Having been on a number of doorsteps, the ones that I find most discouraging are not the solid Labour or Tory supporters—firstly they are generally polite, secondly they now have a haunted look in their eye and thirdly there aren’t too many of ’em any more. No, the ones that rattle my cage most are in the new affordable homes we’ve been building, especially in the West of the county.
Since 2007, ELC put top effort into addressing the scandal of homelessness and the pitiful under-provision of affordable homes for rent that was the worst among many ugly inheritances from umpteen years of Labour. Visit the new tenants in the East of the county and you find community spirit;, kids playing together; planters and boxes out; a clear enthusiasm for well built homes they had despaired of ever inhabiting. The real giveaway is that almost all have registered to vote, i.e. to engage with life in general.
At the other end of the county, in what was once Labour heartlands, it’s a different story. There is almost no external sign that these equally nice and new houses are even occupied and barely a quarter of the occupants have bothered to register to vote. Not only are they puzzled to find you on their doorstep but many seem to regard their new home as no more than their due and certainly have no idea that, were it not for the SNP, they would still be back in the various desperate circumstances they escaped from.
They seem not so much ungrateful as unaware that it was people registering and then going out to vote SNP in 2007 that made all their nice new homes possible. They ken noo.