I’ve had the pleasure to meet several MPs during my 26 months of being Excluded and indeed before then in my work as a tour guide. And also one MP who was particularly condescending and dismissive but more about him later.
On Monday this week I was on my way to Parliament for something altogether different when I was walking speedily along the platform of the Jubilee Line, deep in the bowels of Westminster Station when I was passing someone who had a very familiar voice. Surely it wasn’t, but it was indeed.
I had the absolute pleasure to bump into Jeremy Corbyn, the previous leader of the Labour Party who stopped to chat to me for 10 minutes as we walked up to Parliament.
We chatted about Excluded and the dire state of government support for small business and tourism in general as well as some of my unique tours to less visited parts of London and the ever changing state of Spitalfields whose nature is under threat not least due to Boris Johnson having authorised large blocks of nearby neighbourhoods to be destroyed and rebuilt to make plenty of money but with no character.
Having met a plethora of politicians in the last 2 years having been #Excluded I can safely say there are none more gracious or sincere than Jeremy Corbyn or more contemptuous and aloof than my own, Oliver Dowden who is conspicuous by his absence in my large collection of photos of senior politicians from all the parties. In fact when I met him, he couldn’t run away quickly enough!
We also talked about my old university SOAS which is where Mr. Corbyn started his general election campaign. He obviously had a liking for SOAS.
Sometimes you meet people and they aren’t at all as you hoped they might be but Jeremy was just charming and gracious as I might have hoped and he expressed his sincere sorrow about how life has turned out for me and 3 million others #Excluded.
I wasn’t campaigning in this instance, I just wanted to say ‘Hi’ and thanks for all the tireless years of supporting oppressed and wronged people often across the entire planet.
Afterwards he shared a funny story and the fact that he stopped talking to his assistant and chatted with me up through the various levels and passageways of the tube station to the base of Big Ben says a lot about what a personable person he is.
Also it should be noted that Parliament is not sitting this week and so he had no need to be heading to his office and yet he was and that too probably says a lot.