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LAST weekend I was out canvassing in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Boris Johnson’s constituency, where a young and charismatic Ali Milani is hoping to overturn a Tory majority of only 5,000.
Around 100 others turned up with me on the Saturday to do the same. They came from all over London and beyond, young, old, mixed ethnicities and all full of commitment and hope for change.
Such turnouts are not only happening in Uxbridge but in many places throughout the country, particularly where the Tories have slim majorities.
Canvassers are always out at election times, but never, in my lifetime experience, have so many people made the sacrifice to turn out on dark, damp evenings and at weekends to campaign for Labour.
This election is also what could be labelled as the first really anti-capitalist election in our country.
Disillusionment with the capitalist system and a questioning of its morality as well as its effectiveness as a socially relevant economic model has never been so widespread.
What Jeremy Corbyn and his team with their radical manifesto have also achieved for the first time in decades is to unite the broad left under its banner.
Not only left Labour stalwarts, alienated by Tony Blair, have returned to the struggle, but Trotskyists, communists, socialist Greens and other assorted leftists are campaigning side by side for the first time in history.
And last week we were joined by Corbyn’s eldest son Ben who, like his dad, is not averse to tramping the streets alongside everyone else.
They all realise that this election is a chance in a lifetime to put socialism back on the agenda, tackle global warming and turn this country around.
Milani, Labour’s candidate in Uxbridge, embodies this new era. Born in Tehran, moving to Britain aged five, he has lived and studied in Uxbridge since then.
He was president of the students’ union at the local Brunel University. He is young, dynamic and clearly passionate about his constituency and the key issues it faces such as crumbling hospitals, long GP waiting lists and lack of funding for local schools.
The local Hillingdon Hospital Trust has a £165 million shortfall in funding. Milani lambasts Johnson who refuses to show his face in the constituency and refuses to debate with him at hustings.
You’d imagine that if you wanted to get re-elected then you would at least show up now and again but Boris Johnson prefers to hide and the same seems to be true of his Tory canvassers: they’re nowhere to be seen.
His arrogance will come back to haunt him.
Knocking on the doors in this modestly well-off suburban area of greater London, I found good numbers who said they would vote Labour, hardly any who supported Johnson and one or two waverers.
What will be decisive is to get every potential Labour voter out on Thursday to cast their ballot. It would be an unprecedented case of a sitting prime minister being ousted if Milani can win here.
After our canvassing stint, we all felt encouraged and convinced that this is possible.
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