The hidden election: voters speak

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Indy Politics

The real issues for Muslims, young and old, are living conditions at home and the war in Iraq

AT THE EAST LONDON MOSQUE

The real issues for Muslims, young and old, are living conditions at home and the war in Iraq

Muhammad Abul Kalam, 24

"We would look at the anti-terror legislation and the way Muslims have been targeted. Then there's Tony Blair's 45-minutes fiasco; his lie."

Muhammad Dawud, 47, joint US-British citizen

"The high level of unemployment gives discomfort and anger. We all stick out so much, because of our colour and religion."

Shahan Alom, 25, unemployed

"I represent more of the young Muslims in the constituency, who weren't particularly active at the last election. I'm going to vote Respect. I'm sick of Labour."

Yusuf Chambers, 41, converted to Islam

"I would say the wars Blair has taken us into illegally - against the Geneva Convention, and human rights."

Monohar Ali, 75, emigrated from Bangladesh 45 years ago

"Whoever wins should bring more peace. The community should be peaceful. I'm talking about crime, gangs, drugs and drink."

Shaheda Najmeem, 22, student

"I have personally seen poor hygiene and poor quality work from nurses. People aren't sensitive towards ethnic minorities."

AT THE ISLINGTON DINNER PARTY

Trust is the real issue for former Blairites at Frederick's restaurant in New Labour's spiritual heartland

Steven Loud, 45, Islington GP

"I was very happy with the way Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were running the country until the Iraq debacle. I've also been concerned that Blair has morphed into a Labour Thatcher."

Rhiannon James, 41, GP and lapsed Labour Party member

"The thing that came out of the war is that you now feel, what can you trust about the man? He's not interested in listening to the Cabinet or to Parliament."

Ernest James, 60, barrister and lapsed Labour Party member

"I wouldn't rejoin the party before Blair had gone. But I'd want to know what Brown's policies are towards America. And is he a Eurosceptic?"

Anna Lobbenberg, 36, former teacher in a state school

"There was relief when Labour got in that those dreadful cuts to the public sector would stop. I don't think Blair's a liar, I think he's a disappointing manager."

Nic Lobbenberg, 41, criminal barrister

"The past eight years have been a journey from hope into despair, because what we've ended up with is President Blair. I also really object to the lies that have been told to us."

AT THE SUSSEX NATURE RESERVE

The real issue for people enjoying the countryside at Woods Mill is the environment, hardly mentioned in the campaign so far

Vanessa Wright, Retired doctor

"We haven't been told that the environment is probably the most important issue. It hasn't been mentioned and it isn't going to be."

Jo Tytherleigh, Garden designer

"Recycling and encouraging wildlife are big issues for me. But they don't seem to be being discussed by politicians."

Mark Fletcher, Writer/photographer

"Labour has done some good things, like reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, but they are not beating the drum about them."

Andrew Johnston, Farmer

"Blair says global warming is more important than terror. He should push for a tax on aircraft fuel."

Val Bentley, Playgroup supervisor

"Prescott should announce that every housing development will be made to install solar heating and electric panels."

Caroline Gosden, Veterinary nurse

"America is paying no attention to the environment. Why aren't our politicians bringing pressure to bear on it?"

AT THE SCHOOL GATES

Labour says the votes of "school-gate mums" will be decisive. At Duncombe primary in London, some say the real issue - as ever - is money

Michelle Goodall, 41

"Cynical? It makes me seethe. They always focus on primary schools. But when it gets to secondary, the whole thing falls to pieces."

Christina Adamou, 32

"Money's the main concern. They encourage women back to work saying they'll be better off, but you only end up with an extra £20 or so."

Fatima Bastoni, 40

"I used to vote Conservative, then I voted Labour. This time I'm not sure. I lived abroad, and the only reason I returned is because of this school."

Emily Levitt, 34

"The environment's the most important thing, but none of the main parties talk about it enough. I might vote Green because I wasn't happy about the war."

Anatol Mayasi, 38

"I am 100 per cent Labour. You should have seen this place four years ago. Money has poured in and now it is transformed. We have very good facilities."

Jennifer Anthony, 38

"Fifty years ago we might have believed all this marketing, but we are a bit too educated for that now. I'll vote Green or Labour."

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