Uh oh, I thought… a car had parked on the pavement and the man had jumped out, walking straight over to us. But no, he just smiled. Would you like a leaflet? ‘Yes,’ he said. Did you vote to leave? ‘Yes’ again. Are you interested in UKIP? Yes, he was, and he would consider joining us! He turned out to be very nice and gave his details to a Barnet branch member as he lived in the area. Could it really be that easy?
It was a nice sunny day, and I had come along to help Barnet branch in Golders Green. One of Harrow had turned up too. And over the day we took the details of 4 people all interested in learning more about UKIP and possibly joining.
I popped over to the coffee shop and on the way back watched the traffic as I waited to cross. The team weren’t sure if they had chosen a good spot, but I saw that at least half of the drivers were looking over to see what we were doing – good publicity indeed! And when we held up the ‘We Voted Leave’ banner everyone looked over!
We had some great chats but some abuse too of course. Someone informed us ‘you are in the wrong area! Lots of Jewish people live here!’ And what was his point? UKIP has quite a few Jewish members, especially in our North London branches, and it was one of the reasons Golders Green was chosen as a good area to campaign in. Another person informed us we were ‘destroying the European project’ – apparently, the EU ‘is trying to prevent another war’. Hold on – we didn’t start the 2 world wars – Germany did – and they now dominate the EU…! Somehow history is being twisted along the way…
Halfway through we had a visit from the police. ‘Has someone complained?’ No – it seems we got on their radar and they just wanted to see that we were OK. Any physical violence? No – just verbal. ‘It’s important you are allowed to do this’ they said. They stayed for a while to chat – about all kinds of things – drugs, mental illness, the law, political correctness, burglaries and so on. They couldn’t accept any leaflets or express an opinion of course but they seemed intrigued by us and were very nice.
‘Let me tell you something!’… a woman came out of nowhere, pointing her finger at me, excitedly! ‘See your Nigel Farage?’. I braced, ready for the screeching. Yes? I said. ‘I love him’ she beamed. ‘I listen to him all the time! You are so lucky to have him! I watched his speech to the EU the other day about Britain. He is wonderful!’ She said she came here from Iran over 20 years ago and loved it here. She said we should leave the EU – we don’t need them – yes, we know! She not only adores Nigel but also admires UKIP.
An NHS worker rushed over at one point to tell us he came from abroad 25 years ago, paid his taxes, and spent his time treating ‘lazy Brits’ who don’t work, and now we wanted to throw him out. Hmmm, where to begin – none of that is true – he calmed down a bit – but really, where do people get this stuff from? We pointed out the Tories are in power, not us, and perhaps it is they who are trying to dismantle the NHS… food for thought – he seemed fazed….
We then moved further down into Golders Green for a while – again a mostly good response. Over the day – yes – we had some swearing, some ‘racist’ comments and a ‘we don’t want you here’, but mostly very positive. One of our number was even asked for a short interview on video to explain Brexit and UKIP. Oh, and some Christians stopped who said they had been praying for Brexit (lovely!)
And as we entered the pub conveniently opposite to where we had pitched up, so a voice called out ‘You’re for Leave? Brilliant! Me too!’ – we looked over – and saw a huge grin and thumbs up! A nice end to a good day. I have never yet felt that any day spent discussing Brexit was wasted.