We’re ramping up towards the election now (as if you didn’t know) and Corbyn is doing far better than anyone thought he would. It’s not over yet though, and every vote counts; to which end I have been out leafletting. Now, as I remember from my days on the Christmas post (every student did a stint on the Christmas post in the ’70’s) letter-boxes come in all shapes and sizes. Well, not all shapes exactly; but they vary more than you might think: and not all of them are designed for the helpful transition of post from hand to doormat.
It is Labour party policy to have a spatula handy for poking leaflets through and avoiding the nipping of fingers by over-eager dogs. But even with a handy spatula it is not a piece of cake. Sure, there are the nice and easy letter-boxes that say come on in; a single flap that opens and closes with the ease of a well-oiled door. But these are few and far between, and the older ones seem designed to accept nothing larger than a business card, causing valuable leaflets to be folded or squished. But it gets worse. Modern letter-boxes have two flaps: an outer one which you lift, and an inner one which you have to push against. Between these flaps sit two sets of bristles, designed presumably to remove any stray dirt from the post. It can be quite a performance getting a single leaflet through these letter-boxes; but some houses are not content with this level of difficulty and add a ferocious hinge meaning that if the dog doesn’t get you the letterbox will.
Honestly, don’t people want post? You begin to wonder: for in addition to the letter-box problem, in richer areas you first have to play ‘hunt the door’. Some houses seem to delight in hiding their front doors behind a hedge or round a twiddly wall – or else you have to guess which side of the house it’s on, and inevitably it’s not the side you try first. This seems to me almost a sort of arrogance, like not signposting the entrance to some exclusive club.
But all is not straightforward in poorer areas either; many HMO’s (houses in multiple occupation) have the front rooms as a bedroom and ask you to trudge down an alleyway and locate a postbox at the back.
And – I will never again do this on bin-day: everybody’s bins were in the way.
Anyway, all local households have been issued with a Labour party leaflet which I hope and trust they will read, mark, learn and inwardly digest before going out to vote.
To vote Labour!