An excellent insight into a day on the Mayoral campaign trail comes from the Guardian Backbencher email sent to inboxes today. Here’s an excerpt:
“Saturday morning and the Backbencher heads to mayoral hustings in west London. But Ken’s not there. Even Paddick isn’t there. Boris is left practically hosting the hustings, lingo-bombing the audience with new terms for road potholes – “enigmatic craters” – and commuting – “armpit-nuzzling hell” – before setting off out into the neighbourhood along with black social worker Shaun Bailey, who will contest the area at the next election (with boundaries redrawn). The Backbencher is alarmed. Before her eyes, a general, not London, election walkabout is taking place.
Boris approaches black constituents and a number are now saying he gets their vote. Emphatically.
Bailey lingers at the back of the caravan and gripes to the local reporter about the man who’ll be his Labour challenger after the boundary change. “I met two rival candidates the other day who didn’t bitch about each other but they were women. Here? It’s war. He never spends any time in his own constituency. He’s always in my end. I
say, ‘Go back to your own constituents'”.
Then. The sound of free speech. A black woman shouts “disgraceful” at Boris and the team spring into action: Bailey moves swiftly to placate her while the lofty strawberry-blond walkabout ringleader ushers the rest on, in jolly overdrive. He grabs and then pulls a young peroxide-blond woman across the pavement towards the naturally blond Boris. “Go on. Say you’ll give Boris your vote,” he shouts at the bemused student: “Us blonds have got to stick together.”
Ten metres away, Bailey has finally managed to calm the angry black woman and luckily for the Tories neither seemed to have heard. A campaign strategy based on persecuted blonds might not fly round here.”