Monday, 19 April 2010

The secret diary of an election photographer - Day 14

Wales, Wales, Wales

First Wales - A press conference in Cardiff Bay with Kirsty Williams and Simon Hughes launching a policy on green jobs. Nick was particularly making the point that, whilst the decision to pursue large scale off-shore wind generation in the UK, the majority of the machinery needed is made overseas, mainly in Sweden and Germany. It is right that we should be seeking to switch from dirty fuels to clean energy, but we need to maximise the jobs and other benefits that will come from that switch.

Second Wales - Then it was off to Cardiff University Students Union and a Q&A session with more than 200 students in a nightclub. For the second day running, a huge turnout among young people in an early morning session.

Nick answered a wide range of questions, including some hostile ones. One student with decidedly left wing tendancies asked why Nick wasn't lowering his own MPs salary to the level of the average worker. Nick point ed out that he and Vince, among others, have refused pay rises over recent years.

Another questioner asked about Nick's roots, pointing out that he is not exactly working class. Nick made it clear that he had never hidden his roots and was happy with who and what he is. Later, the Telegraph journo tweeted to say this questioner was not thinking of voting Lib Dem.

Third Wales - A quick bus journey took us to Swansea, setting for one of my favourite films - Twin Town. There Nick addressed an open air meeting and answered questions. This was the first time that we have faced opposition heckling during the campaign. Before we arrived, I understand that one Labour heckler managed to get his megaphone confiscated by the Police and so he tried to shout down Nick when he spoke. Eventually he was laughed down by the audience and he shut up.

Also present were a few Tories who seemed to be very chummy with Labour (see photo).

And then the train home with Nick conducting at least five interviews on the journey.

One thing which everyone knows has been nagging on Nick's mind over the last few days has been the absence of Nick and Miriam's kids. They have been staying in Spain with Miriam's parents but were unable to get back last weekend because of the flight ban. Nick says that this has been the longest he has been away from his kids ever. It now looks like a solution has been found involving a long drive by Nick's 'heroic' brother in law, which is great news for everyone.

Tomorrow - an early press conference and then a trip to Wiltshire.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Quick point that yes, the Conservatives in Swansea probably were being chummy with Labour because they're both united in a common cause. Lib Dems run the local council here, and as you can probably tell from the placards, they've recently cut the education budget. Again.

Schools in Swansea are already failing, and the cuts put through by the Lib Dem council will cost 100 teaching jobs. Both Labour and the Tories opposed this, hence why both are together heckling Lib Dems about it.