(Just kidding – the arrow showing the way is out of frame)
‘Unite and unite and let us all unite,
For summer is acome unto day’
That’s a snatch of what they’ve been singing down the way from us at Padstow today. It’s proper May Day, not the bank holiday tagged onto next weekend by politicians keen to turn it into a deracinated ‘Spring Bank Holiday’. Here and now in Cornwall, it’s summer – blue sky, and flowers in bloom.
This is my last day as a County Councillor. Up country, my Liberal Democrat colleagues are still fighting the Conservatives to hold their seats and increase our numbers on Surrey County Council. It’s tough being an opposition minority in a solidly Conservative area.
In Surrey, Liberal Democrats are the main opposition to Conservatives at the local level. Never mind any Westminster coalition; it doesn’t bind Councillors. And opposition is needed. You can’t say Eric Pickles has done local authority services any good, not even in Surrey, which has been favoured by comparison with other areas.
Surrey Conservatism is damagingly entrenched. I don’t know anyone who does smug condescension as thoroughly as certain leading Surrey Conservative County Councillors. They also do waste, secrecy, and inefficiency. One of the mysteries of life is why a number of nice, well-meaning, apparently intelligent people consent to fill up their back-benches. Opposition is needed.
My postal vote has gone in. I’ll be wishing tomorrow for many more people in Knaphill, Goldsworth Park, Horsell, and Woking South to vote Liberal Democrat with me.
It looks like being fine weather again. But that doesn’t mean a lot. A beautiful day can be a bad day. I hope we at least hold on to seats, across Surrey and in Woking. It’ll be a bad day if there’s no one to speak up for residents and for local services against a massive Conservative majority.