8A2DAF55-512E-4036-AE94-86F424681149It’s nearly Christmas. So here in the UK that means festive conversations and convivial gatherings around the issue of the hour…Brexit.
This is me, Jacquie Rogers, writer, pro-European, and member of Malvern for Europe. Wearing a silly EU beret.

And this is Peggy, three months old. Definitely in charge. Wearing a peggy in gilet jaunecanine gilet jaune. Together we canvassed for the People’s Vote in Great Malvern today.

We learnt a lot. 

Peggy’s Top Ten Tips for Remain activists:

  1. People don’t much like to stop and talk when it’s cold and blowing an eye-watering wind.
  2.  People don’t much like talking about Brexit any more, anyway.
  3. Most people in Great Malvern are polite. This means they will step well away onto the edge of the pavement to avoid a canvasser holding out an unwanted leaflet, rather than stamp on your paws.
  4. Roughly half of those passing us did express sympathy with our support for the People’s Vote. So the odds may have changed slightly since 2016, when Malvern Hills voted 52% to 48% to Leave. A 4% swing is all we need.
  5. Most people who took a leaflet or expressed support were youngish, and/or female. 
  6. Youngish people and/or females like three-month-old puppies of character and address, and will engage their humans in conversation. They will even accept anti-Brexit leaflets with a modicum of enthusiasm.
  7. In general, people are now overwhelmed with Brexit fatigue, and would much rather talk to a puppy than its accompanying human canvasser.
  8. The few with enduring energy and willingness to engage are more likely to be Leavers. One elderly man told us that Brexit “couldn’t come soon enough.”
  9. Despite the provocation of Peggy’s gilet jaune, no extreme violence occurred (see point 3 above; but also see point 10 below). 
  10.  We did however hear a report that a colleague canvassing outside Waitrose – well-known hotbed of extreme views – was spat at by a Leave supporter. 

Tempers may be rising in Malvern, after all. 

Peggy’s summing-up tips

  • Stand in a sunny sheltered spot to canvass. 
  • Wear a winning smile, a canine gilet jaune, and wag tail endearingly.
  • Wag tail with particular enthusiasm at the under-fifties, people with children, and women in general. Lots of leaflets can be found a new home with such audiences. 
  • Do not frequent Waitrose.
  • Make sure a dog-friendly cafe is nearby. Winter winds chill puppy ears surprisingly quickly. 

Good luck to all. We’ll see you other side of next Tuesday.

[More info and contacts for the People’s Vote campaign]

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