The importance of getting involved with your local group

Published on January 25, 2019
But what can I do?
So, you've written to your MP several times and now all you can do is to watch helplessly while the Commons follows arcane procedures to try to stop the most obstinate prime minister in history pretend that her Brexit is the 'only possible deal' and that the only alternative is a No Deal Brexit. 

No, you don't have to watch helplessly; join your local People's Vote group. 

South Southwark for Europe was set up about fifteen months ago and we're in touch with two other local groups. What I like about the set up is that each group has its own way of working. Within our group, we try to accommodate those for whom the team bonding, such as going down to the pub afterwards is the best bit and those who like to have a job - like delivering leaflets - to do in their own time. We are also determinedly cross-party, working closely with those whom we were fighting bitterly in the local elections only eight months ago.

We started by organising street stalls; before 'Chequers' it was often uphill work: people were so often just not interested. "We've had the vote, now we just need to get on with it." But last autumn, things began to change. We spent many hours delivering 20,000 leaflets explaining the People's Vote March and exhorting people to attend. We talked to as many householders as possible and there did seem to be a slowly dawning realisation that all was not set in stone and maybe we should check with 'The People'  that their 'Will' had not changed over two tumultuous years. The focus of our street stalls changed over the months. At the beginning of the autumn, it was focused on getting people to show that they were not happy with the 'Chequers' solution being presented to the EU by going to the People's Vote March and/or signing the two petitions for 'A People's Vote' or 'The Final Say' which the People's Vote campaign and the Independent jointly handed into Downing Street.

As the negotiations with the EU worked towards their climax and action would move to parliament, our emphasis moved to trying to persuade as many as possible to write to their own MP to persuade her or him to support a People's Vote. We handed out postcards for people to sign and write a message to their MP. We later saw some of ours amongst the huge numbers being sorted out the People's Vote HQ, which was satisfying.

At the same time, we were writing to members of the London Assembly and hope that helped to secure their statement of support for People's Vote. Our local council was a harder nut to crack. Our group sent a carefully selected cross-party, suitably diverse, deputation to a full Council Assembly to argue for a motion arguing for a People's Vote as their first preference. The diehard Labour council insisted on following the official party line of a general election as a first priority, but two younger Labour councillors broke the party whip to vote for the People's Vote motion and said that our deputation contributed to their decision. They also wrote about their decision to support a People's Vote. 

And what are we doing now? We are working to be able to hit the ground running when we do get a People's vote. This starts with working to increase our number of activists. 

It's great being in a group where we all care passionately about the same thing and where the rewards will be so great when (not if) we finally win!

I encourage everyone reading this to get involved with their local group. Even if you can't help on a regular basis, getting involved  is an invaluable way to support the People's Vote campaign! Click here to find your local group

Our movement is powered by people like you coming together to battle for the soul of our country!