The Gerrard Chronicles 2015 - The Campaign Trail

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Some years ago, the Royal Bank of Scotland had closed their Atrium to the public, who used to use it, quite legally, as a pleasant short-cut to Duncan Street, on probably spurious security grounds. Now that the building is only used as an emergency restart if somthing happens to the main Nat-West building, they no longer have that excuse. It was reopened by our Member of Parliament, Emily Thornberry (right), after much lobbying by her & Avis (far right), still a permanent thorn in developers' sides.


When the General Election campaign kicked off, 38Degrees held a pro-NHS rally on Islington Green. They are one of now many groups campaigning against the awful government, only held in power by the treacherous Lib-Dems. The Labour campaign seemed to be going well, as it did in Islington. On Election Day, I found myself telling with one of Ian Duncan-Smith's sadists, where I held my tongue, as telling requires co-operation & then, more pleasantly, with the old admiral, who used to Chair the local tories when gentlemen did that job. In the end, we piled up huge majorities in Islington, 12,708 for Emily in the South & 21,294 for Jeremy in the North. Much good did that do us, as the SNP slaughtered everyone else in Scotland & we ended up with a net gain of 2 seats off the tories, so they had an overall majority of 12 no one was expecting. Despite that, we took three-qurters of a million extra votes over 2010.


With seconds to spare, Jeremy was nominated by MPs who did not want him as Leader but thought he might improve the debate, left of centre candidates like Diane Abbot having been nominated for this purpose in the past. Be careful what you wish for! Jeremy had been reluctant to stand but no one else was willing to do it. However, The Labour List, by no means with a left-wing leadership, had run a straw poll, showing Jeremy with 47% on the first ballot with Andy Burnham second with 13% with 17% undecided & Jeremy promptly ran a thoroughly modern campaign using social media as well as 'phone banks etc. Ken pitched in with 100, which he raised to 500 a bit later, when he realised he was likely to get Value for Money. Avis supported Yvette Cooper (so did our MP Emily) as the only credible female candidate but given their campaigns, Ken was soon lampooning the other three on Facebook, very busy in the campaign, as the "Undead Zombies".
Ken also gave £100 to Stella Creasy's Deputy Leader campaign. He does not always see eye-to-eye with Stella but she became a chum when she tried to become our PPC in 2004. We had to tell her we were supporting local lady Emily but she was always welcome to drop in for coffee and a warm by our fire, which she did. As MP for Walthamstow, Stella is a formidable campaigner.


Naturally, Jeremy lead this march. Ken turned up for a while but he had treated himself to a new Mac for his birthday &, as usual with a new machine on a complicated network, there was quite a bit to do to set it up.
However, there was a quite new spirit in the march, as if losing the election had been quickly put behind people & the horrors of the triumphalist tory government, intent on carrying out their worst instincts, had rejuvenated the left.


This new tory cut is quite shocking. Avis' elder son is disabled, so Ken felt obliged to go on this demonstration in Whitehall (Avis at 80 does not do demos any more, reasonably enough). How the Thalidomide lady in the left photo can be expected to get by without additional help beggars belief. It is not so clear in the right-hand picture that this petition is about eight inches thick. How much more can people take from this bunch of crooks before something snaps?


The Jeremistas, including Ken, assembled at Marble Arch for the results to be read out from a radio on the Tannoy. Several hundred people gathered &, since only two, including Ken, had Jeremy tee-shirts on & the other one was short, fat & balding (hardly a crime) everyone wanted to be photoed with Ken. Here are Kayza Rose & Denise Fox, who are trying to set up a charity & promptly became friends, plus the crowd, which went wild, as Jeremy won on the first ballot. There was a pro-refugee march after, hence the ladies placards.

So, despite the disappointment of the election campaign, which many tories are already regretting giving this bunch of psychopaths a free hand, there is hope for the future, immediately triggered by Jeremy winning hands-down every Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

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Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)020 7359 6294 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 1/12/2015 ©Ken Baldry & Avis Saltzmann 2015 All rights reserved but print it off if you want to.