Friday 27th March 2015
The Labour Campaign Launch : Queen Elizabeth I Olympic Park , Stratford , London.
The Labour Party launch their election campaign at the Olympic Park , Stratford . It’s a very good location , not just because it’s near my studio.
The wide pedestrian avenues that lead from Stratford shopping centre to the ArcelorMittal tower are deserted though there’s possibly someone in the ‘Top Gear Experience’ simulator. It’s ‘Stig’ adorned cabin jerks back and forth .
There are a couple of chaps carrying heavy tripods in the distance, a good sign that a ‘media-event’ is nearby.
At the top of the tower an impressive panorama of London is the backdrop to the Labour leader’s lectern. The members of the opposition are to enter through a well ordered phalanx of casually dressed students.
I have time to make a few sketches of the labour supporters getting in position. In my sketch I try to include the white lines on the floor that have been laid out to help choreograph the event. The viewing gallery is not a huge space and is soon packed.
Ed Milliband is introduced by an NHS nurse, Agnes Brown. She is wearing a flattering rose coloured chiffon scarf which will stand out nicely in the middle of my sketch when I come to add colour. Even more so will Tessa Jowell in vivid tangerine.
I draw Ed Milliband in his characteristic forward jutting , lectern hugging pose and include a yellow crane behind him.
The red steel of the Mittal tower appears in the window behind the leader of the opposition like a big red cross, a mark on the ballot paper or symbol of something else?
I meet a labour supporter outside called Simeon. I’d drawn him earlier in his smart blue tailored suit and tweed cap, alone on the canal side.
I show him the drawing, he says he looks lonely so I draw him again as part of the band of banner wavers who, under the big red oxide cloche at the base of the tower, cheer the members of the shadow cabinet onto their windowless battle bus and into the yellow crane lined electioneering battlefield.