Doorstep Brighton 15: Websites, Patcham, and denying Christopher Hawtree a famous victory in Rottingdean Coastal

There has been a great deal of interest in the new Labour Party website. And even Green activists have applauded its launch. Luke Walter, for example, said:  “A few kinks, but fair play. A big improvement to the last one.”  So, too, have a number of new readers (and now probably ex-readers) who were attracted to the last post having searched ‘lap-dancing club Brighton’.  Probably the same ex-readers who were no impressed with the picture of me dressed in nothing but a sheet!

Warren also answers some of the gaps in the new website: “Thanks for all the comments and for pointing out the glitches/omissions, all being corrected. …. Yes, Celia Barlow was selected to stand in Central Hove (her bio will be changed), and Brian Fitch in Hangleton & Knoll. Their experience – and that of Simon Battle and all 13 Labour councillors running for re-election – is balanced by the new talent we have in Queens Park, Regency, Goldsmid, Hanover, Wish, St Peters, Preston Park and elsewhere.”

Dr Faust criticises me for hypocrisy: “On the ‘Thumper principle’ you seem to be failing yourself with your rather snide comments about Brian Fitch and others. Your respondants have followed suit as well – but I think that’s OK. Say what you like about candidates, preferably let it be true, but if not someone will hopefully point out your error.”

Tom Matthews says that this is a fair point, points out that I can get away with making snide comments because “(s)he’s not running to be a councillor, or IS (s)he??”. Thank you, Tom, I’m a sensitive soul, finding criticism hard to cope with! As for standing for Council, I wont confirm or deny rumours that i might be standing as an Independent Green in Rottingdean Coastal inspite of accusations that I will split the anti-Mears vote, thereby denying Christopher Hawtree an historic victory.

But Dr Faust is wrong. I wasn’t being snipe about the People’s Brian. I said he was a legend and that he would save the No 5 bus to Hangleton. I couldn’t be fairer.

‘Andy’ points out that the new website seems to suggest that one of “Labour’s candidate for Patcham seems to also be standing in Brunswick. That’s a good start!”.

And talking of Patcham, Serenus Zeitblom said: “You can tell it’s getting close to election time in Patcham because we’ve just had a flyer through the door advertising Messrs Theobald, Theobald and Pidgeon’s surgery times … however in the seven years I’ve been living in the ward I don’t think I’ve seen any evidence of Labour activity ever.

But I’m not wholly convinced by the new Labour website. Smart and slick at first appearance, it appears to be full of slips and errors – almost as if the webmaster has been filling in a template. And here in Brighton where you’re never more than a few yards from a web developer you expect slick digital campaigns.”

Two points regarding Patcham, “Messrs Theobald, Theobald and Pidgeon” surely refers to councillor Geoffrey and councillor Carol Theobald” as well as councillor Pidgeon. And secondly, there has been practically no reports on the campaign in Patcham, not even a convincing opinion from the Peter Snow of Brighton politics, Christopher Hawtree, that with a swing of just 187%, Patcham will fall to the forces of the Greens.

15 Responses

  1. 187% swing for the Tories to lose Patcham? Until Hell freezes over and Geoffrey Theobald complains there is not enough grit to make it safe for pedestrians, more like!

  2. Yes, there are some errors and we are working to correct them – it’s not easy to bring together information from 21 wards and 54 candidates and get it all put up correctly without occasional errors.

    Yes it is a template, on WordPress, that is used by many individuals, companies and organisations, including political ones. Look at the bottom of many websites – including this fine site – and you will see it is a WordPress one. WordPress has thousands of templates.

    No, we haven’t bought in the services of a professional web designer like the Greens and Tories – we don’t have the same kind of money to spend on campaigns as they do. Our site has been put together by a Party member who is a web professional and who has kindly donated his time and services for free. He is one of over 45,000 people who have joined Labour in the past year, in his case because of one of our local Labour campaigns in the city.

    • That’s a lie, local Labour benefits massively from national union funding.

      And Brighton & Hove Green Party is not getting any preferential treatment from the national party this year, we’re relying entirely on local activists.

  3. Mr Morgan
    Get over the fact that you have produced a website – wow!
    I cannot sit back and let you get away with accusing Conservatives of buying in the services of a professional web designer.
    Yes we purchased a template at a very low cost, but and have been written, photographed and produced by local Conservative activists

    • And it shows.

      “Your local Conservative action team are working throughout the ward, and tackling the issues which effect residents lives. ”

      Time to get back to basics, maybe.

    • Its Councilor Morgan to you Mr. Booth.

  4. Add together the Green and Labour votes at the General Election, and that matches the Tories in Patcham, add some LibDems, and do not rule out disgruntled Tories… There is an abiding myth that Patcham is Tory.

    Look at all the Green boards that went up in Patcham.

    And close to many of the polling stations.

    • Chris, I believe the Greens will take 17 seats at this election but Patcham won’t be amongst them. I’ve lived in Brighton 40 years, and I can assure you, Patcham won’t be amongst them!

      • Hi Baron, I would be interested to know which 17 seats you think the Greens will win. I think 17 is about right but I have allowedn3 Green seats in Queens Park which you don’t necessary think. BPB

  5. We have to look at how wards across Brighton and Hove have changed over the past decade, but, let’s take the wards in the Pavilion constituency, for example.

    First, it deserves pointing out, that Brighton has one of the highest graduate retention rates in the country. If staying on in Brighton, most young people are likely to rent somewhere (likely to be in an HMO) near the centre of town or mainline station of which SPNL & HEG cover a vast swathe. Worth noting that SPNL is one of the safest Green council wards in the whole country and thus the highest number of Green voters. Equally, HEG is considered safe for the Greens.

    Over the years these folks will then travel out to other parts of the city, perhaps renting a flat with their partner in Fiveways or similar. Thus, another potential Green voter in Preston Park or Hollingdean and Stanmer.

    If, for instance, they wished to start a family, they may look to upgrade into bigger accomodation and may have saved enough over the years to put down a mortgage on a property in one of the ‘northern’ wards. This might mean a house in Hollingdean, or even in Patcham or Withdean.

    This drift, backed up by all-year-round work by Green representatives, has consolidated the Green vote and made a number of council wards winnable for the Greens in May 2011.

    In some of these new wards, from our sampling at the General Election, we already know there are enough Green voters to win in May.

    • Luke Walter is right.

      I am always surprised how many politicians do not perambulate areas and get a measure of changing demographics.

      The Greens could well overtake Labour in Westbourne.

    • I’d be interested to know which wards you thought the Green Party ‘won’ in the GE – and by how much.

  6. Thank you Clive for pointing that out.
    Rather proves my point!

  7. BPB-

    I think for the Greens as follows:

    Brunswick – 1
    Regency- 2
    Hollingdean & Stanmer -3
    Hanover & Elm Grove – 3
    Queens Park – 1
    St Peter’s & North Laine – 3
    Preston Park – 3
    Goldsmid – 1

    I was told Mr Hawtree is now standing in Central Hove, maybe I was wrong.

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