The fringe candidates in this May’s local elections in Brighton and Hove

In the last couple of days I have commented on the independent candidates standing in Wish (Mr and Mrs Jenny Barnard-Langston), Hangleton and Knoll (Jo Heard) and North Portslade (Theo Child). But there are other fringe candidates standing,and I don’t mean the LibDems or UKIP. If you read between the lines of what I have written about those parties you may have gained the impression, I can’t think why, that they are not my cup of team (forexample, “I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than vote for UKIP”).

The most spoken about Independent this May is former mayor, former Lib Dem and sitting councillor David Wakins who is hoping to defend his seat in Brunswick and Adelaide. His candidature could be characterised as the Mr Angry Candidate, not that David is the angry sort, but his treatment by the Lib Dems has not been kind and his is a spoiling campaign designed to undermine support for the Lib Dems in their last remaining area of representation.

Trade Unionists and Socialists Against the Cuts may have worthy intentions, but they are likely to mobilise no more than a few dozen votes. Standing for TUSAC are an uninspiring bunch who have failed to rally the working classes time and time again. There was a song, can’t member who by, that went “As soon as this pub closes, as soon as this pub closes, as soon as this pub closes, the revolution starts”. The chorus was sung by an increasingly drunk singer. The final chorus went “As soon as this pub closes, as soon as this pub closes, as soon as this pub closes, ……… I think ….. I’m gonna ….. be sick”.

Now I’m not suggesting that any of the TUSAC candidates are partial to a drink or two, but they are a mixture of uninspiring individuals (Bill North standing in East Brighton) and more enthusiastic, less cynical types such as Jon Redford (Hanover and Elm Grove). He is active in the Stop the Cuts Coalition and, at least, has some get up and go about him. At just 23 Jon is one of the younger breed of candidates and he has been part of the campaign against cuts in Education Maintenance Allowances.

Also standing for TUSAC in Hollingdean and Stanmer are Phil Clarke, Tony Greenstein (how is it that he hasn’t yet been expelled from TUSAC – he has been expelled from evey other fringe group on the left) and the Peter Stringfellow of Brighton politics, Professor Dave Hill. Dave Bangs is standing for TUSAC in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean.

What is touching, yet quite sad about this bunch, is that unlike Don Quixote who charged at imaginary enemies, this lot have real enemies yet they tend to focus on others on the left and fail to mobilise real opposition against the Tories. They just don’t know how to organise an effective coalition. Their handful of votes could just let the Tories in in very close contests. One wonders if this is what they hope for …..

Gerald O’Brien is standing in St Peters and North Laine. He has stood in more elections than the number of comments left on this blog by the Legend that is Christopher Hawtree. He is yet to top 100 votes and even being most generous, is unlikely to win in this seat, the safest Green seat in the country.

Mohammed Asaduzzaman is standing as an Independent in Queens Park. A respected local businessman, concerned with crime, he has stood before but has little chance of making more than a ripple on the result in Queens Park.

And finally we have Yuri Borgmann-Prebil (Preston Park) and Susan Collard (St Peters and North Laine) standing for the European Citizens Party. Now for many weeks I have been collating comprehensive files on both Yuri and the European Citizens Party. In fact I have focused on little else …. zzzzzzzzz

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7 Responses

  1. I think it’s harsh to call Dave Bangs uninspiring. I make no comment about the rest of the TUSAC slate, but I like Dave and have always found him to be a very engaging and passionate speaker on a huge range of subjects.

    I won’t vote for TUSAC (not in an FPTP election, at any rate), but I do think their central point needs to be addressed, particularly by the Greens – what will councillors who oppose the cuts do to express their opposition, if they find themselves running the council after May 5th?

    Will Green and left-wing Labour councillors (should there be any of those in the future) act on behalf of their voters and constituents to resist the cuts, or will they sorrowfully implement them?

    • They will have to implement them. The council will only have the grants the government decides to give them and is not free to run a deficit in the same way as central government can and did under Labour. All this talk from the left wing parties about “resisting the cuts” is either hot air or implies they are planning an astronomical rise in local taxes and charges to make up the shortfall.

      • Talking of hot air and TUSAC, it was mentioned by many people that Dave Hill suffered from quite bad flatulence at the General Election count which he appeared to be quite proud of, mind you if you know Dave one he probably does not care and two he is pretty deaf and can’t hear it either!, “Dave Hill fills the Bill!”

      • So much for localism then.

  2. The TUSAC candidates, who you so like to deride. are the people who have actually been organising the opposition to the cuts in this City. They are the ones who have organised the local demos, the ones who formed the anti-cuts committees, the ones who organised the 26th March coaches and got people on them.

    Good job we didn’t wait for “Red Ed’s” merry band of slow cutters to do any of this or we’d still be waiting. TUSAC may have its flaws but it is the only actual ANTI-CUTS party in this election.

    • Andy, dear, I never said I disliked any one or all of the TUSAC candidates. On the contrary. It’s just that they are very marginalised. Yes, they have organised some actions against the cuts, but it is the usual suspects who turn out on these occasions. That is my criticism, a small group of activists criticising all others but not mobilising enough people to be regarded as an opposition.

  3. my politics is not joke,i care about where im living.i have done enough work with all organisations but be honest with the public.Equality is not in practical from the community to all way to council.respect all culture as a divers community brighton and hove.just remind dont exclude my hard work.city must take into account our contribution and have represntative from multicultural community.
    im living queens park.i had business at richmond parade.i have faced BiBi gun 7th of july 2005 at richmond parade to reduce Crime.enough is enough ,now i deserve my award coming election.
    thanks.
    mohammed

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