Yesterday, I went out in the High Street with a life size cardboard cut-out of Michael Howard. The results were interesting – mainly comic,sometimes disturbing but mostly, for a Labour candidate at least, very reassuring.
Most people had no idea who the cut-out was supposed to be. One person asked if it was me before I had put on weight! Another man, with tattoos on his face, pointed at me aggressively and said “I’m not voting for you and I’m not voting for him. You let the immigrants in and he is one!” I don’t mind admitting I was lost for words on that one. A couple of kids said he looked creepy. A number of people remembered that he was the Conservative bloke who brought in the poll tax. The juggler who was entertaining shoppers said he wasn’t likely to vote, but if he did, it definitely wouldn’t be for Howard. Lots of people said we couldn’t afford to let “him” or “them” back in. For the two hours we were there, not one person said that they were voting Conservative. All in all, Mr Howard was a hit. I think I’ll keep him for the campaign.