Tag: Parliamentary Election 2015

Campaign gratitude and Whipps Cross

3739527My euphoria at receiving 129 beautiful votes last Thursday remains unabated!  Thank you so much!  Click here to watch the Walthamstow constituency count being announced at about 6am on Friday 08 May. My thanks to Polling Station staff, the Returning Officer’s team, Electoral Services at the Council, and the Counters at Walthamstow Assembly Halls who all did an amazing job.

IMG_4252I didn’t celebrate with a drink in the end because after spending 9 hours at the count all I really wanted was breakfast, care of amazing musician friend, Zami.  It was then home to sleep for about 24 hours on and off, before heading back out to counter the EDL (see other posts) and thank constituents for their support.

Team Ellie Polling Day in WalthamstowMy heartfelt thanks to Andy for being my electoral agent, to Jo, El and those who joined me leafleting, and those who provided advice.  I also want to thank my family and friends for offering unstinting love and encouragement.

I am especially grateful to all those who voted for me, but also to the hundreds who spoke to me at length around Walthamstow, and all those many people who listened to me enough to go and vote and exercise their democratic rights, even if it was not to vote for me.  I also want to thank the many Walthamstow residents and single issue campaigners who got in touch online to discuss their views in various ways – by twitter, by email and on facebook.

CDO6xewXIAA80_QAnd I am grateful for the willingness of party campaigners to talk about the issues and be encouraging about saving Whipps Cross Hospital, whatever their parties’ policies.  I learned a huge amount from my fellow candidates and their agents, and I’d like to thank them so much for their strong debating, which I hope Walthamstow was proud of.  The constituency was lucky to have eight candidates who put in so much effort and tried to overcome electoral communication difficulties with hard graft and good grace.

IMG_0777I really enjoyed the campaign and will treasure every last bit of conversation that the local community offered me about their lives and their concerns for Walthamstow.

Those conversations are continuing to motivate me now to lend my support to existing campaigns to save Whipps Cross and campaign for a nationalised NHS, free from PFI.  To those ends, overnight during the count, I was lucky enough to have some fascinating cross-party conversations about saving our hospital and I intend to follow them up.

IMG_4157I realise our local MPs may well be distracted for a while by internal party politics, probably without much focus on saving Whipps Cross or the NHS.  For example, Stella will be campaigning to be Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and IDS will be sorting out his continuing role in Cabinet, applying a further £12b in welfare cuts and £13b in government spending cuts.

NHSlogo-bartsThe effort is more urgently needed than ever, however, to bring together Waltham Forest’s MPs, other MPs in neighbouring boroughs whose constituents also use Whipps, borough council members and community groups to focus their collective attention on the issue of rescuing Whipps from Barts before Barts senior management goes ahead with the land sale and other asset stripping of our vital health facility.  IDS and John Cryer have already indicated they would be willing to accept new ideas on how to help Whipps.

IMG_4160Please let me know if you want to help me build this local cross-party initiative by using the ‘comment’ form on my website, or get in touch on twitter and facebook.

Thank you so much for your generosity of time and interest, and here’s to Walthamstow’s campaign to win back its fully nationalised hospital and healthcare services!

Time to decide: vote for Ellie MERTON in Walthamstow

If you are struggling to decide how to vote, then vote with your conscience and vote for someone without links to the parties you no longer trust.  Vote for someone who will tackle the national issues that mean the most to you here in Walthamstow.  Vote for someone who will fight your corner with you.  Vote for me, your independent candidate, Ellie MERTON.  Thank you!  X

(Polls close at 10pm)


Ellie Merton, Walthamstow’s strong independent candidate to work cross-party as your MP

Ever since I declared I was a candidate for MP, I’m chuffed and grateful that party members from every single left-wing party, from the big mainstreams to the smaller minorities, have expressed support for my views and my values.

