There comes a point in an election
or referendum campaign where we feel we have to go three or four places
that are mandatory. Radio: … Labour’s own polling suggests
that its vote is draining away in the very places
that it needs to hold on to. Pollsters and pundits are talking
about the so-called Labour red wall, the string of seats from the Midlands to the
north that might fall to the Tories. We’re starting our journey
here in Wolverhampton. This is where we first divined
the Corbyn surge of 2017. Do you know who you’re gonna vote for? Oh, like, last week it’s 100% Conservative, and now through my daughter
and through watching television I’m not sure. I might change my mind but I might not. He seems quite sincere. For those depressed by the YouGov poll,
it needs only that poll to be 9.5% out and then a 1% swing from Tory
to Labour in the next two weeks to reduce that 68 majority is zero. If the people who do opinion polls have their
methodology, we have ours. No one is going to talk to us
on a bus stop. Making the country worse instead of better. Who is? The politics. Are you going to vote? No. I should vote but
haven’t decided who. And have you voted Labour in the past? Yes. What’s changed? We all know what comes next. Corbyn. Go on. Corbyn. You read a paper every day? Yeah. Which one? The Sun. What we want to know is whether
we can get beyond these quick fire superficial responses. Of course we’ve got to work
harder than that! It can be a thoroughly dispiriting business because the voice in your
own head constantly says: What you doing? This is completely
unscientific nonsense. I did vote two years ago but
I won’t be voting this time now. What has changed? Confusion, really over
what’s happening with Brexit and what’s happening
in the political world and the lack of understanding
and lack of trust within the government. Well, what about the other …
the opposition? What’s opposition?
– Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party. Is that what you call opposition? Is it?
– Is it? I don’t know, you tell me,
what’s your feelings about it? I don’t think Conservatives have any
opposition in this country no more. And you voted Labour in the past? I have and I’ve always voted Labour. What do you do for a living? We look after children
who have got learning disabilities, autism, behavioural issues, etc. And we bring them back
into the community into small homes and the funding for that has been stretched, the government isn’t giving us enough funding to make an improvement back into and
integrate them back into the community. God, so you work in a caring occupation …
– Yes. You’re well aware of the cuts,
totally aware of the cuts … Correct. And yet, you’re not voting Labour? No. God, they’ve got work to do. There’s a younger person
on the other side of the street. Are you going to vote in two weeks’ time? I don’t know. Don’t know. I think we’re part of the younger generation, we don’t bother in following politics, do we? Really? What’s your sense of the future of the
country, where’s Britain going? Out of Europe. Yeah, out, yeah. So you feel strongly about that? Yeah, I think … I don’t know why I feel
strongly about it, I just … How do you feel about the future for you? I don’t feel optimistic.
– You don’t feel optimistic? No … I’m 24, I only get £8.21 an hour
and it’s the minimum wage. And I think it’s ridiculous, £8.21 an hour. It’s nothing. But your job title, is what? Duty manager. You’re a duty manager and you get
the minimum wage? Getting the minimum wage. Something gone wrong there. Tell me about it,
it’s ridiculous. There’s nothing I can do about it … Join a trade union? What’s that?
– What’s a trade union? You don’t know what a trade union is? No, I don’t. And do you have a sense of what
the Labour party stands for? People in left behind towns,
come home to Labour, it’s just … Right, we’ve come here to spend some time
with the Labour candidate which we also did two years ago. OK everyone, I’m ready when you are. Make this clear, you’re not taking us to
people you already know are pro-Labour. Oh God, no. As some political parties do. Well, we’re not like that. I thought we might be able to
but I don’t think anybody’s organised it. I just can’t make my mind up
and neither can my husband, neither can anyone, my friends … We talk about it frequently and we are
all still very indecisive. The all-important ground
game, never mind the TV and the internet. We’re making a film about the election
in Wolverhampton, so … Are you going to vote in two weeks’ time? Well, I don’t know who I’m voting for. That’s your MP.
– Is this our MP? Yes, your member of Parliament. OK, so basically what I need
is for our youth. Our youth, to make it better change for some, we, they don’t have to go through all we’ve been through. You know what I mean?
See where I’m getting to? Because obviously, there’s youth
clubs anymore they’ve shut all that down, they’re all just
going around, stabbing each other, doing bad because there’s nothing
out there for them. You need to set up some schemes
to bring all the young people together again … Can I ask you, what are your circumstances
at the moment? Are you working?
– I’m unemployed … everything. Do you have a sense of
what the Labour party is all about? Do you know what it stands for? You don’t know what it stands for? The thing is, because you feel
so disengaged because you don’t think it’s going to suit you, because you don’t
feel ‘that’s for me’ and every politician you’ve met in your entire life has
promised you the earth and gave you nothing. Yeah, exactly.
