Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer writes ..."The surprise is not that so few people want to be a member of the Labour Party these days. The surprise is that Labour still has any members at all."
It's a provocative article which makes the observation that with political parties spending vast sums on phone banks, and having access to e-mail databases, text messaging and mailshot facilities, why do they really need members at all? State funding of political parties will solve the money problem (with the odd bung from the odder millionaires who want a gong) so... Rawnsley says, the question could be asked what is the point to activists slogging around streets to ring on doorbells that are never answered and deliver leaflets that are never read. However, he concludes that there is still seen to be a value in putting boots on the ground.
I've got to say that in our neck of the woods we have recognised the need to knock them doors and slog them streets consistently for decades, and it brings rewards. People do appreciate good local candidates who work their patch, and the councillors are like fish out of water without the excellent work of Party members and supporters. Yesterday we had our annual celebration party for helpers and it was great fun. Here's a couple of photos so that folks can see themselves on my web thingy (as a couple of them called it).
Owen, Steve and John
The Youth Team with a strange gent.