Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The contrasting aspects of the City of Ely

I had much of the day in Ely again and the people were perfect, as always, but I was conscious that I was seeing two contrasting aspects of the City that I love.

First, there were the obviously affluent-looking areas - the old and affluent area in and around Egremont Street and the new and affluent area in and around Cardinals Way. I was very impressed with the latter, a newish development where there were men vacuuming the sidewalks and making a very good job of it. I gather that the residents pay for this service which is not provided by the District or City Councils. Here is a picture of the affluent and immaculate Cardinals Way. (I wonder: should this be Cardinal's Way or, perhaps, Cardinals' Way. I think that there ought to be an apostrophe in there somewhere).

Next I went to another less obviously affluent area where old ladies were living in former Council flats. I, at 72, found the concrete stairs - there were no lifts - quite hard on my legs and feet and the ladies I spoke to were 80-plus, at a guess. I felt for them and had the temerity to suggest that, if I had my way, flats up concrete stairs without a lift might be more appropriate for younger people and that the ladies themselves might like ground floor bungalows. And the answer? No, we're safer up here. We have only one door each. Nobody can distract us at one door and get in the back door 'like them over there in them bungalows.'

I then ventured to suggest that things had change since 'our' young days, when one could leave one's door open and one knew all of one's neighbours. The ladies agreed. I felt sad. I guess that my old-fashioned social conscience was getting at me. What was also getting at me, for I have evidence, was the almost certain knowledge that no Conservative canvasser nor, indeed, any canvasser from any of the major political parties had called on these ladies since, perhaps, the last election, if then. These people, the ones from the major political parties, tend to steer clear of the less obviously affluent areas. I suppose that they think that they might get mugged or some such. I have not been mugged by an elderly lady - yet.

The Great Ouse looked, well, great, today. Perhaps it was quiet on account of the cool weather.

One source of huge amusement was the sight of a hedge showing its intention to vote Tory. I did all this poster stuff in fields, etc., for the late Mr Francis Pym until I was told that fields and barns and hedges don't actually have votes and that the actual voters know this and just laugh.

I know how much my campaign is costing me personally (I have no affluent backers in Belize or the big unions and, quite frankly, I am glad that I have no such backers, for they are an embarrassment to those who take their money) and I am now sure that the Tories are spending more than I am. Their big posters don't come cheap, nor do their professional agents. I wonder how they are bringing in the dosh - other than from Belize, that is. Maybe the poster planted in the hedge is being funded by .......

wait for it .......

....... a hedge fund?

Mind you, I agree with the poster's message: 'Vote For Change.' 

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