Sunday, 8 May 2011

Putting the Yes! detracters straight - initial thoughts from Northern Ireland

Well okay only 43.87% did
There is nothing more frustrating while spending 15 hours on your feet than seeing friends throwing complaints about the campaign you have given up the last six months of your life for. Well maybe knowing that before one of the three constituencies that you were the agent on site for had declared that the national result was already a disaster.

Some of it was justified and some it ignored the fact that many of us involved in the campaign were fighting for some of the things and failings they mentioned. The eyes and ears on the ground my fellow regional/organisers were pointing stuff out since our first meeting together in November and on every conference call weekly meeting we had since then. There were even times in our monthly meetings in London that we did speak as one against the way things were done. But too often we were astounded about things that weren't happening or going to be happening or were happening too late.

Personally I'd like to give a big round applause to all the Regional and National Organisers Iestyn in Wales, Neil in Scotland, John, Jamie and Jane in NW and NE England, Yorkshire and Humberside, Richard and Michael in West and East Midlands, the other Stephen in East of England, Deborah, Becky, Jack, Tariq and Jon in London Tim, Ollie and James in the South West, Central and East. Together we knew what we were pressing for to happen, we may have heard the Yes! campaign say no too many times, yet we carried on pushing and sometimes got the answer changed and action taken. I'm sure all of them will carry on leading sucessful campaigns in the future, that group certainly knew what they needed to get done, just was frustrating that many times all those years of experience and knowledge was overlooked.

I'd also like to thank the excellent team that we did have in Northern Ireland, too numerous to mention but especially to Laura and Michael who were with me from the first meeting of the Northern Ireland team and stayed there to the end. Also to the many excellent interns who came through the door at Carnegie Buildings and many of them ended up going unto good jobs in fields they wanted. We may not have turned around years of Ulster saying No, but 43.87% of Northern Ireland did say yes.

To all my new friends in the Alliance, SDLP, Labour Party NI, Greens Party, UKIP, Ulster Unionist Party, Sinn Féin, Socialist Party, Dawn Purvis (sadly no longer and MLA), David McClarty MLA, plus my fellow Lib Dem NI members and many from no party background who said Yes! it has been a pleasure. I look forward to working with many of you on continuing to build a better future for Northern Ireland.

I may take on the specific points raised on a number of blogs over the last few days, but I'm going to calm down from my initial reading of most of them to give them due consideration in a balanced way in the cold light of day.

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