A Wonderful Adventure!
All a wonderful adventure; and yes, I stood in the General Election for where I grew-up as a boy! As I only had a week to campaign, beforehand I specially set-up a Youtube presence, some three dozen clips for the connected generation. Right from the start there was a bit more of a buzz whenever this unlikely candidate spoke. MEEGAN’ was printed on the ballot paper, right next to a symbol of Rochester castle. My constituency is actually Gillingham & Rainham.
Of course, I had no chance of winning. I was going head-head with all of England's political machines. Gillingham & Rainham is a key marginal, and right from Day One the prime minister was there, pacing edgily up and down Gillingham station. His candidate was Paul Clark, a Labour minister. Tory Lord Ashcroft was rumoured to have pumped in £200,000 into the area for his man. The thuggish BNP were there too; I asked them to join me. "Walk with the angels," I said.
I was the oldest candidate, twice the age of some, and yet I still by end had out-energied them all. On a borrowed bike I had cycled 180-miles and in the process spoke to over 4,000 people. Courtesy of Royal Mail, my poster was delivered free of charge into each of the 41,000 households that make up the constituency. On the final day (May 5th) I blitzed a marathon by visiting each of our 35 polling stations There, I saluted the election staffs;
"On behalf of all the candidates," I announced. "Thank you for your long day and your support of Democracy, and indeed your celebration of Freedom." I was liable alone in all GB in doing this salute. All this relentless activity from dawn to dusk may even have lifted voter turnout to near 63%.
With a smile and a wave I campaigned alone, as I peddled through Kent's changeable spring air. Some days though it was so wet and cold in the sharp north wind, forcing my balding head into a hat. This sartorial number must - surely - have cost me votes. About 21,000, is my estimate.
109 votes then were counted, in the big hall. Wonderful! Alone among candidates mine were personal. "All friends," I was told. Everybody at the 7-hour count seemed happy to see me. "Your spirit shines through, George," said the former mayor of Medway.
What an incredible blast it all was. A fabulous experience and a great honour in my life! A wonderful adventure, indeed!!
The Medway Independent Party for George Meegan