Sussex Progressives


Lewes Progressives ‘flash mob’ for Progressive Alliance

A small group of the Lewes Progressives met to plan our campaigning for the final few days of this very short election. We were keen to find a way to get across the message about the need for voters in the Lewes constituency to vote tactically to beat the Conservatives. We wanted to highlight the impact of the Conservative Government on public services in East Sussex, and the importance of smart voting to make a difference locally.

We also wanted to draw attention to the voting record of Maria Caulfield, the Conservative MP in Lewes for the last two years, which we believe has not been in the best interests of the people of this constituency. She has consistently voted against higher taxes on banks, against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability, voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax and consistently voted against measures to prevent climate change. At a time when the new government will need strong scrutiny to ensure that it listens to the voters, she has always voted with the Government.

We were keen to do something light-hearted and fun; something to appeal to younger people. We also wanted to try to get coverage in the local paper and radio as well as have some striking images to share on social media.

The idea of a flashmob was mooted and our imaginations got to work. We picked up on some posters already circulating on Facebook with Maria Caulfield photoshopped into the Sound of Music and the idea of a flashmob singing ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria?’ seemed obvious. So we drafted some lyrics, ordered a dozen nun costumes so we could act out the Sound of Music, put out the word for people to turn up at 10:30 on Saturday with homemade placards to practice the song and crossed our fingers.

Having no idea how many people would turn up we were somewhat stunned to welcome around 50 people ranging from 8-80 with some fantastic and humorous signs explaining why people were giving up their Saturday mornings. A couple of quick runs through and we were off, up to Cliffe Bridge to belt out the song. We chanted ‘vote her out’ and ‘vote tactically’ took some pictures and then melted away. It was all over in 10 minutes and felt fantastic. It was an intergenerational celebration of British political protest.

To see the video of the demo, click here:

- Lewes Progressives.


Robbie Hirst