– Exactly. It’s good that you’ve come out here, though. Yeah, but this is what we do, this is what Labour does. I said to him the other day,
there’s nothing for the kids, like I said, so even if we set up a little scheme
in Wolverhampton town … Something to entertain that city, coming together,
making people do music in the town … We were at a shopping parade in Penn this morning, right? And when we were there two years ago, straightaway we got a sense that people were warming to the Labour party and warming to Jeremy Corbyn and that things were shifting, and as
much as coming out with you, everything I would like to think about
the Labour party’s true, as soon as I meet the local Labour party here, we didn’t meet anyone who
said they were voting Labour. And we spoke to a lot of people,
different sizes, shapes, backgrounds as if something had changed a bit. Well, yeah, Brexit. I, you know, I was brought up in the
Labour party. We haven’t come here to say, oh the Labour party’s having trouble, ha ha ha, you know, there’s something tragic about it,
I suppose. There’s no other political party that
looks like that up close. You know, full of moral force about social justice and with members from
every background and class and all that and it’s having a hard time. We’re driving north and we are stopping off in Worksop, the former coal town in Nottinghamshire. And pretty much everywhere we’re passing
through here is a kind of Labour-Conservative leave-voting battleground seat. You can’t see as it’s dark but these
are the places that are going to decide what happens in this general election. How do I feel about it? I really don’t know who to vote for. What did you use to do for a living? I worked at the pit.
– You were a coal miner? Yeah. I voted Labour as everybody did. When did you stop voting Labour? I can’t remember. When was it? They’ve changed policies then you just
change your ways, you know. Thank you.
– Thank you! Labour voting in these places has
been softening and weakening for a long, long time. Because the culture of the
place has completely changed that gentleman said he stopped voting Labour
when he stopped being a coal miner. It’s not Jeremy Corbyn’s fault either. The history of this goes back
much further than when Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015. I want to buy a Sex Pistols wallet. How much is that?
– £10. £10? Can’t do it. You do it for £6? Right, you’re on. There’s no future and England’s dreaming. We are making a film about the election. The election?
– The election! I think I voted for Jeremy Corbyn last time. Right, and this time? This time … I’m undecided because they’ve all got … The policies are all a bit … hit and miss, I like some of the things they’re all saying …
but it’s choosing the right one. He’s got a of policies this time. I think he’s got a bit too many. They don’t listen to what we want. What do you want? ie … the Brexit and everything else. We voted, four, three years ago
and it’s not going to happen. What’s the point of having a democratic country if they’re not going to listen to the word of the voters, in the first place? So you’re not going to vote at all? I don’t think so. These are the precise metrics we use folks, because that fella there had a beard,
we thought he looked a bit hipstery and therefore he might be a Labour voter but
it turned out that they felt that the fact Brexit haven’t been delivered
rendered everything worthless … Shall we ask these? Excuse me, do you know who you’re going
to vote for? Corbyn. You’re going to vote for Corbyn?
Tell me why. Because … Look at this, look at this! No, this is interesting,
go on, tell me. I just, I like him,
he’s for the people, isn’t he? Like, Boris, he just wants to sell the NHS,
doesn’t he, that’s all he wants. And what does Corbyn want
as you understand it? He wants, listen, he wants to raise
minimum wage to £10 there’s plenty of stuff that Corbyn’s for. Where do you get your information? The TV. Yeah, a lot of Facebook and stuff like that,
social media. And has Labour stuff being
coming up on your Facebook? Yeah, I can show you. In all the likelihood, the Brexit party
hasn’t got a cat in hell’s chance here. Something is happening, Grimsby has been
held by the Labour party for 74 years, I think and it is said that the Tories are
in with a very serious shout of winning it. Grimsby is also somewhere that’s been
on the receiving end of all sorts of snobby media, cultural sneers,
dodgy documentaries about life on benefits and all that stuff. There’s actually some very
interesting stuff going on here. There’s nothing you don’t do. We’ve come backstage to a fashion show. It’s for a thrift shop here
on the Nunsthorpe estate. The shop is one small part of Centre4,
a pioneering community initiative that’s bringing ideas to life
in this part of Grimsby. New businesses, an urban farm, support
for loneliness and a gym. You’re filming everything then.
– Yeah. I better behave myself then. None of it would happen
without these volunteers and activists. Most of whom are women. We have asked people for help before but the idea was that because we’ve done
a lot of things with the centre, that we put our own Community Action Group
together to do it ourselves. So, I brought a flower shop
into the centre and a gift shop. What was your thinking in doing that? I mean, it’s not purely a money making exercise. No, definitely not. I believe it’s got to be affordable for this
community and that’s what I’ve set out to do and I do small bunches that people can take home
and cheer themselves up for a weekend or anything like that. We are looking into trying to get funding and
stuff because we want a skate park over the road. so families, especially the youth,
have somewhere safe to go, somewhere where they can go and they don’t have to be out on the
shop fronts. People are doing things and there’s a lot of organisations and community things but they just don’t get recognised
because all that gets … sadly, all that gets focused
on is the drugs side of Grimsby and poverty but not everybody
is like that and we want to help, we want to
help people get out of that and we want Grimsby to move on. So, you’re you’re sort of a
community activist, right? You’re very involved in changing things. Trying. How do you feel about the election? Only because that’s a conversation about what kind of country we are meant to be and all that … Now you’re leaving us. I don’t really get involved. Are you going to vote? I don’t know because
I don’t really vote, so … Really? I love politics.
