Monday, 30 April 2007

Pelargoniums - that's the spirit

On Friday night water began leaking into my flat from the one above - not a good start to the weekend. At least the smell of wet ceiling plaster encouraged me to escape to Abbey Road for more leaflet-delivering.
St John's Wood was a wood a long time ago. Now it is housing, much of it large family houses but (typical of London) council estates are never far away. Many affluent households have concreted over their front gardens to park their cars on. Some council flat households green over the stained concrete approaches to their front doors with pelargoniums. I disapprove of the garden-wrecking and I like the pelargoniums. They prove that all the surrounding shabbiness cannot discourage the occupiers from trying to live.
One thing the inhabitants have in common is fear of crime. In the affluent places this manifests itself by sharp railings, locked gates, entryphones and, instead of doorbells, gatebells; but the Townshend Estate council tenants have only stickers announcing that the property within is security-marked and callers will be asked for identification. Westminster Council, despite requests, has failed to install security doors in the Townshend Estate. (When it comes to tackling crime, never mind what the ruling Tories say: look at what they do.) Our candidate has vowed to press for security improvements there.
Democracy is a great leveller. The council tenant's vote is worth as much as the mansion owner's. The Tory majority here in 2006 was achieved on a very low turnout. If only folk in places like this would start to use their own power to take control of their lives, the Tories would be out of power for good.
On Sunday evening some charming children patted the dog.

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