Five years ago, the Con-Lib coalition seized power from an inconclusive election contest, and Labour crashed out. It was clear to me that there were years ahead of difficulty for the compassionate Left in this country, and years to come of attacks on the public sphere.

I knew I had to do something.

I joined the Labour party so I could work for something better for this country from the inside of the struggle, not as an outsider moaning & looking on.

I found a family in the Labour movement and I wondered why on earth I did not join years ago.

But today, after all our campaign effort, the door-knocking, the conversations, the leafletting, after all the red balloons and badges, after all the promised pledges and policies, the photo opps and the funky pro-Labour tweets…

What have we got?

My head aches from lack of sleep, my heart aches from seeing a great local Labour man defeated not by a better opponent, but by the country choosing something else. So many undecideds, at the very last minute putting their pencil cross against the scribbledly tree.

And as a result, today we are looking deep into the eyes of a Conservative victory. Those blue eyes are dark and inscrutable but we can guess what is coming.

The last time I stayed up all night was London 1997 and the morning after the city was alive with joy. This afternoon I left the house only to trudge to Tescos. The aisles were full of quiet people who murmured sorry to each other as they manoeuvred their trollies.

So here is blog one, of the new country the voters chose. Ground Zero of this happy better place the Tories said is here, and is coming your way.

Hmm. Let us see.