Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The secret diary of an election photographer - Day 2

Today was the last day with real Westminster activity for Nick Clegg and so our chance to get out and around the country was very limited.

First up was the first press conference of the campaign. Nick talked about the dire need to clean up politics and the fact that both Tories and Labour were blocking any real change. He referred to Gordon Brown's promise of change after the election by likening it to buying a warranty off Del Boy Trotter.

Then we had the final Prime Ministers' Questions before the general election and, as such, was not the most edifying spectacle. The Speaker had to calm down MPs time after time and the questions and answers were more about sloganeering than anything else. David Cameron seemed to be making decent arguments from his point of view and got (sort of) answers. Cameron's failing was to claim that the PM had given no answers at all and not taken responsibility for army equipment failings when Brown had done just that moments before.

The battle between Nick Clegg and Brown was even stranger. Nick brought up the subject of Parliamentary reform and said that both Labour and the Tories had blocked it. Brown tried to love bomb the Lib Dems by claiming Labour and the Lib Dems agreed but the dastardly Tories had blocked reform. Nick was having none of it. A journo I was watching with said it looked like Brown was acting like a bloke at a teenage disco trying to chat a girl up - but the girl was not having any of it - and wasn't interested in Gordon's mate Dave either.

Then, at last, we got out of Westminster and off to Liverpool. It was the maiden flight of Air Lib Dem (or Clegg Airlines - the journos couldn't decide which). We went up to Liverpool to see the excellent Colin Eldridge, our candidate in Liverpool Wavertree. Colin cut the Labour majority to about 3000 last time and is now up against a new candidate from London who is having some credibility problems.

Colin took us to the Penny Lane Community Trust where he is a trustee. This is a project Nick has been to before but is now finished and so Nick met a lot of the volunteers and people who had helped design and build it.

Nick was also asked to sign their street sign on the wll of the new building.

There were innumerable snapers and TV crews there and so it was tricky to get the right shots, but I hope I managed something useful.

Then it was a huge round of media interviews and then back on the plane home. On the flight Nick chatted to the journos and I recorded the interview below summing up the day.

No comments: