For various reasons I don't expect to be doing this after the forthcoming elections: last weekend may have been my final outing, which caused me to look back over some of the more, err, illuminating encounters. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool empiricist and there's nothing like the reality check of real life for testing any political theories one might have heard in the lecture-theatre or the bar-room.
Unmarried teenaged mother: "I'm determined to get a house with a garden ..." (translation: I demand the Council puts me in a house with a garden) "... so that I can smoke outside and not harm the baby."Old fella in tired raincoat with big bundle of papers: "The timetable of the No. XYZ bus is hopeless. I've devised a new one: it's much better, and I want you to get TfL to adopt it."
Frighteningly gaunt man, probably in his 20's, hard to be sure: "I've been convicted of benefit fraud and all my benefits have been stopped. I haven't eaten for 3 days." (It certainly looked that way.)Veiled mother: "I need you give me 5-bedroom house". "But you and your husband only have one child." "I good Moslem, I give my husband many sons, need 5 bedrooms."
Flustered middle-aged woman: "They are consulting on changes to the bus schedules through my estate, they say it will be a big improvement. The service is dreadful at the moment. We rely on the buses - not everyone has a car, you know. You must stop them changing anything."Changing anything ? Well human nature certainly doesn't change. Of that much at least, one can be sure.