By Tom Waterton-Smith
Another week, another North London Brexit stall. Hampstead again – a Tory ward with plenty of disillusioned voters up for grabs!
The grey sky and chilly wind didn’t put us off, as long as we are getting a good reception we are happy to go out; following May’s disgraceful Brexit ‘deal’ (feels more like a ransom demand) it was not surprising that lots of people had questions to ask and if we can give them answers before they resort to the MSM, all the better!
Over the past few weeks, we have met all sorts of people from different walks of life, who were happy to see us out campaigning. In particular, we have found overwhelming support from Irish born Londoners; one Irish lady described us as a “breath of fresh air” – it goes to show that despite Hampstead’s reputation for being the home of the liberal elite, there are representatives of the silent (or silenced?) majority in all parts of the UK, who are proud of our nation and want to fight for our freedom from EU oppression. The Irish lady put it differently: “Hampstead residents have their heads up their arses”!
Whilst many were supportive, others were concerned that UKIP are becoming too extreme. I explained that the MSM are painting us that way, but it goes to show that our convictions aside, we must make sure our brand and public image is managed by us, not for us – it’s important our message is clear – we are the only party supporting the democratic vote for Brexit.
A question that we were asked a lot by passers-by was whether we were for or against Brexit. Of course, we are for Brexit – but I explained that that wasn’t really the debate. We should ALL be Brexiteers now – those who still believe they can thwart democracy are playing into the hands of the EU. Thus we find ourselves with a draft deal which is worse than remaining! The logic behind this line of questioning is somewhat flawed too – they were only willing to take a leaflet if we were promoting the argument that they supported, echo chamber politics – bigotry no less.
We also met a German man who stopped to chat for a while. He said he didn’t support Brexit per se as a German national who spent a lot of time in the UK – but he admitted that this was for practical reasons, which is understandable. But he was very interested in UKIP and said he was pleased to see a party like us in the UK. He mentioned Alternative für Deutschland, the rightwing populist party that’s come to prominence in Germany; he said Britain needed a party like us to offer an alternative to the mainstream offering from LabConLib politics – a party that puts people first. And it is true, we have everything to play for as Labour, and the Conservatives suffer an existential crisis. We must make our message clear, unified and accessible to all hard-working Brits who believe in freedom and democracy under the rule of law.
We did of course have some agro, one man telling us to “fuck off” before marching away at some pace (thus fucking off himself!); of course stopping to chat and hear an alternative point of view is beneath the liberal luvvies and champagne socialists of Hampstead. Why bother making these remarks if they can’t substantiate what they say? Alas, the cowardly virtue signaller – all mouth and no argument. Another chap, slight in stature, wandered over and took a photo of our stall but refused a leaflet. He came back some time later to mock us, saying that we have a “pervy table” – I’ve heard it all now! But amongst the juvenile protests, we were overwhelmed by the support we received.
Our final chat of the day was with Caroline from Camden, who is a UKIP member and had joined after the referendum. She was pleased to see us and is hoping to meet more like-minded folk at our Christmas party next month.
We always finish our campaign sessions with a hard-earned pint at the local pub. If you are free one weekend, why not join us – the political landscape is fertile for a party like ours, with hard work we will make gains – even in London!