Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Soggy canvassing in Tower Hamlets Spitalfields By-election 2012

This evening I helped out the Labour Party campaign in Tower Hamlets where there is a council by-election in Spitalfields ward. This by-election was caused by the jailing of the former "Independent" Councillor (and supporter of the "independent" Mayor Lutfur Rachman) for housing benefit fraud.

Our Labour Labour Party candidate is Ala Uddin (who BTW sits on the Board of two Housing Associations). The campaign hub is in 68 Brick Lane above the office "Gram Bangla" only 5-10 minutes from the Aldgate tubes.

The weather tonight was pretty awful. Mostly rain, rain or more rain. Firstly I went out leafleting and got a little wet. Then I went out canvassing and got very, very wet. I knew most of the team and they were very welcoming and pleased to see a supporter from their sister borough of Newham help out but I did wonder a little if we were all playing an East End version of "chicken" in the rain. If I had not been there would this Tower Hamlets team have said "lets go and take shelter until it stops raining" but they couldn't say this in front of me? While at the same time I was thinking in Newham I would have said to the team "lets keep out of the rain until it slows down". But of course I couldn't possible let Newham down by being the first to suggest it to these Tower Hamlets bods!

The soggy canvassing for Labour actually went well. But turnout in this election is going to be key. I did have a honest conversation with one resident who told me that he and his family were Labour supporters but felt obliged by family connections to vote for the independent "mayor's candidate". They were postal voters who had already voted so I have my suspicions (but cannot prove) how this family had to prove their "loyalty".

Labour I think can win this seat if it can get out our vote. So if you can help tomorrow then please do, you will be made most welcome. Just turn up to the Brick Lane office. I am sure as well that the weather tomorrow will be absolutely marvellous (but take an umbrella).

(I have problems downloading pictures at the moment. Once I get this fixed I will upload a collage from tonight.  Now done)
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