Each week a different PPC provides us with an insight into life as a candidate and gives us a flavour of their own campaign and interests. If you are a candidate and are keen to be featured, please email Jonathan Isaby.
This week’s diary is written by Rahoul Bhansali, who was selected in November 2008 for Streatham. Streatham was a Conservative seat until 1992 when it fell to Labour. The sitting MP, Keith Hill, is retiring at the General Election and last month, Betty Evans-Jacas, a Labour councillor for Brixton Hill, defected to the Conservatives, signalling an end to Labour’s domination of the Brixton area. Rahoul has been actively involved in politics in South London for over eleven years and was Deputy Chairman of Bermondsey Conservatives. He holds down a full time job as a management consultant.
Sunday 8th November
Start the day laying the wreath at the Remembrance Sunday service on Streatham Common. It was good to see so many people from across the community groups paying tribute to those fallen. The end of the service had a local finish with the magnificent drums of the Brixton Pathfinders.
I meet a local teacher who, despite having voted Labour all her life, is very impressed by Michael Gove’s proposed education reforms and so is tempted to vote Conservative in 2010. The message in Streatham is: “If you want to get rid of Brown, you have to vote Bhansali".
Spent the evening at a debate organised by the Streatham Baptist Church on the subject of War and Peace. I was asked to give an opening address on whether “pacifism is untenable”. PPCs from the other parties took part in the debate as well as two theologians and a serving RAF engineer. The debate was great fun and saw some fantastic and often soul-searching questions from the audience.