The cages of the various political parties have been rattled, it seems, and the leaflets are starting to come through the door. I exclude the Lib Dems from this, because their leaflets come through the door regularly and earn my respect for that.
For the first time the despicable BNP have sent me one, though as far as I'm aware they have no chance of any victory here. With their bullet-pointed paragraphs of Terrorist Time-Bomb; Asylum Time-Bomb; Financial Time-Bomb; Housing Time-Bomb I'm genuinely scared. But only of the possibility that someone may take them seriously. "The Patriotic Majority have finally found their voice," apparently. Let's hope no-one's listening.
The Lib Dems are the main opposition to the Labour controlled council in Gateshead, and I'm happy enough with the way they handle that. Their leaflets are generally aimed at local issues, with the proposal to scrap the Council Tax as their main national policy. I'd buy that.
Gateshead's Labour Council works quite well, and certainly does a better job of running the place than the one over the river. But I do find it irritating that they only leaflet before an election and spend most of their time warning about the iniquitous, and largely unspecified policies of the Lib Dems. I expect more Lib Dem gains this year, at least in the European election.
There are no Tory Cooncillors in Gateshead. This is a good thing.
Were they to be elected, however, I could look forward to: a crack-down on nuisance neighbours; the cutting of Council spending by slashing red tape and the council's glossy publications; the installation of more dog waste bins; the creation of committees to tackle litter and graffiti; and more regular checking of streetlights.
I'm swaying. Dog waste bins......streetlights.....committees of concerned middle-class citizens telling other folk what to do. Still swaying. Naaagh. Stuff 'em.