Settle down, children. Are we sitting comfortably? Good. Then I’ll begin.
[Insert wiggly lines and woo-woo noises here, to signify the passage of time].
It was my first General Election in this ‘ere London, and the Labour party could put up a donkey in a red rosette in this constituency and it would get elected. Tony Banks was still the MP, to give you an idea of just how long ago and far away we are.
But that didn’t stop the other parties trying, even though the Conservatives would routinely lose their deposit. The BNP tend to do better than they have any right to do in a decent civilised society, but I guess that’s one of the perils of democracy.
One evening, a few days before the election, there was a ring on the doorbell. I’d just gone rummaging in the depths of the freezer to pull out the basics of the next evening’s meal so it could defrost, and I was about to start cooking this evening’s dinner, so I had a frozen trout in one hand, a sharp knife in the other, Billy Bragg on the stereo, glass of wine poured and waiting, and all’s well with the world.
Off I trot to open the door, neglecting to put down either the frozen trout or the knife (no, I don’t know why).
He’s very smartly dressed, this man on my doorstep, wearing a suit and a spiffy red, white and blue rosette. Unfortunately the rosette has the BNP logo in the middle of it.
I look him up and down in my best “git orf may laynd, before I set the dogs on you,” manner and bark “yes? Can I help you?” as his eyes take in the frozen trout, the pointy knife and the apron, and gradually widen in alarm.
Just at that exact moment, Billy Bragg (bless him), suddenly belts out with “All you fascists are bound to lose,” and the BNP man sensibly takes this as his cue to get the hell away from this loon who opens the door brandishing fish at people.
“I’m wasting my time, aren’t I?” he stammers.
“Yes. Yes you are. Go away.”