The Labour and Tory campaigns in Brighton Pavilion have become focussed on the theme “Stop Lucas”

Brighton Pavilion has been awash with Greens today. Between 80 and 100 activists (not all party members but people who want to see Caroline Lucas in parliament)flooded the constituency. Even in the heyday of Labour activism in the 1980s, there was rarely a day when there was a mass turnout like this.

Channel 4 News covered the Greens campaign, filming over two days, and interviewing Ms Lucas, Charlotte Vere for the Tories, Nancy Platts for Labour, and some bloke for the Lib Dems since their candidate is so invisible that it has become embarassing. Nancy and Charlotte must have been frustrated by the editing of their interviews since what came across was a single “Stop Lucas” message. Knowing both of them, they stand for much more than this, but it is a reflection of the campaign locally. It has long since been a straight fight between three impressive women.

A recent Tweet from local Tory Rachael Bates said if Charlotte Vere does not win, she hopes Nancy Platts will triumph because the prospect of a Green MP is too terrible to contemplate.

Caroline Lucas has got so much on her side – huge national media coverage, the enthusiasm of party workers and supporters, a groundswell of opinion that the Greens are on the verge of gaining their first Westminster seat, and now the backing of the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley who has donated £1,000 to the Lucas campaign.

Labour hasn’t had a great week, starting slowly when they should really have got a head start and significantly dented the Tory lead. The increase in employers NI contribution hurt them. However, David Cameron himself is now on his heals with his married couple tax break of £3 per week. It is more about symbolism he pleaded on the news. The more the campaign goes on the shallower the Tory policies will appear, apart from the sinister redistribution of wealth they are proposing from ordinary people to the very, very rich. What you can say about Cameron, he has class loyalty! This campaign could yet be decided nationally on the issue of class, but locally it has become about stopping the Greens. What a compliment to Ms Lucas.

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6 Responses

  1. I have to chuckle, the tory candidates latest twitters makes her look liek she is in absolute meltdown!

    Why wasn’t being a Labour supporter this exciting?

    Preston

  2. It should be good for UKIP.

    Caroline Lucas has said that that 90% of environmental policy is decided in Brussels.

    She is probably right, so the question is why does she want to resign as an MEP?

    The answer is – MEP’s have ZERO influence on EU policy!

    The EU is run by the unelected and unaccountable commission.

    We have had our modern parliament for 300 years – and only now is it becoming truly accountable to the people (subject to FoI requests, live streaming, live interactive twittering etc).

    Making the EU so accountable would take another 300 years – it is a folly. We need to capitalise on our newly accountable parliament not let power escape to brussles.

    • What planet are you on?

      You may have gripes against the EU Commission, but don’t cite the Westminster Parliament as a role model.

      You said, “We have had our modern parliament for 300 years – and only now is it becoming truly accountable to the people (subject to FoI requests, live streaming, live interactive twittering etc).2”

      Hmm…our “modern Parliament …accountable to people”

      That’s a bit weird… Haven’t you been reading the news in the last year? MP expenses etc etc?

      However, some good news for you and other ‘pro-Westminster parliament’ advocates is just breaking:

      The so-called ‘300 year old Mother of Parliaments’ looks set to be awarded UN World Heritage site status for preserving antique national parliaments.

      Summary of strength of application:

      – A decayed, out of touch political system with a national constitution urgently in need of 21st century overhaul – especially proportional and fairer voting, but thankfully unlikely to be damaged in the short term as the two big Westminster parties, who form the Government, oppose serious moves on grounds that they would lose some representation.

      Noted points of excellence of the Westminster model include:

      – Absence of fair elections – inc. continued use of winner takes all non-proportional election system which penalises smaller party vote share

      – Strong social balance of members inc fewer women members than the Afghanistan parliament

      – Government-appointed (ie unelected) second legislative chamber (called house of lords).

      – Elected member expenses system until very recently them to abuse public trust on claiming expenses at a time when ordinary families are struggling.

      Is the UKIP way really the Westminster way?

      Hope you look to other Parliaments – not Westminster – as your inspiration for Europe.

      But that would be far too democratic and progressive for UKIP, wouldn’t it?

  3. What Nancy and Charlotte are engaging in can only be described as an “unholy”, unofficial, alliance to bad-mouth the Greens as much as they can.

    Caroline has made a good impression across the constituency, as the C4 coverage shows.

    Charlotte Vere is now getting desperate in her Twitter attacks, citing that the Greens are not talking about policy (funny considering that she always mentions @CarolineLucas whenever talking about the Greens).

    Today was impressive, no doubt about that. So many people in the party, and clearly so many in Pavilion, want to see a fresh new voice in Parliament and realise that they can vote for that fresh, new voice.

    Despite the dirty campaign from Labour and the Tories, voters will be sensible enough to see through the bullshit and vote for what they want rather than what they’re scared in to.

  4. Is the BPB becoming a mite blasé?

    The voting is a month away, and the postal votes, which are another and interesting subject, earlier than that.

    Graham Greene was fond of quoting Browning’s phrase about “the dangerous edge of things”, and I was mindful of Graham all the time I was helping with a campaign to save Hove’s Carnegie Library. I felt that we had to keep at that dangerous edge, which can slip any way. Despite the national media coverage of the Carnegie from The Times and The Politics Show, I knew that we had to keep at it locally, on the pavements, and we then got up five thousand posters in house and shop windows, with some emphasis on key areas, such as bus routes, and that fomented talk. I thought that we had only just started but afterwards heard, very reliably, that five thousand was thought an incredible amount by the powers that be, and that swung it.

    I learnt from this, as with the earlier No campaign against a directly elected Mayor, that one has to persist, down to the wire. As happened in Goldsmid’s by election last year.

    As BPB says, there has been another amazing push by the Greens today.

    But, naturally enough, there are signs of a Labour challenge. What’s more, it is interesting to see that Charlotte Vere is no longer replying to comments on this BPB site. Has she been leant upon?

    Even on a such a sunny day as this, when many Pavilion residents’ minds were on the garden, the beach, car repair and goodness knows what else, there is no doubt that the place is in an electoral ferment.

    Naturally enough, this means that the other parties will give it their best shot. A human desire to save face.

    Several seats across the country are set to be sensational. But my hunch is that the grassroots effort in Brighton Pavilion will be the most resonant of all.

  5. I know it’s just a photo but good to see Caroline featured in the BBC’s election highlights of the day:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8613272.stm

    Here’s the link to the Channel 4 piece with Charlotte Vere ruminating on the impending Green victory:

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/could+a+green+mp+be+heading+to+westminster/3608487

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