– You love politics? Do you? Seriously. How do you feel about the election? I would like to see Jeremy Corbyn getting in. Go on, why? They have bled the council dry, the government has, the funding, just about everything, schools, councils, local environment … I feel very disillusioned with the whole
parliamentary process at the moment, I feel we need a brand new party of some
kind and I just don’t feel they are in touch with anywhere in the north side … My instinct is to ask you how you’re going to vote, and as far as you’re concerned
that’s almost irrelevant. Yes, to be honest with you. One person says one thing, one another
and the people here … they cannot … it doesn’t mean
anything to them, they want to … to see actual tangible
transformations for them. it’s the spectacle of loads of people,
200, 300 miles away, saying, I’m gonna pull this lever and this is gonna happen to
where you live. Perhaps that doesn’t work and what works most effectively is you being able to do it yourself. Yes, yes, and I think it’s pride. I think it’s about people’s pride and
they should be involved more and make them feel as if they’re worth something again. Everywhere we go we find people trying to turn it around and make it better
and enable people collectively to do stuff at the absolute grassroots and
it’s amazing. And it’s amazing in a way
that nothing the distant state could do, could beat. It’s really moving up close to see. We did speak to someone in there
who’s sort of passionately pro Jeremy Corbyn, and I totally understand why, you know? But for other people, we spoke to, national politics is just like extraneous noise, somehow it doesn’t connect itself,
it’s not interested nearly enough in what happens here. In places like this. Too much of a gap. We had time for a night out in Grimsby
and a few less sober voxpops which mostly fell Labour’s way. We all make it work in one way or another. We try to! But it’s not working, is it? Then it was a long drive to our ultimate
destination in search of some kind of final answer. You never find it out do you?
But on these trips, we sort of have some notion … Talk to as many people as you can. There are puzzles to be solved
and I can’t even articulate what the puzzle is that we’ve been trying solve for 10 years. So now we’re on the A1M
which I’m beginning to think goes on forever. Right, here we are in Darlington. Is the only way. The election, the election. Politics! Politics. It’s all bullshit.
It’s all lies. fucking immigrants,
make the English proud again. We’re hit by a wall of noise that seems
to capture the nastiness that’s seeped into British politics. You going to vote in two weeks’ time?
Come on! But there’s also a sense
that if you look and listen hard there are quieter signs that we may not
be all that divided after all. – They ran away into a shop. And underneath, many of us
still want the same kind of things. Oh, Brexit, Brexit.
I’m not very smart. I don’t think the politicians themselves know, because the country wouldn’t be like it is, so … don’t think you’re not smart,
because they’re not either. Are you going to vote? I am going to vote. I think for the Brexit party. You’re going to vote for the Brexit party?
– Yeah. Tell me why. Because he’s not fighting for a chair
in parliament, he doesn’t want to be Prime Minister. … lunatic people in London in charge of
our decisions and what we want. Once again, this is someone who wants the
country to change but she has no trust in the established parties. You said you’re going to vote Labour? I just think about the NHS, I feel like it
should be for free. Well, it’s not even that, it’s about the NHS
it’s like … My daughter wants to be a paramedic but I’m going
to have to pay for that. Because they’ve stopped the bursaries
for the NHS, like, students wanting to go on and be nurses
and doctors and they can’t financially afford it … I’ve just finished university
this year doing psychology and criminology I wanted to go back and do
my masters and the funding doesn’t even cover my rent, and my fees for me to live enough.
I’ve got four children. So … they need to be
put money back into education to get the nurses and getting the staff they need
for the NHS, they need to get that wow factor to encourage the young people … Young kids now are like, they don’t what to do,
especially from families that are broken down, like, underclass, they haven’t got a lot of money,
it’s not fair, I think that the NHS should offer that. What kind of country do you want? I want to live in a happy country. As soon as that woman in there, if we
just put her picture on Twitter and said, she lives in Darlington
and she votes for the Brexit party, can you imagine the rage and sneering
that would follow? You start talking about state of the country
and she has a very ingrained experience of the way that things are going wrong. She’s just done a degree
as a mature student in psychology and criminology to try to turn children’s
services round. She’s got a child diagnosed with ADHD, keen sense that the NHS is
brilliant and needs help and support and more money … So complicated and yet
we live in a world where, ‘I’m going to vote for the Brexit party’ and suddenly you just
become the subjects of a great noise again, don’t you?