Cal out on the doorstep in Charles Dickens
Cal out on the doorstep in Charles Dickens

Cal Corkery our Charles Dickens campaigner takes the Portsmouth Labour 25 questions challenge!

Hi Cal what are you up to right now?

Grabbing a quick bite to eat for lunch after a morning travelling round the city visiting social housing tenants to help with money and benefit issues (my day job!). 

What’s your favourite place in Charles Dickens?

I love the views over our city from the top of the various tower blocks in our ward, especially those in Portsea which give you an amazing on the dockyard.

What’s your favourite heritage spot in Portsmouth?

The Dockyard

In one word what’s the biggest issue on the doorstep in Charles Dickens? 


What’s your favourite quote?

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” – Paulo Freire

What book are you reading at the moment? 

Arkady by Patrick Langley.

Favourite song? 

Weak Become Heroes – The Streets.

Tony Benn or Tony Blair?


Who runs the world? 

The ruling class.

Dogs or cats? 

Dogs – apart from when they’re snapping at my fingers through letter boxes! 

Bike or car? 

Bike – I used to ride my bike everywhere but have done so less recently due to having to carry it up and down the stairs to my flat. I’m lobbying our housing association to install a bike shed for our block so hopefully we get that and it’ll be easier for me to use the bike more regularly again.

Chinese or curry? 

Curry – as spicy as I dare.

What word describes what you’ll bring to the council? 



Cal with the local action team on the doorstep
Cal with the local action team on the doorstep

What one thing do you want to change about Charles Dickens?

Rough sleeping – no one should be without a roof over their heads in this day and age.

Who would play you in a film about your life? 

Michael Sheen (the only actor I could think of with similar politics!).

What one thing would you most like to ban from Portsmouth?


Sweet or savoury?


Leave or Remain?

Voted Leave but am concerned about a disastrous no deal exit. Ideally I’d like to see the kind of deal Labour has been pushing for (customs union and close relationship) but who knows what’s going to happen at Westminster in the weeks and months to come?

What campaign are you working on at the minute? 

I’m working with a couple of groups of residents who are concerned about plans for new student halls in the immediate vicinity of their properties. I think the council should be doing more to hold developers to account by ensuring plans fit in with the needs and interests of existing residents.

What’s your favourite local pub? 

I like the Irish Club on Elm Grove – cheap bar and a nice link to my Irish ancestry. 

In one word why should people vote for you?


What are you most scared of? 

Blackouts – I didn’t realise this until we had the big power cut a while back. My phone soon ran out of charge and I’d never thought to stock up on torches or candles so was sat in the pitch dark until it got sorted! 

What are you most excited about? 

The potential of transforming our community for the many, not the few. 

Favourite time of the year? 

Autumn – there’s a large tree outside my block and when the leaves fall it completely changes the view from my flat.

Describe Charles Dickens in one word?


You can find out more about Cal and why he’s standing by clicking here.

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