Canvassing voters is a bit like low water fishing for lobsters. Only those that know the lobster holes stand a chance of success. Such knowledge is handed on from father to son and then only upon the death bed with a final expiring whisper.
One particular lobster hole has eluded me for a long time. Its name is Colomberie Close. No one knew of its existence until recently, so well camouflaged was its location. It hid by confusing itself with the well known Colomberie Court that looms above Colomberie precinct.
Colomberie Close is really in Don Road rather than Colomberie, which of course makes it even more difficult for aspiring States Members to find. Negotiating the electoral role for St Helier is an achievement in itself, for which, alas, there is no reward. Only once the arcane knowledge of streets and addreses has been mastered can one truly claim to be a Candidate. Getting elected is then a piece of pie.
After six years of tramping the streets, I finally realised the secret location of Colomberie Close. The electoral roll remained silent all these years because its inhabitants had conspired to remain unregistered.
Valiant attempts by voter registration expeditions from the Town Hall to chart this voter desert had ended in failure. Hand delivered voter registration forms had been idly tossed into awaiting bins, strategically positioned next to every letter box.
This block had been lost to voter registration aficionados with their obsessive interest in back lanes and alleys where potential voters may lurk. There were rumours that voters might inhabit a place called Colomberie Close but none was certain if the place even existed. Then something changed.
One person in this block of six or so flats broke the mould and habit of generations by registering themselves. The best kept secret in District No.1 was exposed.
I say six or so flats because even recent detailed inspection by a pioneer survey team of hand-picked volunteers has failed to reveal the correct numbering.
Winter is never a good time for voter registration expeditions, yet when one intrepid team member, having braved a slippery approach, availing himself of every available foot hold, reached a white plastic door and gained the attention of the inhabitant by ringing the door bell, the effort ended in failure. A brief conversation and offer to provide a 60 second registration service free of charge, led to rebuff.
Desolate, the hero return to the team to recount the tale. His only consolation is that the story will fill the pages of history of the struggle to get the working class to take destiny into their own hands.
Television soaps and screaming children were proffered as excuses, as the shy creature drew back into its hole to await braver men and better times.
Undaunted, we shall return this Summer.