Wednesday, 6 July 2011
It was my first time doing anything like this so I did not know what to expect. I met Rowenna in the evening, at Walworth Academy as part of my shadowing.
I went to the Labour councillors’ meeting which made me feel extremely nervous since I saw all these grown adults, some of which ran Southwark, so I sat at the corner watching them discuss how to tackle the Lib Dems as well as asking Rowenna, what exactly was going on.
I liked the assembly meeting, because it was something that was really open to the community. The subject of the whole meeting was centred on sport for young people and many sport groups were approaching the Council for funding despite the massive cuts taking place.
It was very interesting to see the governing Labour Party and the opportunistic Liberal Democrats argue over other issues as well as sports.
I was watching the meeting sitting next to two Labour stalwarts in Southwark. One was a former Labour councillor who is currently running a foundation hospital and the other was a Labour member who was committed to the local party and always supported the Labour councillors.
I began to like the meeting, at one point I remember what was going on, but it was a good experience.
Thursday, 7 July 2011
This was probably one of the highlights of my month shadowing Rowenna. I turned up at Peckham in the morning urgently trying to find the Sejourne Centre where the polling station where I met Rowenna. Then I was taken to Labour’s campaign base where many councillors and activists where preparing the campaign. They were contacting voters and discussing tactics.
I was really looking forward to campaigning because it was my first experience and I didn’t know how it was going to be like. I saw another teenage boy who was from Bermondsey who came out to campaign, and we just started talking about politics. Then, I met Chris Brown who was the Labour candidate and I went campaigning across Peckham – in the pouring rain. It was a great experience because I met other Labour people, all of which were significantly older than I am, and they were sharing their experiences of Peckham and also of Labour.
I also bumped into Lib Dem campaigners including Brian Paddick, and gave them the odd “smile”. It was obvious, there was no way they could win even though they used sly tactics in order to make their candidate look like the Labour candidate even though she was representing the one party many people despise.
I remember talking to people on the doorstep convincing them to vote for Chris Brown. Some of their responses where negative but the majority where positive – in fact some voters felt offended that I’d even ask them if they’d vote Labour, because it was so obvious. It also gave me a greater insight into the local community in Peckham, something I never saw before.
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