So the UK's erstwhile Prime Minister David Cameron couldn't stay PM -- as the Indepedent wonderfully said, "He had stepped down as Prime Minister the morning of the 24 June European Union referendum result after it became clear he had accidentally taken Britain out of the bloc"
-- but he didn't want to go back to just being an ordinary MP.
"It isn’t really possible to be a proper backbench MP as a former prime minister," he said, even though other people have done it. "I think everything you do would become a big distraction and a big diversion," he said. "I don’t want to be that distraction. I want Witney to have a new MP..." as if a having to fight a by-election is less distracting.
So we're fighting a by-election. The Lib Dems are rallying round, to the extent of people all over the country going along to help out, donating money, or bringing/sending essentials like homemade cake, boxes of envelopes, and a sledgehammer.
, Sarah and I came down for the day. It was very good of diffrentcolours
to do all that driving to Oxfordshire and back in a day, especially when on the way his intermittent windshield-wiper problem became unfixable and since of course you only find problems with windshield wipers when it's raining, it rendered the car undriveable. On the side of a motorway.
Handily, since we had to get out of the car and behind the barrier, there was an overpass to keep the rain off us. (Mostly; it was so noisy than when diffrentcolours
was talking to his insurance people and the recovery people he had to go up to the road above us to stand in the rain just so he could hear at all.)
Here's me and Sarah, when she said "I think this calls for a selfie."
And while it was cold enough for us to keep telling each other "this could be a lot worse!"...it really could have been a lot worse. The rest of the car was working fine, and diffrentcolours
had been able to give enough details about the problem that we hoped the recovery people could get it fixed on the roadside in a few minutes. And we were a priority because we were stuck on the motorway.
And it did end up being a five-minute job, as we'd hoped. About an hour from when the wipers practically whipped off of the windshield, we were on our way again with them working perfectly.
Soon we were in Witney, where diffrentcolours
and I soon put his sledgehammer to work, pounding stakeboards into the ground in the gardens of people who'd volunteered to have them. Other people had gotten the sort of "low-hanging fruit" and were able to do about 20 of these, we got the odds and sods of widely dispersed locations in this rural constituency (diffrentcolours
reckoned we did about 50 miles of driving around yesterday afternoon), and we had some adventures getting lost, annoying neighbors who didn't like our stakeboard, fighting with hedges, standing precariously on walls or upturned plastic bins -- even diffrentcolours
wasn't tall enough not to need help reaching the top of these stakeboards!)
He took a picture of me for propaganda purposes at one point, but I really like it.
It was about six o'clock and we hadn't really eaten since our road-trip food that morning (banana, cereal bar, pasty, you know how it is) so we went for a lovely meal in the nearby Como Lounge
nearby, and then went back to HQ to help with clerical stuff: addressing envelopes, putting double-sided tape on window posters...not glamorous stuff but it makes a difference. I think a lot of people find it dull but it's my favorite kind of Lib Dem work really; more blind-friendly than most of it, there are usually people to chat to (or in my case usually, listen to as they're telling each other horrible puns or getting into weird conversations about past, present or hypothetical legal/political situations...normal Lib Dem stuff).
Soon enough all the locals and people staying overnight were going to the pub, and sadly we had to go back to Manchester. But not before one more photo was taken!
I'd seen someone on Twitter refer to this -- a mere spelling infelicity rather than a knowing pun -- as a bi election, so I'd said it would be when we were there, etc, and tagged all my tweets about the day with #bielection. So differentcolours
brought along a bi flag and...
Neil, who took that picture, said "If I put this on Facebook are you going to make some horrible pun about it?" and I don't know if it was a request or something he dreaded.
But of course we did!
The drive back to Manchester was thankfully less eventful than the one there had been; I got dropped off at home about sixteen hours after I'd been picked up. A long day but we all loved it, were sad we couldn't stay over, and are seriously wondering if we can make it to Witney again before the election.