Letter from . . . June 2017
Knocking up, geopolitics & Brexit
On the state of British politics as experienced through canvassing.
How many people have you knocked up so far?” “Knocking up” is an English phrase with two meanings, part of the ambiguity of language that is more poetically associated with William Shakespeare. It is usually a variant on a man making a woman pregnant, but it now has an additional meaning around election time. You “knock up” the locals when you seek their vote. This is a ritual of canvassing that all parties are expected to observe. Electors complain if their vote has not been sought, if they have not “been canvassed.” Canvassing during the campaign is a matter of identifying supporters, and “knocking up” is what is done on Election Day to get the vote out: asking electors to go and vote before the polls close at 10 P.M.
So what is it like? I have a friend, a Conservative
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