Elections can be an emotional experience – with tensions running high and impassioned arguments on both sides.
One of the best things about elections is watching people become involved in politics for the first time, and it’s particularly heartwarming when people decide to ask their own communities for the chance to represent them in parliament.
One person who’s doing just that is Faiza Shaheen, a 36 year-old think tank director who is the Labour Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green. Shaheen was born and raised in Chingford, which is currently represented by former Tory leader and arch Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith.
Once a Tory safe seat, Smith’s majority in Chingford and Woodford Green was cut to just 2,438 at the 2017 general election.
The latest polling suggests that Smith might cling on to his seat by just 700 votes. Sensing the close race, both sides have been campaigning hard in recent weeks, with Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson both making their way to the constituency. Tensions are running high, with one of Shaheen’s female canvassers reportedly being threatened and Duncan Smith’s constituency being spray-painted with graffiti.
Politics might seem toxic right now, but Shaheen has put out a video to close out her campaign on a positive note. The video was created by film maker Matt O'Brien.
And it’s giving people all the feels.
Shaheen begins the video by talking about the community where she grew up.
Let me tell you about my community: about the library I went to as a child, the parks I played in, the Gregg’s that gave me my first job, the street I lived on, where the neighbours supported my sick mum and came to her funeral.
I want to tell you about the people who made me who I am, who showed me kindness when we needed it most.
Next we see Shaheen talking to various people in her life – her friends, neighbours and those who helped her when her late mother was ill. She explains how her upbringing has influenced her politics.
I wasn’t born to a rich or powerful family. I came into the world as a working-class child. My mum from Pakistan and my dad a car mechanic from Fiji.
They say it takes a village to raise a child – and you raised me. But now the child wants to represent that village. Because what better way to say thank you for all that you’ve given me than to fight for that library, for the high street, for that school, for public transport – for you, for our children.
Finally, Shaheen asks her community to take a chance on her.
I know politics has become a dirty word, and that people have lost faith in politicians, but I’m asking you – my neighbours, my friends, my community – to take a chance on me, to believe in me, just like you’ve done my whole life.
No, *you're* crying.
Film created by Matt O'Brien: @mrmattob