These are the hustings I am participating in:
Waltham Forest Trades Council & Church of England Parish of Walthamstow
Wednesday, 22 April, at 7pm
Walthamstow Girls School, Church Hill, Walthamstow, E17 9RZ
Waltham Forest Council of Mosques
Friday, 24 April, at 8.15pm (although most people say it’s 9pm)
WFIA, Ghousia Hall, 119-121 Grove Road, Walthamstow, E17 9BU
Waltham Forest Women’s Network (women-only audience)
Saturday, 25 April, at 4pm
Wood Street Library, Walthamstow, E17 4AA
38 Degrees ‘Walthamstow Question Time’
Wednesday, 29 April, at 7pm
Sir George Monoux College, 190 Chingford Road, Walthamstow, E17 5AA
Here are your eight Walthamstow candidates – the people you should expect to see at hustings. I’m number six on the ballot paper:
1 – Steven Cheung – Liberal Democrats
2 – Stella Creasy – Labour Party
3 – Michael Gold – Green Party
4 – Paul Hillman – UK Independence Party
5 – Jonty Leff – Workers Revolutionary Party
6 – Ellie Merton
7 – Molly Samuel-Leport – Conservative Party
8 – Nancy Taaffe – Trade Union and Socialist Coalition
See you there! If you cannot make any of the hustings, please do contact me and tell me your views direct, using the contact form on www.elliemerton.com
Another cracking day of canvassing and learning.
First up a roadside chat in the sun outside a local mosque, talking about faith, no faith, politics and Islam. I am constantly impressed by the depth of humanity, understanding and caring I experience when talking to anyone in our local Muslim community. We’re lucky to have such diversity in our borough.
The highlight of the day had to be party time with local hero, Tommy Anderson, and the ladies and gentlemen of WF Social Club celebrating St George’s Day in fine style. I was just a bit excited to meet a pearly king and queen and learn how they get selected and the types of charity work they do. It is staggering the number of projects they support and the time and effort they put in. And I learned the origin of ‘flash harry’.
My plan had been just to pop in and say hello, but I was honoured to be firmly sat down at a table to have a hearty natter about life in Walthamstow during the war, how much the streets have now changed, housing difficulties, volunteering up at Whipps and social care provision locally. Francis (shown in the photo) and I had a top conversation about care allowances, how he’d worked for the same organisation since age 16, and his views on Whipps. A very special afternoon.
Then it was off to a meeting on health, which confirmed all my personal suspicions about the way Whipps is managed and taught me a huge amount about how social and health care try to integrate, or not.
General canvassing highlights included musicians, civil servants, lots of great women, my window cleaner on a bus the other side of town, a retired railway man who started his first job the same day as Bob Crowe, and a bit of late night Kebab Kampaigning.
Canvassing on Monday afternoon, more long discussions about policy. People do not lack for insight and understanding. They just don’t feel they can share it with party hacks. Long chat about economic probabilities, the chances of Russia going Baltic, and Tobin taxes for financial services’ reliant economies such as the UK.
The surprise pavement chat of the day was on animal rights and animal welfare. I am the first to admit animal rights is not an area I have looked into much. I’ve been too focused on human rights.
Where the two have crossed, however, is in horrific circumstances in Gaza. There, the farmer’s donkeys are shot early on by Apartheid occupation troops when mounting incursions into Gaza. There are also pictures from the 2009 incursions of decimated livestock strewn about. They were slaughtered by occupation forces as well.
Incidentally, DCI (Defense for Children International – Palestine) has just delivered a damning report on how young children were deliberately targeted to be killed by the Apartheid occupation attacks on Gaza in 2014.
Barts dwarfs Whipps. That is exactly what patients experience all the time – central Trust PFI debts dwarfing their local health treatment. Super-level PFI contracting must be stopped and mega trusts split back into sustainable constituent hospitals within the NHS. I believe Whipps Cross Hospital should be extracted from the mega, centralised Barts Health Trust that is draining Whipps dry,…
Had a great time at a local wind quintet concert, who were playing lots of jollies I used to hack through in my youth when I was a little French Horn player! Tremendous to talk to the musicians and meet the audience afterwards. Then popped in to meet some LGBT parents. Utterly beautiful kiddies, deeply loving families, excellent play scheme,…
Hectic but brilliant afternoons yesterday and today on the High Street market, meeting campaigning colleagues from the parties and having a chuckle at each other whilst worrying about the big issues. Meeting loads of residents who all want Whipps Cross saved. That’s the one thing that really made me stand in the end, wanting to help to save Whipps, so…