Thursday, 14 March 2013

Eastleigh spirit isn't enough

Unfortunatly Paddy can't be everywhere
Recently I saw an article comparing the hard fought Eastleigh by-election to the battle of Stalingrad. Though I can see some parallels in the great scheme of things and country wide campaigns it doesn't stand up, after all Stalingrad saw the beginning of the end of the Wehrmacht in Russia and the Soviets sweeping west to Berlin and victory.

A more fitting analogy would be the early years of German blitzkrieg.

Now bear with me whilst I indulge my other hobby...

The Blitzkrieg worked by massing forces at a Schwehrpunkt before creating conditions of aerial superiority. At the expense of the rest of the frontline they would dominate a local area. This was due to limited resources, equipment and money. The only thing they had in good supply were some of the finest trained and hard working infantry in the world.

In Eastleigh, hard working foot soldiers, years of vital intelligence and canvassing techniques were combined with the heavy artillery and armoured columns of our MPs, Tim Farron, Nick Clegg and the dynamic Lord Ashdown. With the whole party's attention and support coupled by what we do best, grafting and hard fought canvassing, victory could be achieved.

I'm not saying it was easy or down playing the hard work that every one put in, far from it, I'm in awe.

2015, however is a different campaign and on a wider scale. Such favourable ground and mass party support cannot be afforded when we will be fighting on a national scale as well as local elections. The country's media will not be paying the same amount of attention to every seat, if you get an opponent who has foot-in-mouth like Maria Hutchins the chances of national exposure are a lot smaller.

National party members won't be donating to your elections, local Chairs or candidates won't be able to call on Nick or Tim to help canvass. Without sounding like the voice of doom, local associations should plan for the likely event that they will be defending or attacking on their own. Though I'm sure HQ will form local Schwehrpunkts in areas that are seen as vital holds, areas like Medway will not be on the list as we will be low priority and resources will be ear marked for elsewhere.

Labour will be coming for our party in 2015 in a similar way as the Soviets post Stalingrad, with numbers, backing, media, propaganda and riding high on anti-Government vote.

What we can take from Eastleigh is that our activists work damn hard and are exceptional at what they do on the doorstep. We have a message of success in Government and locally and, just like Eastleigh we can dig in and fight - more importantly we can win and I intend to do that right here in the Medway towns.

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