Posts Tagged ‘Uxbridge’

Kick Boris out of Uxbridge – 2019

Thursday, November 16th, 2023

Kick Boris out of Uxbridge – When Boris Johnson was coming to the end of his wrecking spell as Mayor of London he decided he wanted to confer the same benefit on the country and the first step in that was to become an MP again. So in the 2015 election he was elected as the member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, a safe Tory seat on the edge of West London.

Anarchists came to join the FCKBoris protest on Saturday 16th November 2019

He got roughly the same percentage of votes – just over 50% – there in 2017, but the Labour candidate managed to cut his majority considerably, and there were hopes in 2019 that this trend might continue. Unfortunately it didn’t and Johnson increased his percentage of the vote by 1.8% while the Labour vote went down by a little more.

Kick Boris out of Uxbridge

After Johnson’s resignation the by election there in 2023 was a close run thing, with the Tory vote down 7.5% and Labour’s up by 5.6% and the Tory candidate just scraping in with a majority of 495. Most commentators saw the result as being caused by the unpopularity of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ low emission zone extension which was to include the area later in the year overcoming the incredible unpopularity of the Tory government.

Kick Boris out of Uxbridge

But in 2019, many felt Labour had a chance in what had for many years been a safe Tory seat with a solid blue vote of around 50%. And among them were a group who called themselves FCKBoris who came to campaign there against him on Saturday 16th November 2019.

Kick Boris out of Uxbridge

I went there to photograph them and others went to protest with them. Uxbridge is only around 7 miles from where I live, but it isn’t a place I often visit, not least because public transport on the edges of London isn’t too hot. There are no direct links and my fastest route is on a bicycle. But I was feeling lazy and instead took three buses, with waits at each change. Two years later we now have a sightly faster service, at least in theory.

Arriving in Uxbridge I came across a fairly small group of people wearing orange woolly hats and handing out fliers with the message ‘Boris Doesn’t Want You to Vote…’ and telling people who were not registered how to get themselves on the electoral roll.

A few of London’s anarchists had travelled out from London to join them, bringing posters encouraging people not to vote but instead to revolt and some with photographs of the Bullingdon Club and the message ‘FUCK OFF BACK TO ETON’ – Johnson’s old school only a few miles away.

There were just a few other placards and banners, and also an open-top bus wth a large banner with the message #KICKBORISOUT from which a hefty sound system pumped out a rhythm that kept many of the campaigners dancing both on the street and on the top of the bus where I joined them briefly.

But the effectiveness of the bus was greatly reduced by the pedestrianisation of much of the town centre with an impenetrable one-way system and soon a police officer came along to tell the driver very politely that he couldn’t park where he was. And soon the bus and protesters set off slowly to march to Brunel University, accompanied by a handful of police.

And it was perhaps the university and its students which was the main focus of the campaign with the message directed more at them. Although students can register to vote both at home and where they live during the universtiy term, relativley few generally bother to do so. So much of the messages of this protest were aime at them, though there were some posters which might have had a more general appeal, such as one describing Johnson as “UNFAITHFUL, LIAR, SELF-SERVING, WIFE BEATER? DRUNK?” and saying ‘Don’t trust Boris Johnson. Don’t give him your vote‘.

They were joined at Brunel by a few more protesters with posters including one wearing a rainbow flag and carrying a ‘Queers Against Boris’ poster and with FUCK BORIS written on her forehead,

But otherwise once on the campus it seemed pretty deserted and people didn’t know what to do. Finally they formed up again behind the bus which drove off back towards the centre of the town. But I decided I’d walked enough and sat down at a bus stop for a long wait for a bus to Heathrow where I could wait again for a bus home.

Probably the campaign had very little influence on the result of the election on 12th December, where the Tory campaign was almost entirely on their promise to “Get Brexit Done”. Johnson’s majority here was 7,210 and he went on to make the worst of all possible deals we are now suffering from, largely because of a Tory conviction that bluster and intransigence is the best form of negotiation.

More at Kick Boris out of Uxbridge.

London Loop – Uxbridge to Moor Park

Monday, May 29th, 2023

London Loop - Uxbridge to Moor Park
Spot the path

London Loop – Uxbridge to Moor Park: Monday May 29th 2006 was the Late May Bank Holiday for that year, the day which replaced the Whit Monday Bank holiday in 1968, though at first for a trial 5 year period, only becoming a final replacement in 1971. Unlike Whitsun it came in a regular place, saving us having to do esoteric calculations to find the date o0f Easter, and then add on 50 days for Pentecost. This year, 2023, the Late May Bank Holiday actually falls on Whit Monday, but that isn’t usual. Though some people still call it Whit when it isn’t.

London Loop - Uxbridge to Moor Park

We had decided to go on a walk on the bank holiday, and we had been following the various stages of the London Loop, a kind of walkers M25 around the outskirts of London. The section we had reached began at Uxbridge and ended at Moor Park.

London Loop - Uxbridge to Moor Park

Although the M25 has made journeys around London much easier for those in cars, there is no equivalent for public transport. I live only 8 miles as the crow flies from Uxbridge station it took us a train, two buses and well over an hour to get there.

London Loop - Uxbridge to Moor Park

From then on it was fairly plain sailing, or rather walking, though much of the first half of our route was on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal. We covered section 12 which ends in Harefield and section 13 which goes on to Moor Park. The two add up to around nine and a half miles, with another mile or to the station at each end. The two links give maps and details and also short notes on points of interest in the walks, so I don’t need to add to them.

We didn’t have these pdfs, but a copy of the book about the whole loop published five years earlier. Perhaps some things had changed but I think the directions given were at times in any case rather too vague to be useful. However the small reproductions of the OS Maps it contains soon let us work out the correct path. Nowadays of course you can get the maps and route guides on your phone, which can also tell you exactly where you are. Unless like me a few years ago when you get lost in a dense forest where there is no GPS (and no phone signal.)

On My London Diary right at the bottom of the May 2006 page there is a short text about the day which includes “most of it was pretty boring, far too much green. The book giving the route is pretty hopeless in places too, which is perhaps why there were parts of it that very few people seem to have found, with badly overgrown paths” and also points out that back in 2006, the London Loop was still “an almost unsigned footpath route“. I think the waymarks are now much improved.

The piece concludes with what should have been a link to the pictures simply reading “coming shortly” though there is a previously unlinked page with a set of them. The next page and the rest of the pictures are still missing. But probably I had decided the 25 that are there are enough to give a good impression for the walk.. I’ve uploaded just one extra to go with this post.