Banglatown & Spitalfields by-election (2)

We covered the rest of Brune House and Carter House in a sweep of flats. The reaction was particularly friendly. The other two parties had already knocked on doors and got the message through that there is another election (Dec 16th).

Last night I heard it pretty likely that there will yet another by-election by February in the same ward.

I get the sense that there is something to build on here, even if it requires patience and dedication. Lack of jobs came over this time as the big concern, on top of the permanent nightmare about in-decent housing and broken promises.

Our female candidate is finding it easier to break barriers with many of the women at the doorstep (she worked several years as a Health Visitor on the same estate) though translation is being required regularly.

Again we received the most popular reaction when we said that voters should demand that councillors not jump ship and change parties.

The better-off City employees behind Petticoat Lane haven’t given much indication they will vote. The residents of Brune & Carter House will.

How will they vote? One father said he voted Labour (as always) since he ‘didn’t know much about politics…… it’s all way above our heads’…. and that they had come and asked him.’

We didn’t dwell on trying to persuade him that actually it’s the politician who is way above his head in dealing with the harsh realities of local administration.. with swingeing outs and the onset of recession 2.

Cold and weary, we piled into a cafe run by a couple of Moroccans. They showed us a Labour flyer when he saw our Green rosettes. The one behind the counter said he would offer us free cake if we spotted the error. Being famished, we read every word ….. and found it… the bold headline proclaimed the election was to be held on ’16nd December’.

We received a plate of cake after our falafel lunch. It was worth researching the opposition. After chatting, the cafe owner & chef  volunteered the vote. While we won’t necessarily bank on that… I guess we will be back.

Farid Bakht


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