Friday, January 28, 2005

Charles Kennedy's visit

Had a visit from our leader today. We had already started organising an event in the town hall, aimed at finding more about the views of local women from all walks of life, when we knew that there was the possibility of a visit so we decided that Charles could fit around that.

The net result was that we were trying to co-ordinate a walk about/meet and greet with the event in the Town Hall (and I was trying to be in two places at once). Started well because South West Trains delivered CK to the station on time but timings went slightly to pot because it was bitterly cold and the usual leisurely walkabout became a bit more of a yomp through Romsey with a few unplanned stops on the way. These are the moments when you cross your fingers and pray that there are friendly folk around but all was well and we had a good proportion of the people in town go out of their way to approach us and say nice things.

All except one that is. Some guy shouting and claiming that he was once a Lib Dem and CK had turned him into a Tory!! Didn't believe a word with it because he just happened to be accompanied by a known Tory activist (who I know reads this blog). Funny thing was that this chap who was once a Conservative councillor announced that he wasn't a card carrying Conservative! He has joined the increasing number of people who are now ashamed to belong to the Conservative party.

So we took the rant with a pinch of salt and moved on to the town hall where Sarah and Sharon (two local publicans) were waiting to talk to Charles about the pubwatch scheme. They were joined by Sergeant Hardcastle who is a feisty irishwoman. She is also fairly short but even grown men are reluctant to mess with her. Quite a lady!

Charles then had to brave a room full of women and it went very well. He seemed at ease with the situation and liked the format. The added bonus was that one of the women came up with a killer question on ID cards. I am not going to repeat it here but I suspect that the question may get thrown at Tony Blair one of these days.