Today DPAC and friends carried their anti-austerity measures message to the very heart of Toryland, Maidenhead. Maidenhead is the Parliamentary constituency of the missing in inaction, Theresa May. Around 30 of us met at Maidenhead station this afternoon and after several rousing speeches and to the refrain of ‘Liar, Liar’ from a portable speaker we began our march to the centre of town.
We were met en route with the usual curious stares from Saturday afternoon shoppers. As we chanted "Tory, Tory, Tory…Out, Out, Out!”, a few remarks were tossed in our direction from some locals drinkers standing outside one of the town centre pubs; it was the usual reaction from people unused to seeing an assortment of crips and allied trades disturbing their sleepy-town ambience on a hot June day.
One guy did make me laugh. As we passed a bench in the pedestrianised shopping area, a middle-aged man luxuriating on a bench in the June heat while sucking on a can of cider appeared put out by our message: “Make the 8th of June the end of May!”
“Why don’t you give ‘er a chance?” he whinged. Going on to clarify his defence of May by stating: “It was that Donald Cameron to blame, not Teresa!” Here we had a microcosm of one-nation Conservatism expressing the view of the cider-drinking classes everywhere. Alf Garnett would have saluted you, sir.
In the town centre, we landed up outside the Alzheimers Dementia Support (ADS) charity shop. Like many of the shops in the High Street the ADS looked derelict. Yet we enjoyed a busy hour or so leafleting, speaking to interested passers-by and making speeches via our megaphone.
While our brief presence Maidenhead may not have been enough to switch the good burghers of the town to redirect their allegiance from Conservative to Labour, we did make our mark. If it forces a few score more people to search their souls, as well as Googling DPAC, then the day was not wasted.