Thursday, March 16, 2017

On board the Conservatives' Battlebus2015

With Conservative expense returns for the last general election under scrutiny in more than 20 constituencies, an old post on Conservative Home makes interesting reading:
After the jollity of the first evening, the Battlebus departed from its base in Glastonbury, which we made our HQ for the six days or so. We travelled across the South West of England from Torbay in the south to Cheltenham in the north of the region, visiting five constituencies along the way. 
The days were long: 7.25 start, and arriving back at the hotel past midnight, sleep was short. I even dreamt about doorstep conversations (that’s conversations on the doorstep not with them). The work was tough with a lot of walking, and one had to stay switched on, because we knew how important these conversations were. 
Along with other activists I am still recovering, and turned to lozenges to sooth the throat after having numerous conversations a day. The miles of walking with heavy satchels full of leaflets took its toll on our wallets too, because the bill for sticky plasters and remedies for back pain was totting up. 
Regardless of the toil, the relationships that were formed during those six days or so between the activists on the battle bus were intense. Spending 18 hours a day with each other for six days and for some 24 hours, because we shared a twin room back at the hotel, we formed strong long lasting friendships.
And who paid for these larks?

The Eventbrite page for Battlebus 2015 tells us:
Following the fantastic success of our campaign days in the past year, Roadtrip2015 is delighted to invite you to join us in the final weeks of the General Election campaign, for this once in a lifetime opportunity, as we take Battlebus2015 all over the country for our brilliant candidates, hoping to hold current seats and win new ones! 
We will be running two buses for ten action packed days where we will based in Tamworth and Taunton/Glastonbury, travelling from here to seats all over the country. You can join us for the full ten days, or the first or last 5 days ...
We ask for a payment of just £50 (£25 for students) which will be small contribution towards the hotel costs. We will meet ALL the remaining hotel costs and ALL the food costs and provide FREE transport to the Battlebus2015 hotel from London.

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