It’s one thing to discuss the technicalities of Brexit but there’s nothing like standing in a High Street and talking to people. Before the day slips from my mind I thought I’d write a few short reflections.
Our weather hasn’t shown much sign of Spring but on Saturday it was almost as if the heavens were smiling on us. Sunshine brought lots of people out for a stroll, shopping and much else. It’s so rewarding working with a likeminded team. A cross-Party group of us met-up in the centre of the Surrey town of Dorking. Determined to show that there’s a movement for change.
I approach leafleting with a smile and a greeting – would you like a leaflet? It works. Yes, one or two people don’t want to be bothered or smile back but that’s normal. Who knows what’s going on in the lives of those you meet by chance on a Saturday morning. Being respectful is essential. First impressions matter so much. With a badge, some stickers and colleagues around we made it clear that we were campaigning on Europe. What we find is that the politeness and civility of most people reminds me that there’s a lot worth fighting for in Britain.
On Saturday, I’d guess no more than 1 in 20 of those I leafleted presented a negative view of what we were doing. From them, not one original new saying came up. Responses were mostly stock phrases, like: “We’ve voted once” or “I want out” or “the sooner we get out the better”. Not the basis for conversation. Generally street campaigning isn’t about arguing with people. At its best, its more about connecting with supporters and offering information to those with an open mind.
I did engage with one guy who thought one vote was enough. My counter argument was the fact that we vote every year in local elections and democracy is open to people changing their minds. Much as I expected, he wasn’t moved by this way of thinking. With a small minority there’s a kind of belligerence. Its true of other life situations too. Pride or stubbornness or absolute blind conviction means that little real discussion is possible. The strange thing is often we spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about people who behave this way.
Without a shadow of doubt there’s a strong demand for a vote of the deal. A clear majority of people we meet in Dorking want to have a choice over the Brexit deal.
The call for a #PeoplesVote is gaining momentum. Lots support the @peoplesvote_uk campaign for the people to have the final say over the #Brexit deal, not politicians.