The past week and particularly the past few days have been a roller coaster of stuff. I’m now digging myself out and gearing up to get back to work tomorrow. At a national level I’m fearful of an alignment of any kind between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. They’re just not made for each other and I doubt it will happen. If it does, it won’t last. A Labour/LibDem alliance is more likely but it may be that the only way for it to move forward is for the Labour leadership to change. Who knows? As everyone is saying, we’re in uncharted territory.
Sadly, our wonderful Labour MP, Michael Foster, was defeated by the Tory candidate, Amber Rudd. Locally, however, Labour regained control of Hastings Borough Council. I spent 15 hours in one room on Thursday co-managing with my colleague, Kate Francis, the Labour committee rooms for the HBC Old Hastings ward. The comrades succeeded in persuading Old Town and Clive Vale residents in the Old Hastings ward to elect John Hodges as our councilor. I am impressed by the Labour Party in Hastings and Rye and the many dedicated volunteers and professional organization, including a sophisticated computer program that enabled Kate and I to identify Labour voters and “promises” in order to make sure we turned out the vote. I suspect the boundary changes to the constituency which included the addition of rural (read: Conservative) areas provided the votes to defeat Michael Foster. Consistently, I heard and others also said they were told by many people regardless of their party affiliation that Michael was a respected and popular MP. Amber Rudd has a significant challenge to prove she is a worthy successor.
The Hunting Act 2004 is, I believe, relatively safe given the current political circumstances. The Tories, if they form the next government, would be foolish to make it a priority. Only those who hunt care about the act’s repeal; nonetheless, we must be vigilant. Most likely there will be another general election sooner than what it would normally be some four years hence. Given the animal welfare movement’s indifferent and disparate campaign in this general election it is clear that something must be done to ensure that this isn’t repeated at the next.