Well, even the shouting is over so a moment of reflection is probably called for. In West Oxfordshire we did okay. We won the ultra blue seat of Woodstock and we held Charlbury and Finstock, increasing the majority to one which can reasonably be described as 'thumping'. Elsewhere in the district the Labour Party did well, gaining 3 seats. It's always good to see the Tories get a kicking but I still hold to the 'plague on both their houses' line.
The Greens also stood across the area, did b*gger all but took votes which could be ours - the only party which actually does stuff to address environmental concerns rather than just recycling our Guardians in a really concerned manner. If you want to really stuff the environment, vote Green. That way you guarantee the Tories get elected.
Politics is a drug which those of us who are hooked cannot shake off so I enjoyed the campaign, from the endless trudging up drives to deliver another bit of paper to the argument with the man putting his daughter to bed at 9.45pm as I begged him to vote. Needless to say, he didn't. Maybe these people frighten their children once a year by telling them to go to sleep or the nasty Lib Dem Knocker Upper will get them.
Every year I do this stuff and every year I end with the thought that we must do something better to get, retain and increase our vote. Looking at mighty places like Eastleigh and Portsmouth, it is clearly possible and we perhaps need to be a little less prim in Oxfordshire and really go for the jugular. After all, there is little in life which is certain but the prospect of a wounded and spiteful David Cameron standing on a very unpopular ticket in 2015 hereabouts is a good bet.
Labour will have donned white robes and fake wings by then so I suppose our job is to damn Dave for everything he has failed to do - like sacking his culture secretary, promoting just one or two people who didn't go to school with him to the Cabinet, and anything on Lords reform - while simultaneously reminding people about 'New' Labour and its record on sleaze, warmongering and leaping headfirst into bed with Australian media barons. Fingers crossed Ed the Supply Leader will still be in charge of Labour in 2015.
As for our leader, well more on that next.
Rather oddly, I am reassured by the election results. They proved that we are taking on the Tories. They also confirm that we are the challengers to Labour. Yes, the fightback will be hard but this is grown up, national politics and the transition is going to hurt but we might just find in a few years that we are in a significantly better position as far as Westminster politics is concerned, at which point the pain of the current period could seem worthwhile.
With apologies to anyone who fought and lost yesterday. I share your pain and I am not making light of it.