Election Blog“Manx Radio 2” up to Sunday 24th July 2016

Thursday 21st July
Another hot night, which meant I didn’t get much sleep.

A very long day started with me going through my notes for today’s interview with Stu Peters on Manx Radio at 5.30am.

In the office for 8.10am and managed to get number of tasks completed before our clients from Dublin called into the office. Unfortunately, I had to leave the meeting at 12.50 in order to get to Manx Radio for 13.00.

No additional time to go through my notes before the interview, which started around 13.20. Again, I wasn’t nervous and the 25 minutes went by so fast. The funny part of the whole interview was the fact that Stu Peters didn’t ask me a single question that I was expecting, except for the Public Sector Pensions.

So the couple of hours of notes I prepared in advance of the interview could seem a waste of time – but I’ll keep hold of them for future use!

I was totally blown away by the amount of messages of support I received after today’s Manx Radio interview. It is always hard to judge your own performance and I have always been very critical of that over the years. I guess it goes back to when I played Snooker and Pool for the Isle of Man.

It is also at this stage that you realise that being a Manx National Politician requires many skills, and unlike our UK counterparts you don’t get years to become polished or moulded into a perfect sounding and looking MP.

One day you are a Butcher, Baker or Candlestick Maker and suddenly overnight you are Manx National Politician expected to deliver crisp interviews, speeches and to represent the Isle of Man on a National platform, which is certainly a big change for anyone.

For that reason my four year of being a Local Politician is certainly a good grounding.

Got home for 17.45, and I had little time to get changed as Onchan Commissioners called an informal meeting for 18.00. I got to the meeting for just after six and left after around 40 minutes.

I still managed to fit in 90 minutes of canvassing before getting home 20.25.

Carried out some research into election expenses, sent a few messages and e-mails, along with typing up my blog before calling it a night at 22.50.

Friday 22nd July
Still very warm over night, so again I was wide awake for 5.30am.

After checking the usual website and social media, I completed my paper round (see Friday 15th for details) in a record time of 4 minutes. In the office for 8.10am but the Sausage Bap had to wait until I returned from the dentist.

Spent lunchtime again putting together further Absent & Proxy packs for three Constituents.

I was home for 17.50 no thanks to the traffic, but I still managed to fit in two hours of canvassing tonight. I was asked for my views on euthanasia, which I wasn’t expecting, but I gave an honest answer.

I also called at a house with the funniest sign posted on the front door. I can’t remember the full message, but it something on the lines of:

“Advance Warning before ringing our doorbell – we charge £5 for cold callers etc and payment is expected in advance of speaking. For MHK Candidates canvassing we charge £10 and again payment is expected in advance of speaking”

The message certainly left me wondering what to do, but given the fact that the property owners were registered voters I decided to knock on the door. Fortunately the householders liked me, so I didn’t get charged £10!

Home for 20.10, time to switch off and relax until tomorrow.

Saturday 23rd July
Wide awake at 5.30am, so I took the opportunity to start writing this week’s Blog.

Hit the canvassing trail at 9.30am but I didn’t start knocking on the doors until after 10am. Although I have delivered every Letter of Introduction myself, it hadn’t always been possible to knock every door.

I haven’t knocked on those doors that don’t appear on the voters lists, but I have left a manifesto in the hope that they may register before 1st September. In fact, I have had three people contact me asking how they can register before the General Election.

In addition, after two or three hours walking in the baking sun I look a total mess, red faced, sweaty, and I certainly wouldn’t vote for me looking like that. So I have no option but just to leave my Letter of Introduction, and hope people still vote for me on Thursday 22nd September.

I got back home for around 13.30 looking extremely hot, very tired and sunburned once again.

Lots of long discussions with people this morning, which ranged from parking outside school, condition of roads around Onchan, rates, nursing homes and the older generation.

I also encountered my first individual who refused to accept my Letter of Introduction, which is a strange feeling for me. The individual was on the voters list and I certainly didn’t know him personally, and unfortunately you can’t ask why!

All you can do in that situation is to wish them a good day and move onto the next house, but I would love to know the reason why, as most people would accept the information even if they have no intention of voting for you!

It might be personal, it might not, it could be due to a decision the Commissioners have made over the last four years, it certainly plays with your mind.

I spent the rest of Saturday afternoon going through my Onchan District Commissioner Agenda pack for Monday’s meeting and trying to relax.

Ellen and I also attended the St Peter’s Church grave yard tour in the evening, which was an excellent event and well supported.

Sunday 24th July
No canvassing today, with pending bad weather I took opportunity to catch up with more normal weekend chores this morning.

We went to Tesco to get some shopping, I also made some homemade sausage rolls with pork and apple – very nice.

We then cleaned the house before I made a number of telephone calls to people who have contacted me over the last few days, and I just haven’t found the time to catch up.

My Sunday afternoon was taken up by reviewing the documents relating to the Eastern Area Housing Plan, Adult Social Care – Older Peoples Services (a plan for the future) & Adult Social Care (Market Position Statement), I also had to review the Local Authority Housing Application process on behalf of a Douglas resident.

Also spent a couple of hours updating and changing my election Manifesto before calling it a day at 16.45.

Time to put my feet up before another hard week starts tomorrow.