Tariq Ali puts Labour on the spot

9am sharp the campaign team arrives at my house. Everyone in very good form and we get through the business of going through the status of our campaign in record time. Most head off for our HQ to begin the days canvassing (not before 11am as waking people on a Sunday morning does not endear them to your cause!), delivering and sticking and stuffing.

Neil, Susie and I head off to do a photo shoot at Alexandra Park Station and then I come back home to write some notes for Bill Rodgers who the following night is to chair my adoption meeting. Drop them off and head to HQ myself.

Uneventful couple of hours canvassing and then off to the Kurdish Centre off Green Lanes where I have been invited to speak for 10 minutes on anything I like. This is the celebration of 17 years of the centre.

As I was asked what time slot I would like and had said 3.30pm I turned up and the hall was full of people. The proceedings were mainly in Kurdish (with a bit of Turkish). There was a Green MEP there and she was called to speak first. A translator translated as she went.

When I was called I just spoke about the choice they would have at the election, the war, and the importance of communities like the Kurdish community not just voting, but becoming politicians and active members of the community.

Then Barbara Roche (my Labour opponent) arrived. Didn’t know she was coming. She took the stage in an absolute thundercloud – so assume that she didn’t know I was going to be there either. Blasted the LibDems right, left and centre.

She also introduced herself as a Member of Parliament for a left-wing progressive government. You could have knocked me down with a feather! This from the most right-wing, privatising government we have seen. And her voting track-record? Voted for tube privatisation, for top up fees, for war in Iraq, for cutting benefits for disabled people, for Post Office closures, the list goes on …

Dash back to HQ (just love having an HQ) and grab some canvassing.

A lot of Labour supporters know about Tariq Ali’s call for people to vote Lib Dem in Hornsey and Wood Green to defeat the pro-war MP. It’s put a lot of people on the spot. Do you stay at home or reluctantly vote Labour – or do you take the plunge and cast a vote which will actually make a difference?

Tariq has basically challenged all those in Hornsey & Wood Green who have been so upset by the Labour Government taking us to war illegally and by the MP’s unswerving support for that war – to actually do something about it – because here they can.

Take canvassing back to HQ and dash off to meeting about traffic issues in Bounds Green. As usual – a proposed traffic scheme to stop rat-running from the North Circular is dividing a community that straddles the Haringey / Enfield border. I look at all the maps with the two women who have called me in desperation to stop Enfield just doing what they plan – without Haringey sorting out their side. As ever – one road’s benefit by timed closures means another road’s suffering. I will pursue as it drives me mad – the sticking plaster approach to traffic problems in London.

Home to emails, paperwork etc – and lots of requests for posters! Hurrah!