First election hustings

At 3pm we had the Churches of Muswell Hill hustings. First time we candidates had met. A UKIP candidate had arrived on the scene just last week – so there were five of us (three main parties, Greens, UKIP). It was such a beautiful sunny day I was amazed that people came – but a goodly number did.

I was gob-smacked by Ms Roche’s opening remarks – something about being socialist MP for a socially progressive party. That must be why she was searching trucks for asylum seekers and voting for the war, for PPP, for closure of Post Offices, for tuition fees – the ‘mantra’ is endless.

On rough sleeping, she was going on about how dreadful it was, and how the Social Exclusion Unit was doing, and how complicated it was – when the questioner said that he had worked in the Social Exclusion Unit and ran the soup kitchen at the church we were in. He had seen no reduction whatsoever in homelessness and rough sleeping in recent years. I was glad he at least put paid to that – as the chair would not allow any discussion amongst the panel so we had no opportunity to come back on anything she said – which was extremely frustrating!

We covered a number of issues – from auditing the EU to fair trade – with a bit of knife culture and school dinners thrown in! The audience seemed to enjoy it – and it is always good to set out your wares in public.

Went off canvassing in Stroud Green – where we stormed to a council by-election victory about a year and a half ago with a 29% swing from Labour to us. Let’s hope it stays that way. This is an area where disillusioned Labour voters may well swing to us. I engage with hunt saboteur – he will
swing to us because of our stance against ID cards and Labour’s raid on our freedoms and rights.

Then back to HQ for some admin work. A Labour leaflet has apparently finally gone out – but its basic content is to republish Ken Livingstone’s flatteringly vituperative attack on me in the Tribune. Ken is furious that Tariq Ali is supporting me and the LibDems in Hornsey & Wood Green in order to ‘defeat’ a ‘warmonger MP’. He wanted him to support the Labour candidate in Brent East against Sarah Teather who won Ken’s old seat in a stunning by-election a couple of years ago – but I think Tariq’s view was that Brent East already had a very good anti-war MP!