31 July, 2021

Two Pocket Seats

No loudspeaker appeals in the streets, no banners, hardly any posters, very few election rallies.

AP
Two Pocket Seats
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

For an Indian correspondent visiting Britain during an election campaign, there is an almost deathly silence when compared to our raucous poll periods. No loudspeaker appeals in the streets, no banners, hardly any posters, very few election rallies.

In the two constituencies I visit, the campaign concentrates on door-to-door canvassing by parliamentary candidates and a handful of party volunteers. I first visit Orpington in Kent and follow Jo Johnson, a friend, on his rounds. Jo is the sitting Tory MP from Orpington and remains a junior minister and head of the policy unit in the PM's Office till the election on May 7. Earlier, Jo was in Delhi from 2005 to 2008 as the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Financial Times of London.

I follow Jo along a leafy street aglow with cherry blossoms and a parade of millionaire mansions, peopled surprisingly by young couples with their toddlers on a Sunday afternoon. Significant bits of Orpington are part of the stockbroker belt on the fringes of London. This is the domain of the finance sector and a stronghold of...

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