home for a few minutes when my mum texted me. My mum had been in hospital today for some tests, so we went to collect her and take her home. We got back home ourselves for 18.30 and after tea and a short rest I started reviewing the current legislation re. Polling Station Agents as the information received from the returning officer needed further clarification.

Drafted a quick email to the returning officer before calling it a night at 22.30.

Wednesday 31st August
Another poor night’s sleep last night. I have never normally struggled with my sleep but it is interesting how this election campaign is affecting different parts of my life.

Awake from 5am, took the opportunity to answer any e-mails, messages and checked the usual media outlets. In the office for 8.10am and lunchtime was taken up putting together some voting packs and making several calls to the printers, as I still have major concerns regarding the manifesto cost, which is certainly more expensive than I ever thought.

Got home for 17.50 and the traffic flow was extremely difficult tonight to say the least. A quick change and then I got stuck straight into checking envelopes for address information and stamps. I stopped at 8pm to watch the British Bake Off, but I didn’t actually get to see much of the programme, two phone calls in the middle of it. One of them needed an e-mail sending to the returning officer, which I did straight away.

I also took the opportunity to draft several e-mails / messages in order to start scheduling Polling Agents for each of the three polling stations on 22nd Sept.

At 21.00 I started going through envelopes and address label again until 22.30 at which time I called it a night.

Thursday 1st September
I slept a little better last night, but still awake for 6am.

After checking the usual website and media outlets, I managed to get into the office in the office for 8.10am. I wasn’t in the office long as I had a dentist appointment at 9.50am to fix a crown I lost about 6 months ago .

I was struck off my old dentist without notice, so I had to wait to be put back on with another NHS dentist. Fortunately, I kept the old crown in a pot and it fitted straight back in, which saved me a fortune.

I also had to make a couple of trips to the printers in order to get my draft manifesto ready for printing, along with ringing some Constituents who were having some difficultly casting their votes. It is totally unacceptable when a returning officer is not being proactive and scheduling meetings with Constituents in a timely manner in order to enable them to cast their votes before leaving the island.

After another long day I finally got home for 17.45, but no time for sitting around. After a quick change I got stuck straight into continuing to check envelopes for names & addresses to ensure they match my voters lists.

I stopped at 20.00 in order to give myself enough time to read through the draft manifesto again, which had several errors that haven’t been corrected previously.

Called it a night at around 21.00