I’m humbled that so many have got in contact from around the country, knowing me from my human rights campaigning, music and charity fundraising volunteering, to give me advice and offer words of encouragement.  But I entirely understand their need to stick with their tribe, energetically campaigning and voting for their parties’ candidates.  None of them has been out on the campaign trail with me and all of them have remained loyal to their parties, which I really respect.

My non-alignment, a strong belief in inclusive, cross-party working on the issues that matter, has been my consistent strength for 25 years.  My strong independence has been something I have employed in all my elected roles, from student welfare officer in 1992 to running the local Palestine human rights campaigning group between 2009 to 2014.  It is even stronger now, despite being deafened by the cry for partisanship by the parties; I can still find individuals from all the parties who want to work together for the common good, not against each other.  I have no worries about working cross-party in Parliament too.

My focus is on you, Walthamstow’s constituents: on helping to craft social structures, systems and services that will make lives for all residents better; that are creatively ingenious, sophisticated and efficient but, by being publicly funded, cheaper for everyone to use; that embody humanitarian values, diversity, equality and social cohesion.

I hope you will give me a chance to use my strength to be an independent MP in a hung parliament, to create a better future for Walthamstow through cross-party negotiations, getting the best deal for constituents at a national level.

Vote for Ellie Merton for Walthamstow on Thursday 07 May! 

Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm.  Enjoy voting!


What I stand for

Protest for nurses payHere is what I stand for: some of the national policy changes that I think will benefit Walthamstow residents.

I believe in renationalising public services, from housing to environment and social care.  I support renewable energy and oppose fracking.

I believe in renationalising Whipps Cross and extracting it from Barts Health Trust.  I support the NHS Reinstatement Bill, standing to repeal HSCA and for an end to PFI, the Private Finance Initiative which treats the NHS like a bank and puts business debt servicing and profits before people.  I oppose TTIP.

I believe in trade unions and their role in improving working conditions around the UK.  And I believe in investing in start-ups, social enterprise and small business particularly in the arts and technology, to increase employment and pay into the Walthamstow economy.

I stand for diversity and social cohesion, particularly championing anti-racism and campaigning against religious prejudice, protesting against fascists like the EDL.

On schools I stand for giving our young people the best possible start in life by investing in both core subject teaching but also the arts and sports.

My focus for schools is music, and the positive impact learning music and participating in music has on cognitive and childhood development.  We need far more state-funded music provision in schools and colleges.  But that also goes for all the arts, and sports provision.  It is the extra curricula activities that develop a child and young adult and give them the broadest options in life.  Arts and sports activities sustain and develop adult well-being and social cohesion.

On education generally, I believe in renationlising our education system from top to bottom, and removing business profit from it – renationalising schools, scrapping the expensive student loans system, bringing back grants and eradicating top-up fees.  I stand for radically increasing publicly funded scientific research and improving academic pay and conditions for qualified lecturers and post-docs, increasing opportunities for women in science.

I believe in supporting human and civil rights and particularly the rights of refugees.  We need to de-criminalise the treatment of refugees in the UK and support the rights of overseas refugees to be able to return to their homes in safety.  This means the UK holding countries to account for violations of international law and Geneva conventions against Palestinians, Tibetans, Kashmiris and Tamils.   Israel, China, India and Sri Lanka persistently violate international law.  They have created international refugee crises by military occupying, annexing or blockading another people’s lands and ethnically cleansing the indigenous inhabitants who ought to be allowed to live in peace and safety, with self determination.  The UK, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has to address these human rights violations stretching back over decades.

Underpinning all of this, I believe in the rights of women and girls to live lives of equality and safety, with equal life chances and equal pay.

Photos copyright (c) Ellie Merton



Proud to be standing as a woman

As a woman in 2015, it should seem usual to be standing as a candidate in a general election, but it isn’t.  Sadly, the political world is still dominated by men.  Nationally, only a quarter of candidates standing are women.  Full gender equality is a way off yet.

I am proud to be one of four women standing for Walthamstow.  As women, whether we like it or not, in seeking election we act as role models for the next generation of Walthamstow’s young women.

