Andrew Allison

Knocking on doors again.

In Conservatives, elections on March 29, 2007 at 9:51 pm

I have been out canvassing tonight, and it was one of those evenings where you think you didn’t get anywhere. There were some extra Conservative votes, but there were some lost votes as well. I did get the general feeling of disillusionment in politics and Great Britain. People think this country has gone to the dogs, and I can’t blame them. What we have to do is put pride back in to our communities and make Great Britain GREAT again. I really do think that is an important theme in this election. What is more important, is getting our vote out. The two are linked together like Siamese twins.

  1. People will appreciate that you gave them the chance to express their frustrations.

  2. Andrew, I am not too surprised that you picked up on a feeling of disillusionment. You raise an interesting potential solution; myself, I think that it may be possible to use some form of nationalism as a focus for cohesion – and, certainly, I don’t know what else we might turn to – but I am deeply suspicious of nationalism’s inherent exclusivity: by definition, under nationalism an individual is either one of “us” or one of “them”.

    I’d be very interested to hear how you see this working in practice.

  3. PT: I think people do appreciate the chance to air their frustrations, and after thinking some more may indeed vote Conservative.

    Ian: I was talking about people feeling proud to be British again, not the form of nationalism you were referring to. The irony of some conversations last night was that some people said they would not vote Conservative, and then went on to blame us for opposition members of the East Riding COuncil and for the failings of the this Labour government. You put pride back in to communities by making the streets safer and cleaner. In Haltemprice we ask members of the public to report graffiti and we clean it off, as well as pick up litter. There once was a time when members of the public would pick up any litter they came accross, but there seems to have been a general malaise that has set in. By providing good local services, local authorities can help make people feel that their community is somewhere they can be proud of. There are many small things that can be done. At this election we have to show we care and assure the electorate if they elect a Conservative councillor, that councillor will work hard on issues that affect their ward.

  4. Andrew, I’m sorry for any confusion, I have to deal with various theories about nationalism as part of my thesis, and so in that context I would tend to see any attempt to promote British (or whatever) pride as coming under the umbrella of nationalism. I don’t mean that it would necessarily connote the extreme views associated with the far right, and I certainly don’t mean to try and tar you with a similar brush. Indeed, I remember your sterling efforts on a particular thread we both commented on… However, I do believe that any form of nationalism would be divisive, simply by saying X is, for example, British and thus implying Y is not.

    I see what you mean about putting pride back into communities, and think those steps you describe must help. But in light of what I have just said, when you talk of people feeling proud to be British, it does make me pause, and I am curious as to how you would hope to instil such feelings.

  5. Andrew, don’t get mugged.

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