Political Awards 2010: New-Comer of the Year

In a year dominated by the general election, it is quite hard for a new-comer to make his or her mark.  There have been very few individuals who, newly arrived on the Brighton and Hove political scene,  have made their mark. In fact, there is just one nominee for this category, and therefore is the winner.

As a result of the election of Caroline Lucas to Westminster, her European seat became vacant and was duly filled by the second person on the Green Party list from the last European elections, Keith Taylor.  Keith had been a long-standing, if uninspiring councillor for St Peter’s and North Laine.  Keith resigned from the City Council to take up the European seat.  The by-election was keenly fought by Labour and the Greens.  While the seat was won by the Green’s Lizzie Deane (who has disappeared without trace since her election), it was Tom French, the Labour candidate, who stood out as the outstanding candidate.

Tom was hard-working, charming, energetic, and won plaudits from all parties.  At a time where charismatic individuals are largely absent from the ranks of Labour, Tom was a breath of fresh air.  He is my New-Comer of the Year.  Labour needs to find another dozen or so candidates with similar qualities if it is to avoid a heavy defeat in May, although it is probably too late.

Just one word of warning to Tom.  Being the latest ‘bright young thing’ is great while it lasts.  But no matter how well you perform, time will mean that you will not always be young, and you rapidly lose the image of being the new kid on the block.  My advice is to remember your roots, the people who supported you when you set out on your exciting journey. Neglect your core base at your peril.  For the local elections, you have chosen to abandon (as some see it) St Peter’s and North Laine, as well as Hanover and Elm Grove,  in favour of Queen’s Park .   Take some time to mend fences.  You will never be bigger than the Party.  The Labour Party needs you to succeed and I wish you well.

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3 Responses

  1. “Remember your routes”? Is the Blogger suggesting that Tom French’s day job is in a taxi?

    And why is Lizzie Deane, in the correct spelling, deemed to have “disappeared without trace”? To be a Councillor in fact involves much of the time being spent with residents’ concerns which, by their very nature, are not trumpeted.

    Would that sort of thing suit Tom French?

    As Lizzie Deane said at the last Council Meeting, St Peter’s is, contrary to myth, not all sun-dried tomatoes, and the same applies to Queen’s Park.

    I think that Lizzie Deane won in St Peter’s because residents realised that she would get on with it.

  2. Lizzie Deane has been active in the campaign to save Bright Start Nursery, among other things. Not really fair to say she has “disappeared”

    http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/8744324.Lifeline_thrown_to_Brighton_nursery/

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