We do not have to agree politically.  In fact, our different views are a bonus because our range of political beliefs and experience demonstrates that, nowadays, there is no set path to achievement.  Having said that, however, we can agree to respect each other’s lives and career choices as women.

I respect all three other women candidates for the life choices you have made to date.  You are great achievers in your family lives, careers and political aspirations.  Walthamstow is lucky to have such a line up to choose from.

Hustings galore!

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 or twitter or facebook!

Yesterday in the sun, and the chilly breeze!

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.IMG_4144_2

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.


Monday’s inspiration

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.

Save the NHS, Save Whipps Cross

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,…

A word about hustings, and why you don’t know who all the candidates are

Most organisations arranging hustings or printing election-related news sheets went to print weeks ago.  They only included candidates they knew or found on websites long before close of Nominations on 09 April.  Close of Nominations is the day candidates turn legit – when you go live.  Or it should be.  Publicity arranged prior to that day would only include about two-thirds, maybe fewer, of the candidates.

To help voters have a more rounded view of all candidates in future, I wonder whether for the next election the Electoral Commission should advertise its rules and obligations for hustings organisers, and the like, at least a month before the dissolution of Parliament, spelled out across all media platforms, repeatedly?

Hustings aside, I prefer meeting constituents face-to-face, having a good chat, learning your priorities directly, and talking through what you see the solutions as being.

So over the next few days, I want to catch up with as many of you as possible in person, around and about in  Walthamstow.  But if I can’t see you in person, please do just get in touch online to have a chat. #vote4ellie

Whipps matters most, and having a non-party candidate to vote for!

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…

Letter to Walthamstow from your truly independent candidate

Dear Walthamstow

How will you vote in the General Election?  Are you dissatisfied with the mainstream parties?  Are you thinking of a protest vote, but debating if it’s worth it?

Are you looking for an alternative to party hacks?

What I can offer

I can offer you that alternative: a genuinely independent candidate.  I have never belonged to a political party – I have always been unaffiliated.

My belief in democracy, diversity and social welfare is borne out of real-world experience and freedom of thought.

Over 25 years I have successfully campaigned cross-party.  My respect for others’ values has never compromised my own.  My advantage in helping Walthamstow residents is a network of politicians, NGOs and mass movement activists drawn from a broad ideological spectrum to help get things done.

I learned how to bring people on board and deliver results in politics early on.  I was elected to represent the welfare needs of the largest single-institution student constituency in the country at that time.  It meant successfully juggling complex casework, London-wide campaigning and being held directly accountable 24/7.

That early grounding has informed my values ever since – the need for accountability, for properly funded public services, for social cohesion, for tolerance, fairness and justice for all.

More than just politics

Politics is not all I offer.  My working career has been in multi-sector admin.  Yet despite being at the sharp end of capitalism for the last 20 years, I have also organised large voluntary music events and run sizeable charity fundraising projects – knowledge and skills that can benefit you.


Given my diverse experience, I am realistic about the challenges any MP faces; I recognise the limits of what your local MP can achieve.

But undeterred, with my passion, determination and commitment, together we can make living and working in Walthamstow even better.


Vote for me on 07 May.  Vote for a better future for Walthamstow and vote ‘Ellie Merton’.

Best wishes


Walthamstow Historical Society

Independent campaigning on human and social rights

Save Walthamstow Cinema

The campaign to preserve this historic building as a place of entertainment

Forest Philharmonic

Independent campaigning on human and social rights

Walthamstow Folk Club

Independent campaigning on human and social rights

Walthamstow parkrun

Independent campaigning on human and social rights

East London and West Essex Guardian Series | News

Independent campaigning on human and social rights

38 Degrees

Independent campaigning on human and social rights


Our campaign to defend our services and the NHS

Independent campaigning on human and social rights

Waltham Forest PSC

Independent campaigning on human and social rights