Going Fourth with JP
Posted on 2 May 2009 | 6:05pm
Greetings from Keighley, my home town, where John Prescott and I have been out with Labour MP Ann Cryer, canidate to succeed her Jayne Thomas, and candidates for the European elections on June 4 (or July 4 as John kept saying on his battlebus megaphone).
He may get his dates muddled, but he can still show politicians half his age a thing or two about street campaigning.
The mood was pretty good, helped by the kind of weather I don’t remember much from my childhood. Hot and sunny, with not a breath of wind in the air. JP rectified the last of these factors as we spoke to a crowd in the town centre.
JP never tires of reminding people of the pledges we made at previous elections, because we met them. And that is the key to trust in politics.
But he also knows it is always about the future, and the policy choices faciing the country.
If there was ohe thing I learned from JP down the years it is that the politics of ideas have to be matched to the politics of organisation. It is what got Obama elected too.
Labour is going to have to be better organised than ever this time, and it will not be easy.
The best thing about the Keighley visit was not the weather, or the banter with John, but the presence of a group of teenagers, all members of the Youth Parliament, who had a passion for politics and were glad to be out campaigning for Labour.
We’re now on our way to Leeds for another event on JP’s Bank Holiday Weekend batttlesbus tour. If I have to listen once more to his line that he thumped that bloke in Wales ‘because Alastair told me I had to connect with the electorate’… I’ll thump him.