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18,357 steps

November 11, 2019 9:34 AM
By Simon Bishop, Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate for Folkestone and Hythe

Simon Bishop and Lib Dem members and supporters campaigning in SaltwoodWhere the first day of campaigning made me concerned about the division that has been sowed by the Brexit referendum, this weekend has inspired me.

To see so many people out helping deliver leaflets in Hawkinge, Folkestone, Hythe, Saltwood, Stanford and beyond was incredible. There were party members and non-party members who came to help. Some were life long Lib Dem members, others for whom it was their first time and they came because they feel so passionately that Brexit is wrong for this country that they want to do their bit to help.

Getting to speak to so many people was humbling and fascinating. There were many who agreed about stopping Brexit and some who maybe need a little more convincing, yet everyone I talked to were utterly lovely. Passions do run high, but that can be a positive thing.

There was also innovation and invention in a wonderful truly British style. Three different people came up to me today to demonstrate their patent pending designs for how not to get your knuckles trapped, or your fingers bitten by dogs, leaflet delivery contraptions.

Because, delivering leaflets gives you an appreciation and respect for the postwomen and men who deliver our daily dose of bills and mail. Until you push through several hundred leaflets in different styles of door do you come to appreciate what a tough job it is.

Being on the campaign trail also takes you to some fascinating places. There are roads literally 500 metres from where I grew up that I had never been down and never explored. But by far the best thing is knocking on doors of people I haven't seen for 15+ years. It takes them a second and then they recognise me and a huge smile appears on their face following by a lovely conversation and a "good for you for standing" and "we could do with some sensible people in politics nowadays". It is both awe inspiring and exhilarating.

The other thing that is incredible is the amount of pavement pounding any candidate, from any party, has to do. So far every day of this campaign I have walked close to a half marathon. Saturday for example was 18,357 steps. The shoe leather involved is extraordinary. Not just for me but the dozens of activists, members and enthusiasts who are putting in the miles to help get the message across that Brexit has to stop. I can't thank them enough for what they do.