Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

Comments on "General Election 2017 – my story"

1. At 05:30 pm on 17th Jun Dr Ian McLauchlin wrote:

I’d just like to say thank you very much for taking on such a mammoth task and for doing it so well with such an amazing result. As you clearly understand, only the seriously worried resort to underhand tactics in an election. That tells you everything you need to know. Thanks also for being prepared to stand again when the time comes. Yet another reason for your opponents to be worried. You’re going to WIN.
Best wishes, Ian

2. At 06:38 pm on 17th Jun Janice Faulkner wrote:

Great to read this Claire. So good that yours was a positive campaign in contrast with another. I was so taken aback when a very angry Hugo Swire came to our door as I had a board up. So pleased to hear that you would be ready to stand again. I know that so many of us will be ready to support you. In the meantime it is so good to know that you are on the council but it is a pity you are now not representing us here in Sidbury,
East Devon needs you Claire although a lot of unthinking Tory voters can’t see it.
Thank you Claire for giving us some hope.

3. At 08:27 am on 18th Jun Philip Algar wrote:

I was fortunate to be involved in the 2015 and 2017 campaigns. In the earlier election, we had many months to learn how to organise ourselves but this time the much younger team, many of whom had full time jobs, had but a few weeks. It is true that the wheel did not have to be re-invented but their energy and enthusiasm was truly superb. In particular, their understanding of the importance of social media and their organisational skills were crucial to Claire’s success. It hardly needs mentioning but our candidate’s energy, eloquence and sheer determination galvanised the team as did their efforts on our esteemed Claire. What was common to both campaigns was the frequent comment that we were the first people representing a candidate who had ever called. Canvassing was extremely well-organised and we were well received at the polling stations, suggesting that whatever happens at the national level, Claire was, and is, justly seen as the only candidate to understand the problems of the people of East Devon and who has demonstrated that she has a team and hundreds of
supporters who can secure what more than 21,000 people want.

4. At 08:57 am on 18th Jun Roger Giles wrote:

Anyone who reads Claire`s report of the General Election campaign, and also reads Sir Hugo Swire`s report

“A personal view on the 2017 General Election” will be struck by the complete difference in tone.
Sir Hugo is obviously very angry that Claire should have the temerity to mount an energetic campaign and threaten to take his seat away.

He makes some comments about Claire, that many people will consider totally unacceptable such as: “her loathing of anything Tory”. This from an MP who described hundreds of his constituents, who turned out on a wet Saturday on 21 May 2016 attempting to save Ottery Hospital, as “Claire Wright`s pack”.

Hugo also makes a number of claims that just do not stack up:
* “Claire Wright…. managed to persuade Liberal Democrats to vote tactically to get the Tories out`.

His maths leave something to be desired:
In 2015 the LibDems` vote was 3,715; in 2017 it was 1,468. A reduction of 2,247.
In 2015 Claire`s vote was 13,140; in 2017 it was 21,270. An increase of 8,130.

So even if all the reduction in the LibDem vote went to Claire, she still attracted another 6,000 votes from elsewhere.

* “Our posters were all either pulled up, vandalised or stolen”. Its true that some Tory posters I saw were vandalised (something which I know that Claire most certainly does not condone) but to claim that that was the fate of all the Conservative posters is absolute
nonsense.

And Claire also had several of her posters pulled down.
Sir Hugo claims to regret that the election was “more interested in personality than policy, both locally and nationally.” 

Yes, because Hugo`s Conservative Party was more interested in demonising the Labour leader, than debating policies with him.

And locally? Hugo declined to take part in hustings at Cranbrook and Exmouth. The organisers of the hustings were insulted, and voters in East Devon were denied the opportunity to ask their former MP - and an MP representing the party of government - questions, and to measure his answers and policies against those of other candidates.

5. At 02:07 pm on 18th Jun Janice wrote:

Third time lucky! There is always someone who will pull down psoters though - we have that in our village sometimes and the posters are just about community events.

6. At 08:16 pm on 10th Jul Chris Wakefield wrote:

Missed all the fun and thus slow to comment - but I love this photo - it tells me all I need to know about Claire’s success and the Tory’s failure. The people in this photo haven’t been to Eton or been in the Guards and they don’t have ‘connections’ to cover their welfare in a materialistic, free-market, dog eat dog world, if things go pear-shaped for them.  Look again at the photo - it’s pissing wet, they are battling against entrenched, unthinking Conservative ideology in a (previously) rock solid Tory stronghold, but -  they are loving it. Why? Because this is their home ground - they all know the local landscapes - natural, political and social. The territory is theirs - that’s why. And if there’s another election in the not too distant, I hope people will think about who will best represent THEM in parliament. For most of us - Hugo, decent chap though I’m sure he is, is totally unsuitable - he knows little about our lives and understands even less. Our reliance on what we can do together, how we can help each other for the benefit of all, how we value friendship and mutual support more than material advantage, how we rely on the community at large to sustain as many of us as we can for the benefit of as many as possible - these things are not part of his experience.

The Tories have never got that - they believe in the power of individual freedom - do anything you wish within the law - demolish red tape at all costs - liberate the entrepreneur.  Although we must not deny the contribution that individuals can make, we should also remember that their talents are mostly owing to the people around them who sustain them. And left unchecked, freewheeling individuality can lay us low - the 2008 crash should teach us that.

If we’re ever going to get represented properly in the circles of power, we need someone like Claire to do it. That much at least, should be obvious.

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