I went leafleting for the Labour Party earlier in the week. Whilst we were away in Wales at the weekend 200 printed sheets of A4 were delivered to the house, accompanied by a map with a handful of nearby residential streets marked out in fluorescent pink. This is not an entirely random course of events. I am a (new) member of the Labour Party and I did, in a weak moment, offer to distribute leaflets. This was the lesser of two evils, vastly preferable to what was first asked to do, which was to stand as a councillor in the local elections next year. EEEEK! See my first ever blog on here for how I feel about being anyone's elected representative. A keen sense of public duty is not on Goldenlady's short list of virtues.
So, as Monday was bright and sunny, myself, The Dog and the 200 leftist leaflets set off for the area of town on the map. The Husband and I had already folded the A4 sheets into thirds so they'd more easily go through a letter box. I am justifiably nervous about other people's letter boxes. Having distributed charity envelopes in the past I know that the draught-excluding flaps on many of them are sprung like mantraps on an evil squire's estate. I took the precaution of wearing leather gloves to increase my chances of returning endowed with the same number of digits I'd had when I left home.
I could see at a glance that the area I had been sent to wasn't going to house many active Labour supporters. A good bunch of the addresses would be unlikely to have inhabitants who were very active at anything any more, being warden-assisted flats or bungalows. As if in confirmation of this, as I struggled to open the letter box flap of one little bungalow, the door opened to reveal a somber group standing in the hallway. Their spokeswoman told me the lady who lived there had just passed away.
I didn't offer to leave a few leaflets for them to peruse whilst they waited for the hearse, you'll be pleased to read. I thought it better to apologise for my intrusion and withdraw, tugging The Dog away forcibly. He'd got wind of the funeral baked meats, I think, and was halfway across the threshold. Bugger.
The rest of the addresses were private properties of the "nice" type which I am pretty sure house mostly members of the 50% of our town's electorate who voted Conservative in May 2010 and helped Cameron into No 10. Every time I put a leaflet through one of the doors it felt like an exercise in futility. The Dog didn't rate it much either. He seemed distinctly fed up trotting in through gates, up to front doors, standing patiently while I fumbled in the bag for the next leaflet and fought to prise open the draught-excluding mechanism, only to be dragged away to do it all over again at the next house.
He obviously didn't like repeatedly being led up the garden path, and who can blame him.
I managed to do about a third of the addresses I'd be allotted in a very frustrating three-quarters of an hour. This means that I have to go out for an hour or two at some point this week to finish the job. But I shan't take The Dog with me with this time. With a mistress on a mission he can't get a decent stop-and-sniff dog walk going, which deprives him of the vital social aspect of his exercise, reading pee-mails and catching up on all the doggy goss.
I can't explain to him why I am doing it, as it's hard enough explaining to myself. No dog would join a political party of any persuasion. They have more sense.
So do most humans...