Friday, April 15, 2005

Street politics

The 25-minute walk from our office at 52 Clapham High Street via Ferndale Road (John Mayor's old hunting ground) to Brixton Town Hall (as it is still known) to deliver the nomination papers to the acting deputy returning officer (it's the mayor who's the actual returning officer and gets to read out the result before the cameras) provided a chance to guage political activity in the area from the stickers.
One from Greenpeace denouncing ESSO as a "CO2 Criminal", one calling for an anti-war march on 19 March, another for a commuters protest march on 9 April, and one proclaiming "NO MUGGERS BURGLARS! THIS IS A WORKING CLASS AREA. DON'T RIP OFF YOUR OWN", a good idea but not likely to be any more effective that the appeals to love thy neighbour proclaimed from noticeboards of the churches on the way. Or from a "Mr Amine, Astrologer, Medium, Clairvoyant" whose sticker promised "Protection against all Dangers, Making your business more successful, Luck, Money, Love and Sexual Power. I will protect you from all Jealous Enemies and make your Business more Successful. I will read you Past, Present and Foresee what the Future holds for you. 100% Guaranteed". If you believe that, you'll believe all the promises in the manifestos of the Labour, Tory and Liberal parties (splashed all over two pages of today's South London Press, which still hasn't mentioned we're standing) -- or vice versa. If you want to give it a try, phone 020 8769 5123. Or vote Labour, Tory, Liberal, Green, Respect or one of the other promise-mongering parties.
On arrival at the town hall at 10 am, the acting deputy returning officer already had an appointment with another candidate, who turned out to be the outgoing MP, Kate Hoey, who said "good morning". The acting deputy returning officer said that the nominations were in order, that he would check that we were a registered political party, but that he could not accept the papers without the deposit of £500 (which hadn't arrived in the post). So, Danny Lambert, the Socialist candidate, will have to go back on Monday with the dosh.

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