Saturday, November 20, 2021

Ringing West Hammers about Boris & 2 Job MPs


This afternoon I was supposed to go out knocking on doors and speaking to residents with our MP, Lyn Brown. However, it was cancelled, so instead I decided to ring residents in the ward I represent as a Councillor, West Ham. 

I used the Labour Party telephone survey app called "Dialogue". All you need to do is to register with your Labour Party membership  account, then have a laptop, tablet or computer with internet access and a phone (preferably a landline which is much cheaper to the Party but you can use a mobile phone). It is completely free for members to use if you have access to unlimited internet. 

I started ringing late Saturday afternoon which I have not done before but thought it would be a good time to ring. The first person I spoke to was very suspicious about why we were ringing since she had lived in the area for 30 years and never had a phone call before from her local Councillor. I assured her that while telephone contact was relatively new, we had knocked on her door at least once every 4 years for the 3 terms I have been her Councillor. 

Interestingly, the suggested script for this call asked for views on the MPs second jobs scandal and views on the Tories and Boris Johnson. 

Her response was that she was not aware of this issue and had not heard anything. Which I thought was surprising but maybe indicated to me that we need to be careful of how issues important to our political bubbles are not of interest to our residents?

However, the next person I managed to speak to was fully aware of this scandal and furious about it. Despite cooking a meal for her family, she made it clear what she thought of Boris Johnson. She had 2 jobs and worked long hours but that was only because her pay was so low. 

She told me that she was cooking Chicken, Avocado with Jellof rice and invited me to join her family for the meal! Sadly I had to decline due to a prior commitment but next time! 

While the next person was quite direct and made it clear that not only was he not a supporter of the Labour Party ("and never will") but that he did not even live in Newham. So I had to apologise for contacting him and made sure that I updated the system to make clear that this telephone number was wrong and not to be used. 

Most answered calls were not contentious and while residents were all pretty busy and many not able to complete the full survey but I was able to input I believe 25 survey results which is not bad and a majority of those who responded said they also support Labour. 

I had to stop after a technical problem with Dialogue which meant for some reason that I could not continue to ring people, which I could not overcome but overall I thought it had gone well.   

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