Sunday, April 25, 2010

Activity report

Yesterday we were campaigning in the south of the constituency.

Our candidate, Danny Lambert, went to an event in Windrush Square, Brixton, organised by Power2010 where he met the WRP candidate for Streatham who called him a "bourgeois democrat" saying that the way forward was a general strike (so why, you ask, was he standing for parliament) and the UKIP candidate for somewhere who called him a "Stalinist". On the whole not very fruitful, though we did give away some leaflets and maybe something will appear on the Power2010 site.

As last Saturday, there was a stall outside our premises in Clapham High Street. We saw, and heard, a car with a loudspeaker proclaiming "Vote Anti-Capitalist. For the millions, not the millionaires" driving past. We imagine that when they reached the top of the street and entered the Streatham constituency they changed their tune to "Vote Labour, one of the parties representing the millionaires". Quite a few passers-by told us they'd already had our leaflet, which would have been true and not just a polite way of saying "no" since the post office had been delivering them in the last few days (so some people do look at the election leaflets that drop through their letter-box). A passing cyclist from a local internet radio station stopped off to deliver an invitation for Danny to be interviewed (more details later).

Outside Stockwell tube station, we had rivals from the Testimonial Ministries Worldwide handing out leaflets warning of the "ravages of sin". We noticed an individual on a mobile phone with a "Vote Labour" sticker on it. Naturally we offered him a leaflet. He turned out to be Pete Robbins, one of the outgoing Labour councillors for Larkhall ward. He was friendly enough, thanking us for not contesting Clapham Town ward in the local elections (as we did last time) because it was going to be a close fight between them and the Tories there. We explained that this was not a consideration in our decision to contest Larkhall and Ferndale this time instead. Someone else told us they had once been a candidate for the "Socialist Alliance" in the area (it's true, this party did contest the local elections in Lambeth in 2002 local elections, their candidate in Larkhall getting 127 votes). We also met three canvassers for the candidate of the League for a Fifth International. They seemed lost but eventually headed for the nearby Stockwell Gardens Estate. Hope they have better luck than us in getting access to some of the blocks.

Next Saturday we'll hit the north of the constituency which includes the Oval cricket ground, St Thomas's Hospital, the Southbank Centre, Waterloo Station and Lambeth Palace. Some of us will be coming from the North after covering the trade union Mayday rally in Trafalgar Square (next Saturday is 1 May). Proceeding in a southerly direction from there down Whitehall we'll cross Westminister Bridge and enter the constituency that way. You can actually see the Houses of Parliament from Vauxhall constituency. Hadn't realised we were that near to "the seat of power". Or is that the observation of a "bourgeois democrat"?

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