Today I visited Hawberry Lodge on North Road, a sheltered housing development with a diverse group of 34 residents.
After speaking to local sixth formers at City & Islington College’s hustings yesterday, it was fun to meet with an equally boisterous lot this morning at Hawberry Lodge.
I was challenged by the residents on a number of issues and spoke about the need to elect a Labour government next month in order to safeguard the progress made under the last Labour government, which introduced measures like the winter fuel allowance and free TV licenses for senior citizens, which helped cut the pensioner poverty rate in half over 13 years.
This diverse group, which includes people who’ve come from all over the world, represents the best of the openness and tolerance that makes Islington such a special place to live.
While not everyone was a Labour supporter, almost all the residents agreed that Nigel Farage and UKIP’s ugly politics of division have no place here. It was also clear that Islington’s senior citizens can see through the Tories’ empty promises, and know that pensioners could well be the next group to fall victim to George Osborne’s cuts if the Tories return to government for another five years.
One thing this campaign has shown beyond a doubt is that, young or old, people in Islington know the Tories only look after their friends, letting the rich get richer as the poor get poorer. From sixth formers to senior citizens, Islington badly needs a Labour government that will look after the interests of everyone.