Alison Bennett's Monday Mail - Be bright, be seen

3 Jun 2024

Welcome to my Monday Mail for 03 June 2024, as I share a few of the things I've been doing and thinking about this past week, including attending the Lindfield Village Day and past general elections.


Alison Bennett at Lindfield Village Day
On Saturday I enjoyed talking to voters at Lindfield Village Day

Be bright, be seen

On Saturday, I joined the Haywards Heath Liberal Democrats on our stall at Lindfield Village Day. We have a stall every year, and it is always a great afternoon. As well as having a go on the tombola, I had some really interesting conversations, and the weather was kind. What more could you ask for? 

Public events help get us seen (and yes the colour of my jacket was intentional). The other way to improve our visibility is by putting up lots of posters - in your windows and gardens. So far our ‘hammer team’ have put up more than 100 garden posters across Mid Sussex, but I want to double that number.

If you haven’t already signed up to request a poster, then please fill in this request form, especially if you live somewhere which gets lots of passing pedestrians and traffic.

Why it's not 1997

The national mood is quite different to 1997. There isn’t the optimism surrounding a potential Starmer government that Blair enjoyed nearly 30 years ago. I thought that this column by Jenni Russell in the Times captured this mood:

This isn’t an optimistic election; it’s a distrustful one, with a vexed, insecure electorate wearily conscious of how much has already been promised and betrayed. 

The article missed something though. It focussed on the voting plans of the affluent and influential in the writer’s own circle. It missed the views of middle England. The kinds of people whose doors I knock on every day. I would say that they are also distrustful, but there is deep disillusionment for a significant number of people. Often people tell me that they are wondering whether to stop voting entirely.

How do we restore trust? As a candidate in this election, I think I have a responsibility to listen to as many voters as possible, not necessarily to change people’s minds, but so that people are heard. A healthy democracy rests on the electorate wanting to participate in it, and knowing that by doing so, they can affect the change they want to see. Giving up on chunks of the electorate will serve society badly in the long run.

The need for political reform - to break up concentrations of power and restore confidence in our democracy is one reason why I am a Liberal Democrat.

Thank you...

Alison Bennett addressing letters

…to the many people who have been giving their time to help me this week. It’s been good to talk to some of you and find out why you want to help. 

A special thank you to my mum for hand addressing over 500 envelopes. Whoever gets to deliver those envelopes will be grateful that a retired primary school teacher with very neat handwriting wrote those addresses.

We still need more volunteers though. You can offer to help here:

Best wishes,

Cllr Alison Bennett
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
Mid Sussex Liberal Democrats

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