We've had an e-mail from the office of our new MP for Bury St Edmunds, Jo Churchill. Apparently, she is touring the constituency next week, visiting towns and villages, and offering an opportunity to meet her in an informal setting. It is, you may be surprised to discover, the first we've heard about it, but it is nice that she is coming to one of the smaller, furthermost corners of her patch.
A poster has been sent, which can be printed off and used to publicise the event. Well, we only have one noticeboard, and the leaflet doesn't actually say where she'll be - we've had to suggest a venue as one hasn't been arranged.
And so, I graciously volunteered to adapt the poster to add the venue details, print it out, walk to the noticeboard, and put it up, which I have done. A nice piece of work on PagePlus, if I say so myself.
It's just that I'm not confident that she'll draw much of a crowd. You see, apart from the poster, there has been no other information, and she's coming at 11.10 a.m. on a Wednesday. Most of us have jobs, and so will be at them. And, unless anyone other than the Parish councillors sees the notice (and it is a very nice notice), how will they know to attend?
The Conservatives don't campaign much in our village. Our County Councillor has never delivered so much as a leaflet since he was elected outside of election time, has never canvassed the village to our knowledge, and tends to avoid us as though we have some sort of contagious disease. Our former District Councillor lived fifteen miles away, and tended to treat us as though we were slightly uppity peasants, with the audacity not to be grateful for an occasional visit.
You might think that the MP's tour might be a reason to put out a leaflet. After all, even if people can't meet her, they will at least know that she came. But no, nothing so far, and, to be honest, I don't expect anything, although I stand to be corrected.
It is not for me to offer a Conservative MP any advice, but if you really want to meet your constituents, it is probably better to give better notice, come at a time when people might be around, and use the opportunity for some cheap publicity. I can assure you that if we had a Liberal Democrat MP, I'd be making damned certain that the entire village knew they were coming.
And sadly, I won't be there either, as I'll be at work, as I usually am at 11.10 on a Wednesday morning. That's a pity, as I'd be happy to welcome her to Creeting St Peter. Perhaps she might come to one of our coffee mornings. Second Saturday of the month, in the Church Room at the end of The Lane, more than decent tea, some very good cake, and some excellent company...