|Charming The Voters With Stilettos And Humour|
Eddie Izzard takes the Labour message to Chiswick High Road
Last time he came anywhere near Chiswick comedian, actor and political activist Eddie Izzard couldn't get away fast enough- but that was five years ago when he was running five marathons for charity and needed to keep on the move.
But today (April 9) cross-dressing Eddie was in no hurry to leave and had swapped tracksuit and trainers for black stilettos, red lipstick and a pencil-slim skirt to campaign for the Labour Party's Ruth Cadbury in her bid to take the Brentford & Isleworth seat away from the Conservative's Mary Macleod in next months election.
Known for selling out stadiums across the globe, as well as his charity marathons, the 53-year-old was encouraging Labour supporters with his visit as well as hoping to attract new ones. In the last few days he has been campaigning in areas as diverse as Runcorn near Liverpool, to Swindon and Finchley.
Meeting the flower-seller outside Marks & Spencer
Chiswick locals, sunning themselves in the park and sitting outside cafes, were delighted to meet a celebrity during their lunch break. "Looking that gorgeous, I'd vote for you myself", quipped one woman.
Party activists, announcing themselves with red balloons and placards, flanked Izzard and candidate Ruth Cadbury as they made their way from the Labour Party headquarters to Turnham Green, where he chatted to office workers and mothers with children, before winding their way along the High Road stopping at shops and cafes.
Time for a 'selfie'
There were chats with pensioners, one of whom complained the Labour Party had' forgotten the old people', a shout of 'What about Charing Cross hospital?' from a passer-by, and several requests for 'selfies' from star-struck locals. One diner offered him a chip, which he politely declined.
"I joined the Labour Party in 1995 and I've been an activist since 2008, and I'm planning to run for election either as a MP or Mayor of London in five years" he told Chiswickw4.com, adding that he only once been 'elected' as anything and that was as leader of the Street Performers' Association.
A joke with the jewellery stall owner
What motivates him to give up his time to travel to dozens of towns across the UK (Chiswick is one of about twenty on his list) to spread the Labour Party message?
"I've known what it is to struggle but I've done lots of things in my life and I'm a bit of an entrepreneur. Everyone should have that chance and I want to see a fair and equal society and that's why I'm backing the Labour Party. Some people want to keep the money they've made but I want to give something back. I put my money where my mouth is."
Eddie with Ruth Cadbury (on right)
Given the amount of voter apathy (one group of young women on the High Road told him they didn't plan on voting) how does he react when he hears fellow performer Russell Brand telling people he has never voted and that there is "no one to vote for".
"I disagree with Russell on that - people have fought hard for the right to vote -but then he's also fighting for people on low incomes and I do agree with that."
As a passionate believer in Europe, he was also scathing about UKIP who he says are "hiding" from being involved with Europe.
What about the 'Ed Miliband effect - voters saying they cannot see the Labour Party leader as a potential Prime Minister?
"I hear people say they really like Ed Miliband - there's a lot of anger about the Tories and I see Ed Miliband as a passionate, caring person and he is a decent man."
And with that it was off to Ealing to woo any undecided voters there.
The declared candidates for the Brentford and Isleworth seat in the General Election are Joseph Bourke (Liberal Democrat), Ruth Cadbury (Labour), Daniel Goldsmith (Green) and Richard Hendron (UKIP), Mary Macleod (Conservative).
April 10, 2015