News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ealing Southall - view from the ground

I spent a day up on the campaign trail in Ealing Southall, and I have to say that things were looking pretty good for Tony Lit from where I was standing. Not that I stood still for long with so much ground to cover leafletting Ealing Common ward.

In last years election, Ealing Common elected two Conservatives along with the only Lib Dem in the constituency. One of the failed Lib Dem candidates is also their candidate for the 19th July - he had previously stood in the last general election as well.

All in all, it should be the strongest area of the Lib Dem campaign and, given their reputation as by-election specialists, I'd expected to see them swarming all over the place with posters and garden signs all over the shop. I was wrong - only one house had a Lib Dem poster up, and there was no sign of any Lib Dem activity in the ward, apart from one rather forlorn leaflet in a recycling box! By contrast, it was the second Conservative delivery since Tony Lit's selection, with a third already being bagged up ready for delivery this week. There were also 5 Conservative tannoy cars covering the area. Admittedly, I was the only Conservative covering the ward at that particular time - although there were 70 YCs in total, most were in other wards.

I really can't say very much about Labour. They had put a few leaflets in hallways of flats and no-one seemed to be picking them up, but it's not a good Labour area, so that's not necessarily a good indicator.

One thing that I did note was that some people who let me in to their blocks to deliver did so on the condition that I was a Conservative! After I declared my affiliation, no-one objected at all, and one even offered to give me the combination to the gated community for future reference!

I was surprised by the size of the Polish community in the ward - I began to wonder whether anyone actually lives in Poland any more?! I suppose that explains why one of the Conservative Councillors, who is Polish, holds Polish surgeries. At one block of flats in Hamilton Road, I hit upon a bit of a language barrier. As I counted out leaflets to post through the letterbox, someone called out in Polish. I assumed he was speaking to someone inside, so happily continued to post them through. Quickly, the door flung open and a main in overalls wielding a paint brush shouted at me and gestured a painting motion. Apparently, his original call had meant something along the lines of "Don't post anything through the letterbox, I'm painting it," in Polish. He seemed annoyed that I hadn't made the effort to learn his language - perhaps no-one has told him that London isn't actually in Poland!


Anonymous said...

The "size of the Polish community" Southall just goes to shows how tolerant and friendly the residents are.

Dan Hassett said...

All it means is that a lot of Polish people live in Ealing Southall. A couple of years ago, there were large numbers of illegal immigrants living in Folkestone and Dover, leading to massive tension in the local community and a massive brawl and stabbing incident at a Dover fair. They weren't here because people were tolerant, they were here because they were in search of a better life.

My views on immigration are pretty well covered else where in the blog. My wife is an immigrant, so I certainly have no hang ups. What I do object to is uncontrolled and unrecorded immigration, which we are currently seeing, mostly from within the EU. I also object to people who come here with no intention of integrating into the local community. Integration requires an understanding of English at the very least, so I object to being shouted at in Polish for being unable to understand Polish when I'm in England.