The Grand High Tory would only let one person into his constituency office and had even called the police when he realised that a massive eight people were going to turn up.
There were actually 11 of us in the end from a range of political persuasions and the average age was well into the 50s; did he really think this bunch were a personal threat? One lady was 81 and totally livid that he wouldn’t let us in. He also refused to have a photo taken with us. It’s a bit ironic that we couldn’t effectively lobby our MP about lobbying.
Ottaway did chat a little on the way to his car and he ‘reassured’ us that the only reason we were left outside was because he feared being murdered in his own office. He cited several attacks and murders on MPs in his lifetime. To be fair to him the 81 year old did have a dangerous look in her eyes. I wonder why anyone would want to murder their MP… You don’t often hear of retired constituents in Tory areas booking a slot in an MPs diary just to finish them off. I should stress that he did say he would meet us if we booked a slot individually so that his staff could check us out in advance to make sure we’re safe.
Actually I should stop being fair, he doesn’t deserve it.
The one person who was allowed in to deliver the petition reported back that when they pointed out that 11 of his constituents had come out in the cold to see him and therefore it showed the importance of the issue, he replied by saying something about the tens of thousands who hadn’t turned up. I hate to think what he would have done if they had (maybe the SAS would have stormed us) but more importantly it suggests he counts the apathetic as being on his side. Well, perhaps they are.
After a few minutes the police decided to go. As they left I warned them that with such a hotbed of radicals on the pavement it could kick off at any moment but they ignored me and drove away.