Feeling powerless in the face of the unreasoning forces ranged against us be it Brexit, Covid, Eunice, Franklin or Vladimir Putin the only possible response has been to get on the ‘phone or out on the streets to ask people to plant a tree. The trees included some bonsai starter trees nurtured for the past couple of years. These latter do not absorb much carbon but they help people feel they are doing their bit even if they have no garden. Trees are a great conversation starter. In the last month we have provided over seventy trees to Lib Dem members and supporters, doing our bit to deliver the Queen’s Green Canopy to help celebrate her Jubilee Year.
To the conversations across the Vale, then. I was surprised that Brexit was top of the list. It still rankles with many. The opportunities seem to be only for those businesses able to pivot away from Europe towards the US and the Far East. For most smaller businesses and for us as individuals, Brexit has delivered nothing but complexity, inflation and a step backwards in our national identity and prestige. We need a “Brexit reset” to get back to a sensible, inclusive and equitable relationship with our neighbours.
Next up, Pacts. As we plant and water, the conversation turns to the question of the day: how can we confront, if not defeat this rogue’s gallery of a government? I had it put to me several times that “Lib/Lab/Green together must be the way?” How would this work? Do you put together a common set of policies? How much do you highlight your differences? Besides, this could mean limiting the choice for voters just as in 2019 when it seemed that choice was between never having to talk about Brexit again and having wall-to-wall Momentum under “Jeremy”. Surely the campaign ahead must be centred in strongly promoting what you believe and getting the electorate to buy into your vision for the nation. Then you can work across the house or council chamber, sensibly and rationally, to deliver on the key priorities.
All told, a good way to get value out of the petrol used driving lots of trees around North Dorset.