Tonbridge Leafleting

Saturday 6 April – from 10:00 to about 12:30

Many thanks to the 12 people who turned out in the cold and the damp this morning. It was not a nice day.

The footfall was fairly low and there was an increased reluctance to engage, even to the extent of taking a leaflet – particularly for the first hour or so. The new leaflets did seem to be more interesting to people and the take up rate improved when these arrived.

The population is broadly coming to an agreement – but only that the country is in a mess and that the politicians have totally failed us all. A good proportion of people (both Leavers and Remainers) want to get this sorted out.

Quite a lot of people are still of the “we have voted” and “I am alright thanks” and “we should just leave” view – with the majority of those most likely being Leavers although they will also include the people like those who say “I am not interested in politics”.

There were some good and positive (and some long) conversations; again, most likely with committed Remainers, although there were quite a few sensible discussions with Leavers who were engaged and engaging and listening.

It is striking that the more of these street campaigns we carry out, the more ‘visible’ the Leavers and Remainers become. Of course, there are many exceptions, but in broad terms yesterday was characterised by younger people taking leaflets and offering encouraging comments, and older people reiterating various of the Leave mantras and striding on.

But in amongst all of those there was a small but reasonably significant number of those who seemed to have moved and/or were moving and/or knew people who were moving towards a Remain view – or at least making noises in the right direction. So, on balance an encouraging and worthwhile – if cold and wet- morning.

One of our group was told that Hitler would have been proud of her – I am not quite sure of the logic of that – and was subjected to a Sieig Heil!. When one of us suggested a second referendum might break the deadlock, one woman offered the constructive thought that we (SSTIE) should “all be locked up”. It takes all sorts.

On balance there were fewer just rude Leave engagements and rather more sensible engagements which included a slightly higher proportion of Leavers.

Overall it seemed to be less Leave than on previous visits to Tonbridge – but maybe that was (as usual) because the Remainers engage and the Leavers do not.

Patrick Reynolds 6 April 2019