Wefan Gymraeg

My modern Chronicles of Prydain 3 - Back on the train / Reality of elections


 Ed Fordham, campaign coordinator for Mid and West Wales, on his time in Wales

 

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After 24 hours at home (as I type this I realise it was in fact 19 hours) and I'm back on the train dashing back to Cambria - Wales, Ceredigion, Aberystwyth.

And as I leap on the train - mid conversation to the team my husband gesticulates furiously drawing me to the doors.  "The seat you have grabbed," he whispers, "its next to Quentin Letts."  Mercifully and timely the countryside of Cheshire intervenes to cut off my conversation and I return to my seat more aware and more guarded now.

We swap notes, Quentin and I, about the General Election, he's been to the Tory Manifesto launch in Halifax and was at the Lib Dem Nightclub in East London previously, and we mildly gossip about Ceredigion electing Mark Williams and the Liberal traditional battle in the marches and borders of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Powys. And then back to our work.

But it reminds me of the reality about elections of the number of participants - there is an assumption and an oft heard assertion that journalists are all London based, metropolitan elite, when in fact many of them are out about and more listening to what is said and hearing what people think and say.

Indeed oft unknown to the public is the extent to which journalists dig under the surface of elections - they see and hear the unguarded moments, they meet and speak to voters, they see behind the scenes.  In fact as well as the parties, the campaigns, the leaflets, the manifestos and pledges, the voters, the candidates there are also the journalists.  Have a little thought for them as they try and grasp, distill and report what is going on.  One last tip: be careful. You never know they might be sitting next to you as you vent your frustration at someone.

note to self: check the Quentin Letts column tomorrow and see if he heard me on the phone.

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