The Boer war

Austrian journalists accompany me on the campaign trail. A very nice man and woman who are, if I remember rightly, the equivalent of Radio 4 (the woman) and the Editor of the Guardian (the man) in Austrian terms.

Keen to raise my vote in Austria – we set out in a Labour street in a Lib Dem ward (Alexandra, three gains from Labour in 2002). It was quite extraordinary. Virtually every Labour supporter told me they were voting Lib Dem this time. Iraq was the reason. Whilst Labour may hope we have moved on – we haven’t. I wish Gilligan had been with me on this street. I couldn’t have wished for more palpable evidence of the Labour swing to the Lib Dems.

One woman (Labour all her life, but now voting Liberal Democrat) wouldn’t take one of our posters because she didn’t want to put off Labour canvassers and was hoping to get them on her doorstep to give them a piece of her mind.

Another woman called me across the road to her – same story and her husband who had voted Labour since the Khaki election (think must have meant 1945 rather than the Boer war!) was voting LibDem.

In the evening went round to Tariq Ali’s house to finalise his further efforts to help me in order to actually defeat in his words ‘a warmonger MP’. Tariq is solely and genuinely committed to getting an anti-war majority in the Commons – that is his purpose and therefore we have common cause.