Here we are in beautiful Whitchurch, canvassing and getting a generally excellent response. What mystifies me is the state of these opinion polls — how can Labour really be ahead, when I can’t find anyone going to vote Labour?
But then I’m out in the wilds of Oxfordshire – as they say in Apocalypse Now, I’m 75 clicks up the Nong River, and out of touch with base.
I have only one comment on the national campaign, and that follows a garbled radio report of what Charles Kennedy is supposed to have said about pulling British Troops out of Iraq. I may have misheard, but I can say from direct experience that a British withdrawal is the last thing the people of Iraq either want or need. For better or worse, we toppled their regime and transformed their country. It is our duty to see that through, and to restore security. That does not mean an indefinite commitment – and comparisons with Vietnam or Ulster are just absurd – but an immediate withdrawal is not on, and should not be the agenda for a serious prime ministerial candidate.