Thursday, March 12, 2009

“On the buzzer” in the Royal Docks By-Election

Yesterday evening I was sent out to canvass Britannia Village on behalf of Labour Candidate, Steve Brayshaw. I was with Cllr Paul Brickell (my ward Councillor) and fellow trade union member, Salim Patel (see left). Salim is a “Train Captain” and member of the RMT.

Our part of the village that we had to call at that night was all private housing blocks with staircase door entry systems - which can be pretty frustrating to canvass. Many residents were out (or looked out of window and pretended to be) and those who answered were most reluctant to let anyone into the block. But you quickly got quite use to talking to people over the entry phone. It is I suppose similar to telephone canvassing but slightly more personal.

I had a number of reasonable conversations with people and was able to leave a card to those who were receptive. What I found a little concerning is the number of residents who said they have never voted in any elections beforehand, local or national. They seemed to be genuinely surprised that anyone was asking them about their past and present voting intentions. These are all relatively expensive flats and apartments. It is not either a student area. We “politicos” of all Parties need to try harder on engagement I think.

It was encouraging that some of them said that they are not Labour supporters but would be voting for Steve at the by-election due to people they know who are endorsing him.

The most difficult contact I had that night was meeting up at Ward HQ and fending off Steve’s very friendly but utterly disobedient pair of “Fred” Basset hounds whose sole object in life is to jump up on you and try to lick you to death. I warned them that if they did not behave I would set “Mike Law” on them but they paid me no heed whatsoever.

Picture left is from Monday's top canvass team Pearson, Amarjit and Pat.


Anonymous said...

Not sure on what you're implying here John.

But the fact that you "jokingly" state that you'd "set" me on Steve's dogs gives the impression to me - and I'm sure to any casual reader of this blog) that you think I'd do them some harm if they didn't behave.

You truly do have the kind of reprehensible approach to dealing with anyone who questions the current Labour regime in Newham that will stand you in good stead should you become a Newham councillor.

John Gray said...

Hi Mike

Don't be daft.

Anonymous said...

Hang on!

How is this being daft, yet in other threads you re-interpret what I write as slights on your good name.

I just don't understand where you are coming from.