“A Week on the Stump” (which I think means a week of campaigning…)

Week 1 of the General Election campaign done and dusted, and I can’t decide if I am so tired that I want to crawl underneath my duvet and sleep for a year, or join the Park Run and zoom at double speed up and down the Prom – adrenaline and exhaustion is a strange combination!
It’s only been a week, but the launch last Saturday seems ages ago! It was a brill launch in the Labour Hall, with lots of laughter and optimism – campaigning is always much easier when you’re part of an enthusiastic, supportive team. This team are second to none, and whenever I feel slightly shattered, a lovely person gives me a big hug or a cuppa pops up out
of nowhere – priceless!

Worthing West Beccy Cooper Street Stall
Worthing West Beccy Cooper Street Stall

Meeting local people is one of the best bits of campaigning, whether it be knocking on doors or nattering at a street stall. This week, I went door knocking with the amazing Sam Theodoridi (hopefully Councillor for Castle next May!) and we met a Communist (the Italian type?) and a man with lots of tattoos and a pitbull. The people of Worthing are full of

The sun came out for the street stall in the town centre on Wednesday, and whether it was this, the sugary donuts, or people being a bit enthusiastic to see us (to be fair, it is early days) there was a real feeling of excitement and change in the air!
As there isn’t much daylight at this time of year (there’s a reason we normally just focus on getting ready for Christmas at this time of year…), I am spending quite a lot of my time recording videos and messages to try and communicate to as many people as possible.

This week, I had the absolute pleasure of recording a show with the excellent Dad La Soul, a local social enterprise that is changing the way we think about parenthood. There was a bit of political chat, but there was mostly laughter about my terrible taste in music (Paul Simon passed, Mumford and Sons did not) and lots of medical questions! I am a Consultant in Public Health these days, so my job is about keeping people healthy rather than treating them when they are sick, but it is still a privilege to talk about health issues and there were some interesting ones raised by these dads!

The health theme continued when I recorded my podcast, Shed Some Light, on Thursday evening. Cllr Carl Walker (also a Dr, but of the more brainy PhD kind) popped in to the garden shed (yes, we really do record at the bottom of my garden!) to discuss all things NHS.

I concluded that Politics can be as much a hindrance as a help to our NHS sometimes, but if possible, I would like to be the kind of politician that brings some sense and a willingness to listen in this most important of areas.

On Friday evening (when, to be honest, I would normally have flaked out on the sofa by 8pm) I went along to the Assembly Hall to join the Worthing Climate Conversation. I was absolutely gobsmacked at the number of people who had come out on a cold and rainy night to share their expertise and passion about this, the defining issue of our time. As this campaign continues, I think that the Climate Emergency will and should be a defining issue in how people vote.

So now a brief bit of downtime (currently writing this whilst whooping and cheering to Strictly in Blackpool on the telly!), and straight back in to it next week. Look forward to meeting and listening to many more of you in the next 7 days (once I’ve had a bit of sleep!).

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