Thursday, April 26, 2012

A rainy night in Norwood

Two of us went last night in the rain to a hustings in a cavernous church in Norwood (at the southern end of Lambeth on the borders with Southwark and Croydon and where Ken Livingstone comes from). A bit of a repeat of the one up the road in Herne Hill last week with the same candidates making the same speeches. As the audience was much older there weren't so many questions on cycle lanes (though this did come up), more about the South Circular Road which passes through Norwood (not surprising, since we were caught in a traffic jam getting there).

Danny did get a chance to talk about wider issues as there were questions on unemployment (you can't have capitalism without a reserve army of unemployed which expands and contracts with the business cycle and is currently expanding) and why people aren't interested in politics (because they are alienated from the system as they perceive it to be subject to impersonal economic forces they know they can't control). He also spoke about socialism and afterwards was approached by one person who said that it wouldn't work because of "human nature" and another who said it wouldn't work because people were greedy and selfish. Where have we heard that before?

This was the fourth hustings we've been to. They were all attended overwhelmingly by what sociologists would call "white middle class" people concerned about local amenities. So a difficult audience to put our case to. Still, they provide an opportunity to put our views across and to raise our political profile with our opponents.

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