Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The political divide: Reality versus “politics”

Yesterdays battle bus outing was characterised for me by two distinct realities. In Bethnal Green we had George Galloway showing one form of cowardice and Oona King (with Paul Boatang I might add) showed another. In Brixton we had real politics by real people.

The day started in Brixton; it went well, lot’s of press/media but more importantly some impassioned and very grounded political views from “ordinary” people. Simon got a live interview with ITN lunch time news and we nearly had a live feed with BBC news at one. Unfortunately a gang of idiots decided to change the news agenda with some typically negative and ill thought out “protest”.

After cutting a few places due to time constraints and lack of press/candidate interest we headed up to Brent for a brief interview and photo call with candidates from the Brent South and East constituencies. Sarah Tether was very nice in person and I caught up with the Conservative candidate who interestingly endorsed the Black Manifesto even though it contradicts the Tory policy on immigration! People will do anything for the votes it seems; even risk the anger of their leader or his Daily Mail readership.

After a quiet interlude at Brent it was off the Bethnal Green for the candidates debate/photo call with the Black Manifesto and to hand out more pledge cards. Man, that constituency is a joke right now. The fight between King and Galloway has got so dirty, so infantile that it’s beyond words. The worst moment (a part from a near fight, it seemed, breaking out between the Bethnal Green Tory candidate and Galloway) was seeing Galloway goad the other candidates then stand back and let his foot soldiers take up the fight (while he smiled gleefully like a school child happy about the fight he’d started). Also at this time I had someone from the King campaign telling me she was in a meeting and might not come across even though even I knew that she and Boatang were cowering 200 feet away in a blue people carrier! Amazing, both candidates were too scared to fight their own battles and used others to do it (or not do it as the case may be) for them.

The depressing thing is that this is all one of the reasons why “ordinary” people don’t vote; don’t engage in the political process. Its people like them (and the party machines that drives them) that make my job harder! Their actions make a mockery of the lives they claim to represent; the people I spoke to yesterday had actual concerns, real worries, real politics. Not this mindless, playground, cowardly bullshit.


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